Phone phone-icon (07) 5588 2888

Culture Beats Strategy

Berkshire Hathaway (the company of legendary investor Warren Buffet) turns over approximately $250 billion per year, has in excess of $140 billion in cash reserves and employs over 250,000 people in all its businesses (invested in or owned), including brands such as Coca Cola & Dairy Queen. There’s also railroad & energy companies and more… and that doesn’t include his insurance and re-insurance businesses which are some of America’s largest.


You would think he would have a cast of thousands administering such a gargantuan enterprise… but no… Mr Buffet employs approximately 25 people at his head office. Warren Buffet understands the importance of culture so much, that his right hand man for decades at Berkshire Hathaway is Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman. Warren describes Charlie as Vice Chairman of Culture.


Berkshire’s success, in the main, is finding good people or buying businesses run well by good people. Warren lets them do their job and provides business counselling and guidance from time to time when requested or where the need arises.


That’s the Thomas Direct difference…


We have valued culture as an important part of our success and understood that it’s people that makes the business successful – not technology or clever strategies or the latest fad in business management which is often bandied around by organisations and people as being important. Let me prove it to you…


A good sign that a business has a great culture is in the retention of its employees.Thomas Direct have people who have been working with us for over 20 years – some even 30 – which is unheard of in telemarketing. And that’s not mentioning employees who has been with us from 5 to 20 years – all expert and experienced in raising funds for charities large and small while protecting their brand. When a company cares for the people they work with, this caring flows through to the thousands of interactions with your supporters.


Also, the management team and support teams at Thomas Direct share the same honour of being very long term journeymen. From good culture and long term experience flows all the other benefits that make a great enterprise. So when strategy and technology is implemented or improved, you’re on the front foot.

How to Use Charitable Lotteries to Raise Funds in Hard Economic Times

I don’t think I need to tell anyone reading this that we’re in challenging economic times.


Some effects of the downturn have been eased by direct government support, but now that’s starting to be pulled back. This means that people will have less money and will start to have to make cuts. Often, the first thing to go from people’s budgets is donations to charity.


While writing this, I did some research to find out what effect the global financial crisis (GFC) had on donations. I found some interesting stats from the USA: donations dropped by 7.2% in 2008 and another 8.0% in 2009. Although the reasons for this downturn are different, there’s no doubt that charities are going to struggle to maintain donations, so what can you do?


Why Charitable Lotteries Could Help


There are only a few things that tend not to be affected in a recession or downturn in the economy. These are things that usually help people to escape or give people hope, such as flower sales, chocolate sales, movie streaming, lingerie, lotteries/charitable lotteries to name a few.


With a charitable lottery, you’re giving your supporters hope of winning something that could improve their lives. This means that they can still feel good by supporting their charity but in return for their generosity, you can help them to have the great feeling associated with the hope of winning a prize. I like to call it a “Donation with a Dream”.


The prizes can vary and could include cars, houses, gold bullion, cash, holidays and lifestyle packages to name a few. This is attractive, even in a struggling economy.


What Makes a Good Charitable Lottery Campaign?

Charities have been using lotteries to raise funds for many years. At Thomas Direct, we’ve been supporting charities with their telemarketing for their lotteries for over 30 years.


We’ve been involved with some of the largest charitable lotteries in the country and know they can get results, regardless of the state of the economy. There are a lot of criteria to setting up a good charitable lottery campaign. Some of the key things are listed below:


1 – Obviously, it starts with having an attractive prize. How much you invest in that prize is key, and that depends on how many tickets you think you can sell. Usually, the better the prize, the more tickets you can sell, but of course you need a good return on your investment.


2- Given that, lotteries are best suited for charities who already have a large database of supporters. It’s a lot easier to sell tickets to your supporters, past or present, than it is to find new supporters. You could work on building supporters, but the cost and risks are higher.


3 – The next important step to a good charitable lottery is your marketing. The best marketing strategy for your lottery is an integrated one with multiple communication channels. This should include direct sales, direct mail and digital marketing as well as telemarketing.


Next Step

Now might be a good time to look at a lottery for your charity. Perhaps you’ve done one in the past and it’s time to look at it again, or you want to look at starting a new one.


