CaringBridge had to manually scrub and upload lists for every email it wanted to send; a cumbersome process that led to delays in marketing communications.
Since implementation, CaringBridge became more sophisticated with its segmentation and dynamic content. It added onboarding programs for each of its primary audiences.
Exponential increasein marketing efficiencies
Donor Renewal Program achievesa 40% open rate and 14% click-to-open rate
Holiday Campaign ledto two largest donation days in company history
Business challenge story
As a nonprofit, CaringBridge relies on donations to continue to grow its free offerings and services, meaning it must continually operate in the most efficient way possible to ensure it’s maximizing its resources. Without the ability to automatically segment its database, CaringBridge was forced to manually scrub and upload lists for every email it wanted to send, creating a cumbersome process that often delayed the execution of its communications.
CaringBridge decided to look for a marketing technology solution that could not only deliver its email communications but also help it capitalize on the behavioral data it captured from site users. Focused on finding a solution that would allow it to intelligently segment its database, track and report on the success of its campaigns, and address its deliverability challenges, CaringBridge selected IBM Marketing Cloud as its marketing technology provider.
After implementing IBM Marketing Cloud, CaringBridge began exploring the automation features now available. In an effort to streamline its previously time-consuming and cumbersome email process, CaringBridge set out to build an IBM Marketing Cloud Program designed to increase donations from prior CaringBridge donors.
It created the Donor Renewal Program, a three-message program that begins two weeks after a first-time donation. Each message has a distinct purpose in nurturing and educating donors on the impact their contributions have to CaringBridge and its online community, further cultivating the relationship CaringBridge has with its donors. The third email in the series, sent 90 days after an initial donation is made, asks for a second donation and leads recipients to a custom landing page with their information already embedded, making the second donation a one-click process.
Since implementation, CaringBridge became more sophisticated with its segmentation and dynamic content. It added onboarding programs for each of its primary audiences. The donor welcome series continues to perform well with about a 40 percent open rate and 14 percent CTOR.
“By using IBM Marketing Cloud to create automated campaigns, we’ve been able to exponentially increase our marketing efficiencies, and focus our efforts and resources on enhancing programs to further increase our donor contributions,” says Michelle Van Engen, Senior eCommunications Specialist with CaringBridge. “None of this was possible prior to using IBM Marketing Cloud.”
After launching its Donor Renewal Program, CaringBridge enjoyed stellar performance metrics, with the Program messages resulting in an average open rate of more than 40 percent and average click rates of more than 20 percent. The third email in the campaign series, which asks for a second donation, netted a click rate over 500 percent above the industry average for nonprofit emails, resulting in increased contributions from additional donors.
Looking to expand on the success of its Donor Renewal Program, CaringBridge created a Holiday Campaign using IBM Marketing Cloud Programs. The eight-email campaign routes donors through a program based on the open and click behavior they exhibit with previous communications. The Holiday Campaign led to the two largest donation days in CaringBridge history.
Based on its initial successes with IBM Marketing Cloud, CaringBridge plans to expand its usage and further develop its marketing communication strategy. “We’re now using IBM Marketing Cloud’s automated A/B testing for our subject lines, including Publish-to-Social links in our newsletters, and exploring dynamic content to send more relevant communications,” says Van Engen. “With the breadth and depth of IBM Marketing Cloud, we feel like the sky is the limit for our marketing successes.”
IBM Marketing Cloud, part of the IBM Marketing Solutions portfolio, powers the delivery of exceptional experiences for customers across the buyer journey by leveraging customer data and behaviors, providing analytical insights and automating relevant cross-channel interactions. The cloud-based digital marketing platform provides email marketing, lead management and mobile engagement functionality to inform and drive personalized interactions in real time.
To find out more, please contact us at 1-866-745-8767 or +44 20 7202 5930 and visit ibmmarketingcloud.com/contact.
CaringBridge is a global nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey through the use of free personal websites. The CaringBridge mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. Since its founding in 1997, more than half a million CaringBridge websites have been created. Combined, they have received two billion visits.
- WCE Watson Marketing and Commerce