Integrated Campaign Increases Program Enrollment for Non-Profit
The Brokers, Bankers and Developers Association (BBDA) is a national organization focusing on the commercial real estate industry. Five years ago, they pioneered a “master’s course” called the Young Professionals Development Program (YPDP), with the goal of advancing the careers of future industry leaders. Initially rolled out in one market, the program was an immediate success. The YPDP administrators were now planning to launch it in three additional areas and needed to raise awareness and drive applications among the appropriate audience. Their goal was to achieve enrollment of 30 people in each market the first year.
After talking to the YPDP director, we agreed that a personalized, multi-channel campaign would be the best approach. Integrating social media would be important, given the age range of the target audience, which was 25-35. We planned a nine-month campaign that included six direct mail postcards, each with a pURL and QR code. A “second touch” email was sent where email availability allowed.
Working with 400 qualified names from the BBDA’s membership list and a list of 3,600 prospects, we designed a series of postcards announcing the upcoming YPDP program in each area, along with testimonials from graduates and industry leaders. The postcards used messaging and imagery based on gender, metropolitan area, and the profession of the recipient. The pURL and QR code led to a landing page where candidates entered their personal information. In exchange, they received a coupon that waived the $50 YPDP application fee. The same offer was available via the YPDP website inside Facebook, for those who “liked” the BBDA business page and shared their contact information. Emails were designed to reinforce the preceding mailer, and contained links to both the landing page and the BBDA Facebook page.
At the end of the nine-month period, the BBDA had received a total of 159 applications, from which they were able to meet their goal in all three markets. While completed applications represent a 4% response rate, 7.5% visited either the landing page or the YPDP website within Facebook. “Likes” on the BBDA Facebook page increased 3.8% over the nine month period, and 14 % of all applications were requested from this source. The BBDA attributes the success of the campaign to the highly targeted data list, personalization, and the use of marketing that appealed to their target demographic.