The success of The Gregorian speech digest as a donor acquisition and audience building tool for Benedictine College shows that print publications and direct mail are far from dead. Tom Hoopes, director of the newly launched Gregorian Institute, came up with the idea of publishing the speeches given by prominent intellectuals at Institute events as a way of building national awareness for Benedictine. He hired Transmodern Media to develop a business strategy for monetizing the free speech digest, design and launch the publication, build the Gregorian Institute website, and manage the digital advertising.
Our first task was to partner with a printer to develop the publication format for The Gregorian speech digest—a unique foldout, self-mailer with an attached envelope for donations. Second, we built a website for the Institute featuring a group blog that would drive content marketing for the Institute. Third, we developed a digital ad campaign combining Google Adwords Paid-Per-Click (PPC) advertising with display banner ads on publication websites to drive prospects to custom landing pages where subscription orders would be captured, along with email newsletter sign-ups.
The campaign was launched, and attained our cost per acquisition (CPA) targets. When the size of the subscription list reached a critical mass, it was time for the ultimate measure of the program’s viability. Would these subscribers donate to the Institute? We developed a donor acquisition package and dropped a test mailing. When the final responses were tallied, the cost to raise a dollar was below our target. The program was judged a success, and Benedictine is planning to expand funding to grow The Gregorian’s circulation.
The Gregorian Institute’s program is an excellent example of content marketing that systematically leads prospects along each step of the purchase funnel, with metrics that are transparent and measurable. It illustrates the classic direct response principles of Attract. Capture. Engage. Convert.