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November 24, 2015

Sierra Club Influencer Campaign: SiM Receives Honor at Digital PR Awards

We are happy to announce that Strength in Members received an Honorable Mention and was recognized as one of the top digital PR firms at the 2015 Digital PR Awards!  

addup.org fundraising campaign | Digital Marketing Consultants

Sierra Club recently launched AddUp.org, a platform for environmental advocates to learn, connect with one another, and take action. Before the grand opening of the site, Sierra Club wanted to fill the site with early adopters and activity. The objective of the campaign was to drive a large pool of new users to the platform, create accounts, and take their first action.

At the highest level, our strategy was to marry the disciplines of direct response and social marketing. We sought to identify people on Sierra Club's email file who had strong affinity for the cause AS WELL AS broad and deep connections across social networks (Influencers!). Then we sought to drive those people to take action and bring others into the fold.

Here's the secret sauce

  1. Identify influencers under Sierra Club's nose. First, we sought to find the most receptive and likely influencers for this campaign. We wanted to find a group of people (we called it the vanguard group) who would take action on the new platform and bring others into the mix. This way, when we launched the new site more broadly, the vanguard group would have provided the social proof to newcomers, increasing their likelihood of participating.

  2. Develop promotions to drive action across multiple digital media. We worked with Sierra Club to develop a series of email messages and social ads that asked this segment to sign a petition that would positively affect the lives of wolves. These would be targeted to the vanguard group, driving their participation.

  3. Seek viral/lateral referrals. We knew that the vanguard group was well connected to others (obviously, that's why we selected them). So, we knew that if they took action there was a high likelihood they would be willing and able to get others to act.

  4. Develop a proprietary Tweet-to-Others platform to facilitate the activity. We had to create something that would facilitate influencer behavior. We sought to develop a Web app that would present influencers with others they could tweet at with a minimal amount of effort.

  5. Measure campaign performance. It was critical that we could track engagement and conversion throughout the marketing funnel. So, we tied together data from multiple systems (email, ad, and the custom platform).

Nearly 17,000 people from our influencer/vanguard group and their friends took action on the AddUp platform in just three weeks!

Here's how the results break down, by promotional medium.

  • 15,000 petition signers were sent the follow up call to action (please tweet at others)

  • 920 people clicked through to tweet at others (6% click rate)

  • 755 tweets were created by those 920 people

  • This generated 45 additional petition signatures (6% of those who received the tweets) 

Why this is important. We took a risk, building the platform that connected people from Sierra Club's audience with one another on Twitter. Given that this was a one-time experiment - and taken on its own - it generated a small number of incremental petition signers. But, what we think is interesting to note is that when you look at the waterfall from A. promotional universe to B. those who tweeted to C. those who ended up responding to tweets, the conversion rates are on par or better than what we would expect from email (6% of people who received tweets from total strangers actually signed the petition).
What this means for influencer marketing. So, if we can continue to identify influencers in an organization's audience AND facilitate and automate more of this list member to list member communication, we'll see stronger engagement and conversion across the board.


We would also like to congratulate the winner this year Cohn and Wolfe for their innovative work for Tom's of Maine!  Although Tom's had been around for over 49 years, the company was struggling with brand recognition and needed to appeal to a wider audience than its traditional core.  In order to combat this issue, Cohn and Wolfe created an ambassador program to create word of mouth conversations around the brands products.  By reaching out to influential bloggers and other ambassadors Cohn and Wolfe was able to exceed the programs goals by 269% and increase the brands twitter following by over 10%!



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