Mindís digital legacy campaign has been an unprecedented success story; it was shortlisted for a National Fundraising Award and continues to drive new supporters to the charity. Douglas Flood, Mindís Legacy and In Memory Marketing Manager, explains moreÖ
One means of fundraising that has the potential to significantly increase income is in the sometimes sensitive area of Wills and legacies. Despite Mind making around £3 million annually through gifts left in Wills, this is a fairly small amount compared to that taken in by other larger charities.We knew that we had the potential to encourage more people to donate to us in this way, especially considering the recognition of our brand and the increase in public interest regarding mental health problems.
According to a survey of our supporters in 2015, 40% would or might leave a legacy to us. But, for 32% of those surveyed, price was an issue, while 21% did not know where to start and 18% didnít know a solicitor. As a result of this, we launched our rolling free Will offer shortly afterwards and our first charity consortia Free Will Month promotion took place in March 2016. The results were promising, benefitting both the needs of the charity and our supporters. Since then we have developed both.
We produced a guide to legacies, which we found to meet the information needs of our supporters as well as their social needs through our showcasing of beneficiary case studies. We also provided a simple process by which those seeking to register were able to pledge legacies.
While we have worked in this area before, we felt that increasing investment and implementing a larger scale approach could increase the number of pledges made during Free Will Month.
PPC and Facebook
Working with our digital marketing agency, we focused on three core audience groups: a general charity interest group, a demographic group and those with additional interests, for example retirement. The advantage of using both pay per click (PPC) and Facebook was that some geo-targeting could be used, which was useful because our consortium campaign area was specific to a number of counties and towns. Due to the likely reach of the advertising (100,000+) we could also test the three audiences with creative variants.
We found that the audience groups were broadly similar, all interacting with a decent amount of likes, shares and comments. The best performing advert plainly described the time limited offer and referenced local solicitors. Another advertisement, which assured people that they would retain full control over the process, provided a similar level of conversion, which we defined as a click from our campaign specific landing page to the overall campaign page.
Overall, the Facebook promotion saw 1,294 conversions from a spend of £5,600. This outperformed our traditional PPC approach, which drove 348 conversions from £2,300. Despite losing out to Facebook on volume, we will continue to use the PPC approach as well because the conversion from early interest remains pretty good. However, it isnít possible to track through the entire process up to the point where the supporter actually makes their Will, nor whether they choose to leave us a legacy, and so we canít precisely evaluate full term performance.
What we learned
We have found that our supporters are genuinely interested to know about the experiences of some of the people we support, and for that reason we featured a short film about Pete, who called our helpline when experiencing a panic attack, in the campaign. Sharing stories like these is not only good for fundraising, but also for peer support, which is extremely important to Mind.
The campaign created 93 pledges, which was our best performing campaign to date and was shortlisted for a National Fundraising Award. There were also some additional unplanned benefits to this campaign, for example, Facebook users asking us questions and tagging their friends to let them know about the offer. This seems to be incredibly positive, as there is some implied trust when you see a peer recommendation. The whole campaign was also notable for the total absence of complaints, which we are always mindful of on social media.
Going on from here, we have extended our Facebook advertising beyond these time limited campaigns. Itís still early days, but we have seen a pick-up in registrations for our free Will offer. We will soon know whether this method will become a real rival to PPC and offline methods as a proven driver of gifts, the ultimate performance standard.
By Douglas Flood, Legacy and In Memory Marketing Manager at Mind