We work together with a number of consultants who can help you design your campaign, or we can work directly with you by providing telemarketing for your lottery. There are over 200 staff at Thomas Direct, many of whom have been with the company for over 25 years providing a great experience to our client, not only offering tickets to your clients over the phone but great brand protection too, which is often overlooked. The culture at Thomas Direct is very special and our charities have recognised this and know that this doesn’t happen overnight.


Either way, please give us a call and we can discuss your situation to see if and how a lottery might be able to help you.

Are you sitting on rivers of gold? – Learn how the phone can reactivate previous supporter data

A lot of charities may not be aware that they could be sitting on rivers of gold, which right now could be a life saver.


Most charities have archived supporter data that has been put aside because they haven’t responded for some time through various channels. At Thomas Direct we pioneered the telephone reactivation strategy and recognised the opportunity to turn previous supporter lists, long forgotten, into hot responders.

Why Are Reactivation Strategies Important?     

As you know, obtaining new supporters and building new lists is expensive with long payback periods.


Face-to-face is one of the most common used strategies to find new supporters, but that is being challenged in today’s Covid 19 environment and It’s often a long way down the donor journey before you start to get payback, sometimes up to two years.


With your archived supporter data there’s no acquisition cost, as you’ve already acquired it. That makes it much easier to get a return on investment from your reactivation strategies.


A lot of the people on the list have responded in the past, so we know with the right strategy some of them will respond again.


Also, we are heading into what will be a tough time for everyone, including charities. We need to look at new strategies to add to the mix for raising funds, including reactivating archived supporter data.

What Are Reactivation Strategies?

Reactivation strategies can take many forms.


The first thing we need is a strong incentive to get them active again. Then we need to decide how to market that incentive. There are three key strategies you could use:


  • Digital Marketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Telephone


The first strategy is the cheapest but often does not provide the revenue volumes required. Direct mail cost more but can offer better results. The challenge with these strategies though is that they are both one way.


Telemarketing is the only strategy where we’re able to have a conversation with the supporter. It’s where, with a good script and an experienced telemarketer, we can connect the past supporter with your charity maybe bring them up to date with what’s happened since they last supported you all sorts of approaches are in play and reactivate them again.


We’re also able to monitor telemarketing by the hour to make sure we’re still getting a return on investment and if were not then we can stop. This means that you won’t waste money.


Telemarketing may be the biggest investment, but it’s the one that will get you a consistent return and where you have the most control and can be blended with digital and mail.

Next Step

I hope you found this information useful. We’ve helped many charities turn their archived data into rivers of gold and we’d love to see if we could do the same for you.


Please give us a call on 07 5588 288 if you like to discuss your situation and see IF and HOW we can help you.

3 Reasons Why Telemarketing Is Key for a Successful Charitable Lottery

As you know, over the years the charity lottery landscape has changed drastically. It’s become harder and harder for charities to raise funds. We have more charities than ever and less money to go around.

A lot of charities are using lotteries and raffles as a key strategy to raise funds, which has increased the competition to sell tickets.

Marketing has changed drastically too. Traditionally, the methods used are direct mail and telemarketing, but now we have digital marketing as well. This is a huge and ever-expanding area, including websites, email, social media, web search and so on.

Results are what count, though. To get the results we believe that telemarketing needs to form a vital part of your fundraising strategy. Here are the top three reasons why telemarketing should be part of your lottery and raffle marketing strategy:

1 – Telemarketing still gets great results

Telemarketing has a fantastic response rate, with strong ticket sales and a good ROI. It might require a higher investment than a digital or direct mail campaign, but generally the results are better and more predictable.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that telemarketing is a lot harder to ignore!

  • We are inundated with emails so they’re easy to miss,
  • we often glance over a digital ad, and
  • we usually ignore the mail we receive.

Your supporters, especially those who prefer the ease and convenience of buying on the phone, are far more likely to answer their phone.

Would you get out of the shower to get the mail? No, but you might do to answer your ringing telephone.

Also, telemarketing has another huge advantage: the human connection. A good telemarketer with experience in the charity sector will be able to build a relationship with your supporters, promote your cause and sell tickets there and then.

