The 2019 fiscal year was an exciting one for University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, raising $3,049,873 from 2,754 donors. Lindsay Roth, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Annual Giving at UMass Dartmouth, has worked in annual giving for over six years, previously working at Boston University, and understood the importance of making donors feel recognized and appreciated. “Something we’re trying to address with this project is better engagement especially with our donors, communicating with them around stewardship is not something that we have traditionally been able to do well as a division in advancement,” said Roth. “So we’re excited to be able to thank our donors who have helped us raise over $3 million for our students and programs with something that is more personal and more relevant.”
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Roth and the UMass Dartmouth team collaborated with ThankView to use the new Dynamic Personalization feature to send to customized videos to 1,400 donors. “I really appreciated that we were able to put this project together in short order,” said Roth. It started with a kickoff call between UMass Dartmouth and ThankView to brainstorm ideas for the shoot, and then the two parties worked together to develop the shot list.
In the end, only one video was shot for all of the recipients. It features UMass Dartmouth’s mascot, Arnie the Corsair, running around campus, baking a cake, and throwing a thank you party.
“We knew when we came to the table with this project and opportunity we wanted to test many different points of variable data merged into the final product,” Roth said. Throughout the video, there are three touchpoints where the donor’s data is dynamically added to the video: an outdoor marquee, a banner at the party, and the icing on the cake. These touchpoints were personalized to show each recipient’s name, the fund they donated towards, and the number of years they have donated. While only shooting one video, UMass Dartmouth was able to send 1,400 unique videos with ThankView’s dynamic personalization feature.
“I think dynamic personalization is becoming a feature that is still really impressive when people see it, and it’s going to become something our donors come to expect.
The results were a resounding success. The campaign received a 37% clickthrough rate, which was 13% higher than their average ThankView campaign and a whopping 1,000% over the industry average*. An overwhelming majority of recipients completed their videos, taking delight in the various touch points recognizing their contributions. Additionally, the engagement was supplemented with dozens of shares to Facebook.
The UMass Dartmouth donors were eager to send over replies after completing the video, and these replies demonstrated how impactful the video was for donors. “I am super-touched by this video – tears of joy!” wrote one donor, while many others send feedback saying thanks and that they felt appreciated.
“I think dynamic personalization is becoming a feature that is still really impressive when people see it, and it’s going to become something our donors come to expect, the understanding that the organization knows who you are. And that’s something we can accomplish with this partnership.”
As the results of the ThankView send trickled in, the value of acknowledging those who helped make the 2019 Fiscal Year so successful was more than apparent. With the bar raised through this Dynamic Personalization video, UMass Dartmouth has already started brainstorming on ways they can collaborate with ThankView and use this feature again soon.