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Charity claims SMS callout in TV spots upped response by 34 percent

October 14, 2009

bluecrossAs part of its campaign to increase donations, The Blue Cross added an SMS option to its existing advertising and increased consumer response by 34 percent.

The Blue Cross’ mission is to provide care, promote companionship and enhance animal and human lives. To generate donations, Blue Cross uses direct response advertising on daytime television and recently added SMS to improve the effectiveness of the marketing.

“In developing direct response activities, we decided to incorporate the use of mobile response to give donors the choice of an additional, easy way of responding to our advertising,” said Maria Paul, campaign manager at Blue Cross, Britain. 
“This is especially important at times and in places where they might not want to make a call or would find it inconvenient to go online,” she said. “For example, when reading a magazine on the bus or while watching TV.”

Blue Cross turned to mobile marketing specialists Ad.IQ to understand whether donors would use mobile as a response channel.

At first the nonprofit was concerned with whether SMS would lead to incremental responses or cannibalize existing channels.

Ad.IQ deployed its Analytics, SMS and voice platforms to provide a single point of management for both SMS and contact center responses.

Blue Cross used an 800 number on part of its schedule and a different 800 number, plus an SMS call to action on another part.

The two schedules had roughly equal weight.

The mobile response mechanism prompted donors to text the keyword SAVE to receive a call back.

Blue Cross wanted an opted in, customer-centric method that would take donators into the contact center, to maximize donation value and offer the opportunity to make a recurring gift.

When the text response mechanism was added the response rate per thousand viewers went up overall by 34.62 percent.

As expected, peak hours produced the most significant increases – over 100 percent.

Peak viewing produced a more committed audience, less likely to interrupt their viewing to go online or call a contact center.

Mobile enabled the customer to respond without interrupting their media consumption.

“As a charity, we want to spend as much of our income as possible on animal welfare,” Ms. Paul said. “Mobile response helps us do this by making our media budget work harder.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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