Heart disease is New Zealand’s biggest single killer, and the Heart Foundation invests in research, rehabilitation and health programmes to reduce heart disease. Six appeals are needed each year to generate the donor income that is requited to fund these activities.
Each appeal has two objectives, primarily to raise money, while also informing and educating recipients about a facet of the Heart Foundation’s work.
The July Appeal focussed on the importance of risk assessment to help people understand their heart health risks. A significant increase in response rates and donation levels compared to the July Appeal 2012 were sought: the primary objective was to raise money through immediate donations; the secondary objective was to encourage recipients to get a heart health check. For this campaign people who had donated to the Heart Foundation within the last two years were targeted.
At a thorough internal review, the results of various campaign tests were reviewed, as well as best- performing layouts, copy, and appeal subjects, plus data selection and ‘ask strategies’. The best elements of each were applied, but crucially the approach, creative and copy were turned on their heads to make the pack much more personal and connected. Adopting a ‘Know Me, Value Me, Remember Me’ approach to all copy versions, each recipient groups’ past donation history was reflected in their letter. The letter talked about ‘you’ the donor, rather than about ‘us’ the organisation (‘your’ money versus ‘our’ money, for example).
The campaign featured Lynn, a busy solo mother who at the age of 41 had suffered a ‘weirdly intense sensation’ that was the warning sign of an imminent heart attack (only she didn’t realise at the time). It made for a sobering read. In addition, the compelling copy urged the recipient to reach for their wallet.
Compared with the previous campaign (to the same prospect base) in the previous year (the same subject theme), campaign performance increased by 71%, the appeal donation target was exceeded by 14% (the target itself was up 3% on the previous year) and gained an average response rate of 16.8% (nearly double that of the July 2012 campaign).