Seizing the moment: Breaking even in 14 days during EOY

As competition for attention and opens in supporters’ inboxes and timelines continues to multiply, charitable organizations across sectors share a vital imperative for growth – both in terms of revenue and audiences of engaged donors. Anne Lewis Strategies’ data science-informed models complement paid media strategies by allowing organizations to grow their donor lists, and in turn revenue, from another source: their own lapsed supporters, who’ve already demonstrated an interest in their mission and are thus prime targets for reactivation.

Using behavioral data, donation history, demographic information, and massive amounts of digital exhaust data, we’ve built sophisticated models that score the inactive audiences of our clients to identify those supporters most likely to reactivate. From there, we can serve these modeled audiences content that, time and again, delivers a high ROI and strengthens the long-term health of organizations’ lists by adding active supporters who are eager to interact and contribute.

For one international relief organization, we applied our reactivation model to a group of more than 1 million lapsed supporters, then selected the top 10 percent of identified targets and began to email the modeled names in November 2019. Even though these supporters were at one time active members of the organization’s list – and therefore previously familiar with the brand – we still needed to ensure a thoughtful reactivation process to protect deliverability and long-term program health. As such, these modeled names only received about 10 percent of the year-end content that members of the active audience saw.

Despite receiving significantly lower email volume – and no messaging customization – the modeled names broke even within 14 days, outpacing a traditional 12-to-18-month paid acquisition payback window, and drove a massive 317 percent ROI in just one month through end-of-year. All totaled, this approach resulted in:

  • Close to 15,000 reactivated names added back to the organization’s core list;
  • A 120 percent increase in year-over-year digital revenue across the Giving Tuesday and year-end periods, with direct contributions coming from the reactivated names; and
  • Compounding ROI in 2020 and beyond as the organization’s revenue will continue to increase as it mails to a larger base of recent givers.

Given the success of the reactivation model, we’re continuing to experiment with other model types, including scoring the likelihood of converting sustaining gifts and increasing donors’ average gift amount.

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Anne Lewis Strategies, a Data Axle Company

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