Every Trick in the Book: The MAG marketing campaign

Uden Travel Blog

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The MAG Campaign postcard

So, there I was. Mid June and at 43% of target, with still 3,5 months to go. That seems like very good progress, doesn't it. Well, I have to add that if you take into account that half of the raised money originated from two larger donations that would be hard to repeat, this was still a challenge indeed.

As you might have seen in the previous post I was slightly disillussioned at the time. Of course there were many, many different ideas to raise money offered by MAG and Justgiving.com, like organising all kinds of events and selling stuff on eBay, but in this period I simply lacked the time to do stuff like that. But I had a different cunning plan ...

I've been working in direct and online marketing for 15 years now, designing campaigns for everything from cat food to financial services and from toner cartridges to toilet paper.

The MAG Campaign postcard
It was about time I started using that knowledge for my own personal MAG campaign. I started laying down the plans on a low cost, elaborate multi-channel marketing campaign. Sounds fancy, doesn't it? Well, it's the thing I do. ;-)

First of all I decided upon the 'target group' for the campaign. Basically there were two groups. One were all the people among my friends, family and colleagues I normally send Christmas cards to. I had the postal addresses of these people and would therefore be able to send them a direct mail. The second group consisted of all other colleagues and friends I had been in contact with over the past years, but for whom I did not have a postal address. I did have their e-mail address though, or I might be able to get in contact with them through online media like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

The MAG Campaign site
The campaign focussed on getting the best out of all these communication channels, and where possible combining them to enhance the effect.

So, first thing I did was design a simple postcard and order about 100 copies through one of those online printing services. You might wonder why I put my mug shot on the card. Well, not because I'm much of a model but because I wanted to have the impact of 'Hey, that's Ed on that card ... what's this about?' when people would find it on their doormat. This would decrease the danger of the postcard being thrown away with the rest of the advertising junk. The card had me looking at the campaign slogan 'MAG ik even je aandacht'. This translates as 'May I have your attention?'. The fun thing is that MAG (the abbreviation of Mines Advisory Group) actually means 'may' in Dutch, offering loads of possibilities for wordplay and puns, as we will see.

The MAG Interview

The back of the card had the following text:"Do I have your attention? No, this isn't a premature Chistmas Card. Do you want to know what this is all about and help me save people and give them a new future? Have a look at www.edsander.com/mag . Thanks in advance, Ed Sander". As you can imagine, this meant that I had to set up a website as well.

So, while I waited for the cards to be delivered I got the framework of my homepage and changed it around into a website especially for the MAG campaign. The homepage opened with the front of the postcard, to ensure recognition for the visitors. Other pages included a collection of videos about MAG (taken from Youtube), a page with instructions how to donate and the names of people who had already donated, a contact page, a page with links to MAG-related websites and a summary of the whole project.

The reminder e-mail for the recipients of the postcard
All of these pages played with the aforementioned "MAG/MAY wordplay", using the MAG logo to tell people "You MAY watch" (video page), "You MAY donate", "You MAY browse" (links), "You MAY respond" (contact page) and "This MAY be shorter" (summary).

The homepage also featured a 12 minute "interview" I had recorded with a simple camera and edited on the computer. As I described in the previous blog entry, I had noticed that I got people enthusuiastic and willing to donate if I told them the story behind the MAG project. So, finding out that this was the key to success, I had to simulate this. The video became the centerpiece of the campaign and all postcards, e-mails and social media messages were meant to draw people to the website and the video.

The postcards arrived and early July 50 cards were posted out.

The e-mailing for non-recipients of the postcard
I kept the rest of the cards to hand out personally and would later send another 10 to additional people who had come to mind. Additional donations started coming in but as you normally see with direct marketing, they eventually dried up. So it was time for the e-mail reminder. I dug up an old e-mailing application I had previously used to maintain the mailing list of an English progressive rock band (IQ). I set up two personalised e-mails. First, one that went out to all the people who had received the postcard for which I had the e-mail address. It reminded them of the postcard and directed them to the website. The second e-mail went out to some 40 people that had not received the postcard, but also informed them about the project and the website.

Every time donations would come in I would post a message with the current status on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, thereby informing my 'network' about the progress and the possibility to make a donation as well.

MAG Project Update E-mail for people that made a donation
Of course it's important to keep in touch with all the people that made donations, so I set up an additional e-mailing for them, 'The MAG Project Update'. This informed them about the progress and my activities with the marketing campaign.

And did all of this pay-off ? Most certainly ! By the time I write this, we've hit 90% of target. An increase of 47% (1043 pounds) with a minor investment of 45 Euro on postcards and stamps and some of my leisure time. That's not a bad return on investment ! I wish all of my campaigns were doing that well.  ;-)

Donations were being made from some pretty unexpected people and in unexpected high individual amounts. With some people already making promises to donate, I'm pretty sure I'll make the target before the deadline of October.

Hitting 90% !
And with a few final reminders up my sleeve once I return from a trip to India we might even exceed the 2200 pounds. Fingers crossed !

All in all, it's been great to use my marketing knowledge for this purpose and it sparked another long cherished wish. But more about that later ...  In the meantime, millions of thanks to all the wonderful people that supported this project. You can find their names here (and you can also make a donation yourself, should you wish to do so).

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The MAG Campaign postcard
The MAG Campaign postcard
The MAG Campaign postcard
The MAG Campaign postcard
The MAG Campaign site
The MAG Campaign site
The MAG Interview
The MAG Interview
The reminder e-mail for the recipi…
The reminder e-mail for the recip…
The e-mailing for non-recipients o…
The e-mailing for non-recipients …
MAG Project Update E-mail for peop…
MAG Project Update E-mail for peo…
Hitting 90% !
Hitting 90% !
Uden
photo by: edsander