Reponse to Sandra Sims

List-Schmist?

Sandra Sims had a comment on the recent post about the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “e-Shamrock” campaign. Her points were so interesting that rather than respond to her via Blogspot's clumsy comments system, I thought I'd post directly to the blog.

Sandra's comments are here in italics, followed by my response.
“This is an interesting update to the paper icon campaigns. When Chili's did their campaign for St. Judes at their restaurants last year they had an online site where you could create a pepper and print it out, though they didn't charge for it. So that ability, with a donation, would be another good suggestion.

MDA could have also added to Honor/Memory of component by sending an email to the person it was made in Honor/Memory of.

I think your points about it going viral and the fact that MDA builds a list are two of the campaign's strongest points.

Though the question is how strong is that list? If the people are donating low amounts and possibly doing so only because a celeb endorses it, are they really good potential repeat donors?”


Hi Sandra:

I think you're spot on here and your suggestions for improving the MDA's campaign are good. Thanks for your comments.

To your point about the strength of the list resulting from the campaign: I would argue that the MDA must segment their e-Shamrock list, rather than dumping it into their master list.

If they do that... and don't try and over-solicit it... the list could do just fine for them over the years.

That's because there's so little cost in soliciting via the Internet. It's not like direct mail where the package might cost a dollar and the postage is another $.22 cents, give or take. In that paradigm, you eventually stop sending solicitations to people who once sent you a $10 check.

Once the system is in place, the cost of soliciting a donor is basically free and even the transaction cost would be just pennies. Even the biggest charities pay a few pennies for printing their paper icons.

In this paradigm even a donation of $1 is meaningful.

Best wishes,
Paul

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