Monthly Archives: January 2015

How not for profit organisations can win with lotteries

Category : Increase Revenue

Lotteries, raffles, art unions – whatever name you give them, they are all games of chance. Applying these programs to a not for profit organisation creates incentivised giving, which can become a very powerful tool to acquire and retain supporters.

The not for profit sector in Australia is a crowded and competitive marketplace. Pro bono Australia recorded over 600,000 organisations that make up the sector (, 2014). And, with a current population of 23,343,640 (, January 2014) – that means there is one NFP organisation to every 38 people in Australia.

When key not for profit executives were asked what they perceived as the greatest challenge for their organisation, the number one issue identified was ‘finding new sources of sustainable funding’(McLean Delmo, February 2012).

Demand for the charity dollar is high. The global financial crisis, or threat of it, has meant the majority of consumers are much more aware of where their money is going. Local charity, International crisis, natural disasters, the list of legitimate causes is large and competitive. So, how can a lottery program help your organisation win?

A well-executed lottery or raffle program will provide three key benefits:

  1. Diversity
  2. Sustainability
  3. Revenue

A lottery is an incredibly diverse vehicle, which can be adapted to all channels within the marketing mix.

Promotion of the lottery through direct mail is the most common channel to a warm supporter base. Telemarketing has been used effectively for years by charities of all sizes, however, can be costly for acquisition if an incorrect strategy is adopted. To avoid blowing the budget on acquisition, promote regular buying of lottery tickets by automatic payment so conversions have a higher response value.

The flexible lottery program can be promoted at events of any size or calibre and of course digital channels are ripe with opportunity through a website (with ticket purchase function), emails, social media, search marketing etc.

The lottery may also provide a valuable PR tool through promoting the prize (if it is newsworthy) the draw and the winner/s.

There is a growing demand for transparency of fundraising activities, which leads to a challenge for charities to find creative ways to raise untied funds. Lottery offers the solution through its incentivised giving nature.

Supporters of the lottery are instantly rewarded with the chance to win. This makes lottery a valuable acquisition tool, and exposes the opportunity to acquire donors that would not necessarily support your organisation. The chance to win creates a tempting buzz of excitement and taps into the ‘what if’ optimist that exists within all of us.

Of course, once lottery supporters have purchased and are added to your database, they can be approached to support the organisation in other appeals. The key with cross selling from raffle is to segment and test, test, test! You don’t want to lose the repeat lottery supporter by bombarding them with other messages if they are not interested.

If a lottery program is executed correctly, with a carefully measured balance of warm and cold contacts, a strategic marketing strategy and a smart prize mix, it will return positive financial results and increased brand awareness.

There is no doubt that not for profit organisations in Australia need to adopt long-term strategies to remain competitive. With its diversity and mathematical predictability, Lottery can deliver a winning formula.

Direct Mail – Dead or Alive?

Category : Direct Mail

With the rise of the digital age and our ever-increasing reliance on technology, what influence does ‘snail mail’ still have on our purchase behaviour? Has the increase of digital marketing, meant a decrease in success rates for this more traditional channel?

Direct mail has been around since the late 1870’s when Aaron Montgomery Ward created the very first mail order catalogue in America. He believed that by selling products directly to the customer at appealing prices, you could create an innovative marketing model and generate customer loyalty.

Direct mail was also used after World War II in America, when national charities such as the National Easter Seal Society were seeking methods of expanding their fundraising avenues. Even today, the channel is still most commonly used in the not for profit sector.

The validity of direct mail has definitely been under scrutiny in recent years. The technological advancements of digital channels and the increasing importance of limiting the impact on the environment, has created a perception that marketing efforts should concentrate on digital and mobile.

There is no doubt that the way consumers transact with companies is changing. In June 2013, Roy Morgan research released a study which revealed that, in any 3 month period, at least 50% of Australians had shopped online.

The cultural perception is that technology will assist with time poor pleas and this has created a strong trend, an almost obsessive reliance, on smart phones, email and online shopping.

It is little wonder that 70% of companies in Australia plan on increasing their digital marketing spend over the next 12-18 months. The key areas of focus for these budgets is Search Engine Optimisation and email marketing (Responsys, December/January 2013).

What an interesting and exciting opportunity for e-marketing, but what does it mean for direct mail in 2014 (and beyond)?

With challenge comes opportunity, and despite the incredible growth of the digital platform and the influence it has on consumers, there is definitely still a place for direct mail in the marketing mix.

Ironically, the volume of e-communication sent in the current climate has meant that consumers are being bombarded with messages and the effectiveness is being more and more diluted.

The fact still remains, no matter what your age, receiving tangible mail in the post is a novelty. A study conducted by Australia Post confirms that 70% of promotional material received by households is still read, filed, or passed on (MarketSmartly, 2013).

So, the scene has been set for a well-executed direct mail campaign to really make an impact. The challenge is to adopt an integrated approach, package the message in an innovative way (to cut through the clutter) and to ensure increased accuracy of targeting.

The way that technology is influencing the marketing mix means that is as important as ever to keep up with immerging trends and new marketing channels for example, what’s next for mobile marketing or social media? However, the greatest strength to incorporate into a campaign is integration.

If the rise of digital has taught us anything it should be that success of a marketing campaign can no longer be defined through one channel. Know your audience and adopt a multichannel approach to all campaigns.  Utilising more segmentation, variations in artwork depending on the segment and personalisation techniques should see increases in response rates.

Direct mail is definitely still alive and well and with a quality strategy and an integrated approach, it might just become your secret to success.


1. Responsys and Econsultancy 4th annual report on Marketing Budgets. (December/January 2013). How marketers are spending their budgets in 2013. Retrieved in January 2014 from

2. MarketSmartly. (2013). Six Benefits of Direct Mail. Retrieved in January 2014 from

3. Amy Bainbridge. (2013). More than 50 per cent of Australians shopping online: Roy Morgan research. Retrieved in January 2014 from