NAILED IT: DMNews spends a few minutes with Scott Madlener, EVP of interactive marketing, Performance

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Q: Can you talk about PCG's fundraising efforts for Northwestern University's athletic department?

A: We publish two ISAT, or Internet Secure Application Technology, e-newsletters a year, sent to Northwestern's alumni in the fall and spring. These incorporate articles, a video message from the associate athletic director, imagery and a call to action for donation. These applications bring together an integrated online user experience that incorporates integrated multimedia, security, direct response vehicles, and portability.

Q: How did you drive alumni to the site?

A: In addition to the e-mail, alumni also receive a direct mail piece. It includes an envelope for immediate donation and also directs them back online, should they choose to donate that way. Then, we follow that up with a second e-mail with the same newsletter, saying, “here's a way to donate, in case you missed the direct mail piece.” Really, the e-mail newsletter is the vehicle, and the direct mail piece is just for those people who aren't used to doing things online.

Q: How many people interacted with the newsletter?

A: On average we have 14,000 to 15,000 recipients of the direct mail piece. We have e-mail addresses from about a third of them. Of the 5,000 recipients, we typically have about 10% that actually view and interact with the microsite. Of that 10%, about 20% give a gift. Last year we did almost $50,000 in online donations. So that makes about 100 gifts of an average of about $5,000, which is pretty darn good. After the first year, the number of donations had increased 80% and the donation amount increased 185%.

Q: What is the biggest takeaway from this campaign?

A: No. 1, everything is integrated together so someone can multitask through the e-mail, read the articles, and not interrupt the video. The video itself really keeps the school in the forefront of what's going on online. This isn't just some old back-of-the-house type of activity, this is the school doing what it teaches. And obviously, its alumni are business leaders, so they're expecting that. Additionally, the entire transaction is secure, which people expect.


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