Friday, October 27, 2006

All the Money, More New Members: Half the Time

A follow-up on the Valuing Listeners' Time post.

WLRN in Miami just finished its "All the Money, Half the Time" fund drive campaign. Last fall the station raised $709,000 in pledges and challenges. The on-air drive generated 1,990 new members. This year, the station raised $800,000 in pledges and challenges with half as many days of on-air fundraising. The on-air drive generated more than 3,250 new members.

The All the Money, Half the Time idea is not right for every station. But it does show that respecting listeners' time and relationship with the station's programming pays.

And it demonstrates that doing less on-air fundraising doesn't mean fewer new members. Properly implemented, it means more.


Anonymous Todd Mundt said...

These are great concepts, and I think you and others are showing us that they don't have to be fads that audiences eventually ignore.
We had a consultant tell us that we might not be fundraising enough days, in one instance. I think the argument is that there needs to be a certain amount of time where you're in front of the audience making the case.
You have plenty to blog about, but this might be something to address - ways to make the case year-round.

Great reading, as always, John!

1:05 PM  
Blogger RadioSutton said...

Thanks Todd - always nice to hear from you.

In reality, the whole "days of on-air fundraising" is a bad planning concept. We don't measure direct mail results by the number of days we send out mail. We don't measure telemarketing by the number of days we call.

We know the size of the audience when we open the mic. We know how many pledges we get. We use that information to calculate response rates. Then we figure out who we can increase response rate by the desired amount. Sometimes its a few percentage points. Sometimes its by 100%. But the goal is to optimize the response rates to on-air drives and then figure out how much listening has to be exposed to fundraising to succeed.

All we're doing is what direct mail and telemarketing people have been doing for years. Sometimes we find room to double response rates. The byproduct of that is a campaign to cut the number of days in half. But it really isn't about the number of "days" anymore as much as it is "how much listening has to be exposed to fundraising to meet our goal? Everything else follows.

12:35 PM  

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