The Arizona Humane Society Saves Hours of Time Per Mailing, Focuses on Using Analytics to Increase ROI

The Challenge

The Arizona Humane Society has a vision to end animal suffering. They rescue, heal, adopt, and advocate for sick, injured, and abused animals. The organization is committed to helping the most vulnerable animals who are often turned away by other shelters because they require extra resources and care. 

To fulfill its mission, the Arizona Humane Society has created innovative medical programs, such as its Trauma Hospital, Parvo Puppy ICU, Mutternity Suites, and Bottle Baby ICU. These programs allow the organization to save animals that may otherwise be euthanized. To raise essential funding for their programs, the Arizona Humane Society relies on targeted integrated direct mail campaigns that are granularly segmented to reach different donors with messages that are most likely to resonate at strategic times.

Monica Leyba, Database Marketing Manager at the Arizona Humane Society, has extensive experience with segmenting databases and digging into the analytics after a marketing campaign has been completed to learn what worked and what didn’t. She makes recommendations to the marketing team to iterate and adjust various elements of the next similar campaign to maximize results. Monica says, “We target people very specifically when we send out a mailing because we see better ROI the more targeted we get.” With smart targeting of lists, the organization sees an ROI of $2.1 million on $366,000 spent on their donor direct mail campaigns.

The Arizona Humane Society is using Raiser’s Edge, which has tremendous query capabilities but requires multiple merges of queries to get a very targeted list. She was spending several hours segmenting a list of between 40,000 and 60,000 for every campaign that they sent. Because the organization sends 11 appeals each year, this time investment was keeping Monica from other important tasks that she needed to be doing. She knew the organization needed a more automated segmentation solution.

“It’s not just the money you save by targeting your lists initially — you can start changing your strategy based on the results you’re seeing to get even higher ROI.”

Monica Leyba

Database Marketing Manager

The Arizona Humane Society

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The Solution

Monica discovered SegmentOmatic at bbcon, Blackbaud’s yearly technology conference for nonprofits. The Arizona Humane Society, while cautious when it comes to spending, saw how purchasing the tool would deliver significant ROI — not only by saving Monica time, but also by giving them the ability to better target segments by recency, frequency, and monetary values.

With SegmentOmatic, Monica can segment a list in a tree format by last, highest, or average gift amount; last gift date; and a number of gifts. She also can use the exclude query to eliminate contacts in the list who are being targeted by a different campaign at the time or are in a segment that doesn’t get mailed as often. Monica says that SegmentOmatic has given her the ability to handpick precisely who she wants based on the exact criteria she’s determined will impact a particular mailing.

Using SegmentOmatic, Monica can now do in minutes what used to take her hours to complete. This time savings allows her to spend more time with the analytics, parsing the data in an Access database, and looking at the strategy of how they conduct each campaign. Monica shares, “It’s not just the money you save by targeting your lists initially — you can start changing your strategy based on the results you’re seeing to get an even higher ROI.”

She explains with an illustration. “I look at every direct mail appeal year over year, and if I see a specific segment is not performing as well, I take them out the following year.” She also tests specific segments during their most successful campaigns. She says, “In-kind donors are a good example. We’ve learned that they’re surprisingly good for prospecting, which we didn’t initially realize.” The organization is now testing out sending additional campaigns.

To those who are considering doing more segmented marketing and using SegmentOmatic, Monica says, “I highly recommend the product. If you spend a lot of money on direct mail, you can save significantly in the long term.”