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Marlin Communications - Blog Articles

3 ways to digitally acquire leads

— by Samara Gentle

For many charities, the need to acquire and build a continuous pipeline of new leads is a constant priority. We are also faced with the reality that younger generations interact differently than their older counterparts. Just recently McCrindle released some research that showed that Gen Z (18-26) are 2.8x more motivated by one-click donation options than compared to the Boomer generation. Coupled with a saturated market and tighter budgets, there is a need – even a requirement – to find faster, more cost-effective ways to acquire leads and ultimately donors. 

Enter digital marketing – which has shown it can be a very cost-effective platform for acquisition compared with direct mail or traditional media. One of its key benefits is its agility in an ever-changing world and its ease of reporting return on investment. 

Test, test, test

Digital lead acquisition also allows you to test and scale propositions at speed. When considering using digital for acquiring leads, we would always recommend you test your proposition across the three mechanics below to ensure that you will scale with the method that resonates strongest with your audience. By not testing you could be missing out on a better cost per lead and better-qualified lead for giving.

Once you’ve found which mechanic performs the best, you can then refine your campaign to that single approach to then scale.

Note, there are more mechanics of acquiring leads than those described below (i.e. value exchange), however, we’re highlighting these three due to simplicity and cost efficiencies charities can gain testing these three mechanics against each other.

1. Pledge

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Pledges are a great way to align someone’s personal values to your cause, also ensuring leads are well connected to take them on the journey of giving later.

An example of a pledge campaign, which Marlin developed the website for, is which called on dog lovers to pledge to never leave their dog unattended in a car – specifically during the summer months.

Pledges can be fulfilled on a simple landing page on a charities website and users can also be taken to a donation page after the pledge is made.

2. Petition

Petitions are a very common lead acquisition method for charities where there is a moral injustice that can be taken to the government or an organisation and can often serve two purposes. The first is to drive awareness and advocacy through the use of a petition to help affect change. The second is to acquire a list of cause engaged individuals who, once they have signed the petition, are taken on a journey where they are asked to support the organisation in other ways.

Some great examples we’ve seen in the market relate to Amnesty International Australia and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The creative for these campaigns pulls on the personal desire to want to change a person’s life or change the course of history, making a very personal connection with the prospective supporter. 

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3. Quiz

Quizzes are another great option for broader targeting and acquiring a large volume. These can also be more fun/lighthearted compared with Pledges and Petitions. A quick tip is to keep your quiz short to increase the completion rate, between 5 to 10 data fields.

While using a quiz as a lead generation mechanism can be great for volume, the follow-through of leads to supporters may be slightly lower. This is due to the personal and causal connection not necessarily be as strong as other lead acquisition methods. 

An example of this type of lead acquisition is a recent campaign Marlin worked on for Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute which achieved results of 281% over the campaign’s lead volume target.

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Now that you’ve read through the above we encourage you to consider how you might incorporate different mechanics of digital lead acquisition into your fundraising program to continue to grow your supporter base. Also, don’t forget, to ensure testing is a key part of your acquisition strategy as this will help you maximise your lead acquisition efforts.

If you are looking for support to create your digital lead acquisition campaign you can reach out to Sophie, one of Marlin’s strategists, to learn more about our approach.