It’s a myth that older generations aren’t online savvy. A recent study found a surge in older users on Facebook. This resulted in over-55s becoming the second-biggest demographic of its users this year, which is a core group for many legacy teams…
Like many charities, up until recently, St Mungo’s were typically reaching out to the same kind of audiences; cash and committed givers through offline channels. However, as we know, anyone can leave a legacy, so we were missing out on all kinds of audiences.
We therefore developed a new three-year legacy strategy - to reach all our audiences with the legacy message, so they can decide if it’s right for them or not. Digital is a big part of this strategy and a core audience that we hadn’t really tapped into before.
St Mungo’s first multi-channel legacy appeal
After testing some free will offers online and sharing legacy awareness social media posts as part of Remember a Charity Week, we knew we wanted to create a multi-channel campaign to reach core audiences in different ways. This included post, e-mail and social media.
In 2017/18 we worked with an agency, Flourish, to create our ‘What does home mean to you?’ legacy campaign.
Internal buy-in is vital for success
Internal buy-in can always be a challenge with lots of activity going on, and legacies aren’t always front of mind. While developing our legacy campaign, we involved our communications and digital teams from the very beginning. Utilising their insights and ideas was really worthwhile for the campaign.
We also have a hot desking policy at head office, so we were able to sit next to our newly appointed Senior Digital Officer while we were developing the campaign. I would highly recommend this if you can, it makes collaboration easy and helps build up relationships with key internal staff.
What does home mean to you?
Our ‘What does home mean to you?’ campaign involved sending out a postal appeal in autumn 2017, followed by an e-mail to our core subscribers. We then developed this further and launched a digital campaign in spring 2018.
The aim of the digital aspect of the campaign was to reach warm audiences with the legacy message, such as people who already liked our Facebook page etc., as well as reaching colder audiences to engage them with our cause and create a new audience pool for legacy giving.
We created a series of engaging social videos featuring our clients, legacy pledgers and our Vice Chair talking about what home means to them and why legacies are important in helping people off the streets for good.
An engagement tool
The social posts mainly directed people to our landing page, and we also tested different call to actions, such as request a Will writing guide, sign up to e-newsletters and take our quiz.
The survey acted as an engagement tool for colder audiences, giving them more insight to the issues for homelessness and St Mungo’s work. It also included a data capture element, so people could hear about more of our work. We used this to take them on a journey and warm them up on the legacy message at the beginning of their journey with us.
Results and learnings
Over 600 people took part in our quiz, with approximately 60% signing up to hear more about our work. Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter) and Google Ad campaigns resulted in 2.3 million impressions, which translated into 49.3k engagements. However, Twitter wasn’t very effective for us, and we would look to limit this in future campaigns.
We experimented with Pinterest for the first time and saw successful results. In fact, it was out third most effective channel. It also resulted in 270 landing page visits, our third biggest traffic source.
Overall, 9.8k users (8.8k unique) visited the campaign landing page, making it the third most popular page on our website during the time of the campaign. 71% of these users came from Facebook and most other users arrived there directly, demonstrating a strong level of awareness throughout the campaign.
52% of the audiences engaging with Facebook and Instagram paid posts were aged 55+ and 22% were aged 45 – 54.
These results highlight that despite common assumptions, older generations are using the world of social media, and I would encourage everyone to test this channel in your next legacy campaign.
Budgets can sometimes be a barrier but using organic posts and even spending as little as £50 boosting a post can extend your reach to key online audiences and produce positive results.
Katie Wimpenny is Legacy and In Memory Manager at St Mungo's