Direct mail and email marketing are important, and direct mail is enjoying a comeback, but it’s a lot easier to ignore; even with good intentions people put it down and forget to take action.

When you have someone on the phone you can guide them through the process of buying tickets, while deepening the relationship.

The telephone can work in conjunction with direct mail and email to enhance those channels and improve results.

And remember, with telemarketing you have full control of your campaign in real time. You can monitor your income per hour and as soon as it drops below the level you’re happy with, then you can stop and evaluate.

2 – It can blend in and support your other strategies

The best marketing strategy for your lottery or raffle is an integrated one with multiple communication channels.

There are so many distractions in today’s digital world that to make an impact on your audience, you need a multi-pronged approach. You need direct mail, emails, social media, a website and search engine marketing.

Telemarketing has the flexibility to fit around these marketing strategies to support them and improve results.

The challenge with the other strategies is that, generally the percentage that take action won’t be enough to support the campaign’s revenue targets. Telemarketing, on the  otherhand, can help achieve those revenue targets.

Telemarketing is a way of going deeper into your database to get a better result from your supporters.

Digital marketing might be great for generating new supporters with marketing online and on social media, and email marketing might be a cost-effective way of targeting some lists.

But to make sure you maximise your sales from all your different list segments (short of knocking on their door!), telemarketing is a very effective way of targeting them.

Telemarketing is also a great way of following up a direct mail or email campaign. We all know one of the most important ways of increasing ticket sales is by following up.

Supporters might not:

  • see your email or direct mail, or
  • they might forget to take action.

Telemarketing is a way of personally following up and guiding them through the process so they can purchase their tickets.

3 – It gives you a chance to update and clean your database

A clean and well-targeted database is crucial for keeping your marketing strategy streamlined, improving communications, nurturing your supporter relationships across time and being successful.

Failing to maintain your supporter database, on the other hand, can actually:

  • cost your charity valuable time;
  • cost your charity money; and,
  • ultimately, cost your charity supporters.

Keeping your database in check can help you to reactivate old supporters and lapsed supporters. It could even, for example, identify someone who’d like to leave a gift in their will to your charity.

Life gets busy and many ex-supporters may have just forgotten to keep coming back. A friendly call can be that nudge they need to begin giving again.

Updating your database of supporters can be a big task, especially if it’s let go for too long. That’s why keeping it maintained on a regular basis is the most efficient way to work.

As your telemarketers are talking to your supporters each day, they can check and update their details to make sure they have the;

  • best number,
  • the right email address, and
  • the right postal address.

They can then keep the database clean on a daily basis, helping the charity with its most important assets, its supporters.

Next Step

I hope you found this information useful in helping you understand why telemarketing should be part of your marketing strategy for your lottery or raffle.

Your next step should be to look into selecting the right telemarketing company for your charity.

To help you, we’ve developed a useful guide called ‘The 6 Things to Consider When Selecting a Telemarketing Company for Your Charity’ to download your copy.

Book Your Test Campaign

If you’re considering telemarketing, then the best way to find out if we’re the right fit for you is by booking one of our complimentary test campaigns. We’d like to donate 10-hours of telemarketing to your charity so you can test us out.

or call 07 5588 2888 now to book your test campaign or to talk with one of our team about your campaign.

The Importance of Campaign Reporting in Telemarketing

Every campaign is only as good as its metrics; therefore a good company will clearly define understandable metrics before your new campaign is launched. Stats can be misleading and you need to understand exactly how the identified metrics are contributing to your NFP.

First up, make sure you identify the key results and message that you need to achieve to know if the campaign is successful. Often this can be as simple as sales or donations per hour.

Next, think about any supporting stats you’d like to receive about your campaign that measure activities that drive your desired results. This could be things like calls per hour and the number of no answers or in a myriad of metrics. Be careful here, though. This is where you can start to slip into overanalyzing numbers if you’re not careful.

Lastly, establish your reporting requirements and agree on the timing of the reports.

Make sure that the company doesn’t plan to bombard you with analysis so that it becomes too hard to understand and decipher. This is not helpful for you or them.

Reach out to a Thomas Direct team member today to discuss the right direction for your NFP and book your complimentary 10 hour telemarketing campaign.