Name-Dropping: Donors Get Tired. Models Do, Too

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Name-Dropping: Donors Get Tired. Models Do, Too

Marketers know their house files — even their lapsed donor files — are among the most valuable sources of names for their campaigns. Karen Gleason, senior director at the American Diabetes Association (ADA), always banked on this knowledge. So when success rates for the organization’s reactivation campaigns began to stagnate, she assumed the cause was a factor other than the list.

Of course, the ADA wasn’t mailing its entire file. The organization relied on a reactivation model, a set of parameters used to select names based on their likelihood to re-up their donations. This raised an interesting question: Could the way the names were picked be failing?

As a test, the ADA ran a cold prospecting model against the lapsed donor file, and mailed a six-figure quantity of the new selection of names. While the actual criteria of the new selects is part of the ADA’s secret sauce, chances are it weighted the demographics of the file a little more heavily than it had in the past, and reduced the importance of donor history data. . .

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