DME Scores Big with FSU’s Boosters and Football Fans

64%

Total open rate

40%

Click through rate

$134k

In pledges

1,000

Season ticket renewals

Rather than launching multiple independent campaigns between the Booster and Athletic programs at FSU for renews, “lost customers”, acquisitions and donors, DME consolidated into one continuous marketing program and leveraged variable communications across all audiences. R4 Marketing Execution served as the marketing playbook to execute the effective marketing campaign to accomplish FSU’s goals. This resulted in FSU providing more relevant communications to their various audiences until their objectives were achieved while maximizing the relationship of each targeted recipient while gaining economies.

26% unique open rate and over 64% total open rate. The favorable email open rate produced a 40% visit rate to the PURL; which resulted in the collection of over 1,000 referrals to friends and family. In the first week of the email campaign the Seminole Boosters had over $134,000 in pledges and the Athletic department experienced over 1,000 season ticket renewals and 200 new season ticket packages sold.

The Challenge

Universities and Colleges are challenged each year to renew and increase participation from Boosters, Alumni Associations and season tickets holders for their athletic programs.

At Florida State University, their Boosters and Athletic programs have been struggling with the reduction of donors and fans over the last five years. Both programs wanted to approach their membership renewal and football season tickets campaigns differently this year as well as pursue new fans in a more relevant manner.

The Solution

Using R4 Marketing Execution as the methodical approach for campaign development with FSU, it was clear they had two objectives:

  1. Increase renewal rate for the Seminole Boosters and FSU football
  2. Recruit new members and fans.

Strategy: integrate multiple touch campaigns across multiple channels while using variable components to maximize the known relationships.

To achieve these goals, the campaign strategy needed to integrate multiple touch campaigns across multiple channels while using variable components to maximize the known relationships. In DME language, this meant offering a campaign page (PURL) with a variable video, emails and direct mail all of which leveraged DME’s unique ability to personalize the experience with powerful imagery.

Starting with the Audience, data segmentation was performed against the Seminole Booster database and Athletic ticket database resulting in four primary segments:

  1. Renewal
  2. Reacquire
  3. Reconnect
  4. Thank You

A secondary segment, Referrals, was also realized via the Referral functionality built into the campaign. Upon completion, this process yielded sixteen unique audience segments.

The next step was the alignment of messaging to each respective segment to provide relevancy. The Renewals segment received a “Thank you for being a loyal supporter”; while the Reacquire segment received a “We want you back” message. The Reconnect segment received a message addressing the value of supporting the boosters and participating as a season ticket holder. Once the messaging was determined, we combined the relevant communication with powerful imagery from Florida State by applying personalization. This ensured the recipient gets a one-of-a-kind personalized communication that delivers relevancy, creates excitement, and increases response rate results.

The tactical execution plan was established next to achieve each audience segment’s desired result. A combination of communication methods (ex. – email, direct mail, web, video), frequency (ex. – number of touches and duration), and business rules (ex. – when to stop) made up each segment’s communication strategy in terms of execution and schedule. As the communications were executed, we evaluated the performance and updated the campaign database accordingly. The client provided ticket and membership pledge updates from each communication, which enabled DME to recast the audience segmentation. This ensured the most relevant communication was sent for each subsequent touch. For example, we were able to recognize and thank a booster for their contribution while also reminding them of the ticket deadline.