How Cure Cancer reaches streamers and gamers using personalized communications


Among the many sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, fundraising has been particularly affected. While before the pandemic it was common for people and organizations to host events or take on challenges to raise funds, social distancing and travel bans quickly ended large gatherings or walking the trail. from Kokoda.

According to the Fundraising Institute Australia Fundraising Futures Report September 2020fundraising saw an overall 72% drop in event revenue in the months following the start of the pandemic, with a forecast of a 15% drop for the following year.

But a charity has found a way to move funds to the depths of the pandemic and beyond, working with a community that is generally considered elusive by marketers – online gamers and streamers. .

For over 50 years, Cure Cancer Australia has been dedicated to raising funds for cancer researchers in the early stages of their careers. Chief Executive Nikki Kinloch said her organization started working with players and streamers two years ago, after realizing that this was not a community that had been exploited for the collection. of funds.

“And we hadn’t really spoken to them in a way they were interested in,” Kinloch said. Marketing director. “This community is incredibly focused, highly motivated and incredibly generous as well. And this is a market that is very important to us, because it is not a traditional fundraising market, but they are still affected by cancer.

Cure Cancer Australia has established a relationship with the organizers of the PAX AUS gaming fair and hosts an annual event called STREAMtember, while encouraging players and streamers to organize fundraising activities throughout the year.

“We asked a Perth streamer to broadcast for us in early July – he was online for four hours between 6pm and 10pm and he raised $ 33,000, which is really phenomenal,” Kinloch said. “This streamer had cancer himself and wanted to give back.”

It is also a market targeting the tech-savvy 25-34 year olds who have proven notoriously difficult to reach using traditional marketing channels.

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“We weren’t the first gaming and streaming charity, but we’re definitely one of the biggest now, and the gaming industry is bigger than the movie industry,” Kinloch said. . “We have seen a big impact from Covid and a huge shift in traditional fundraising through physical events. The good thing about gaming and streaming is that people are in their rooms, so they’re safe, and it’s a borderless activity so people all over the world can participate.

Kinloch said one of the keys to Cure Cancer Australia’s success in working with this community has been its use of personalized communications, managed through the Salesforce Pardot marketing automation platform. Cure Cancer Australia started using Pardot four years ago to bring together different platforms and streamline communications with greater personalization.

“One of our values ​​is to show gratitude,” Kinloch said. “No one needs to donate to charity – it’s discretionary income – so we always want to be able to thank people and do it in a personalized way.

“The other part is making sure that we can track and monitor every touchpoint of communication with donors, so that we can personalize their customer journey and provide them with a unique experience based on the type of business they’re interested in,” their location and also if they have any type of cancer that they may be interested in as well.

According to Kinloch, the use of Pardot helped Cure Cancer Australia increase conversion rates by 18% year-on-year, with transactions made through email notifications increasing by 125% in the same period. . Importantly, revenues also increased by 10 percent.

“It’s about understanding the best way to communicate with people under different circumstances, then analyzing the results and tweaking if necessary,” Kinloch said. “So looking at success rates, and more importantly, what people haven’t opened or clicked, and learn from those experiences. ”

This included learning that EDMs sent to gamers during the day will likely never be played, with higher open rates achieved in the evening, and that video messages are a more effective channel for this audience. Cure Cancer Australia has also created a specific Twitter account for gamers and streamers and has set up its own Discord server to handle group chats and communications.

“So it’s about using Salesforce and tailoring it in ways that are relevant to these different types of people and what interests them,” she said.

Reaching out to the gaming and streaming community was a natural consequence of Kinloch’s desire to be a pioneer in its industry, which saw Cure Cancer Australia become the first charity in Australia to offer the ability to pay via Google Pay on its website. . She said she would continue to explore new ways to increase the reach of Cure Cancer Australia in different communities.

“You should never have just one form of communication – you should have a cohesive brand message, but you have to adapt and refine everything to be relevant to the right community,” Kinloch said. “The world has changed and you have to adapt your approach and your style too, or you will lose your positioning.

“For us, it’s important to reach out to new donors in all different markets to show them that no matter where you come from or who you are, cancer affects you and your family, and we are making a difference.

Check out CMO’s coverage of how nonprofits harnessed digital during the crisis:

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