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Emergency DM

The last few weeks have been phenomenal regarding the generosity of the British public in giving to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal. I have been wowed on many levels, not just to know we have raised over £69m in the UK (as quoted 3 hours ago by the DEC from my Facebook feed) but how it has brought communities across continents together with genuine engagement and support. Moreover, this is a fantastic example of using old and new world direct marketing, combining it with social media to deliver an integrated campaign to drive acquisition and retain donors through very regular updates cost effectively through Facebook.

Within a matter of days, the DEC with its member charities launched the campaign. At first I waited with baited breath in terms of when something was going to happen. I kept checking Facebook on my mobile as I like ‘snacking’ bite size information on the go. Within 24 hours, I saw a feed to like the DEC. How could I not like it when we are dealing with such a tragedy with millions affected, left homeless and countless dead? I naturally liked it and by the next day, I was then sent another news update from the DEC to donate. The message was very simple text to donate. So within seconds I texted my support and received an almost immediate message to thank me. But that was not all – I was also asked to see if I wanted to Gift Aid my donation and make my gift go that bit further by providing my name and address.

This I understand is not the norm for text to donate campaigns as currently it’s not Gift Aid-able and regulated. The regulatory bodies must have made an exception. It’s a clever tactic as it can be hard to create personalised communications if you’re simply dealing with a mobile number. Nothing has happened just yet but I don’t doubt I’ll be contacted some time in the future with perhaps a mailing?

Everyday, the DEC has sent updates on Facebook that I’ve seen on my mobile. I have been kept close not purely on how much money has been raised but also how donations have translated into practical help on the ground to help save lives. There have been videos, pictures as well as comments from the people of Philippines thanking us for helping them. In addition, the DEC have also asked Facebook followers on what other things they’d like to know so content can be relevant.

To top it all, the DEC have also gone out with a fully integrated campaign in London using tube and train panels as well as press to drive responses and donations. The message is simple – text to donate. It’s incredible to see how traditional media has been revived. In more recent times, direct marketers felt that these offline channels weren’t delivering good ROIs and were on shaky grounds. But the addition of the mobile response device has changed its fortune with responses in their thousands.

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