The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 131: Tips for a Successful Direct Marketing Program

Direct marketing is an important part of any social good organization’s strategy, but it’s critical that the program is well designed and reaches the right people with the right messages. Have you found yourself asking how to better use analytics to help drive your direct marketing strategy and measure results? That’s what today’s guest is here to talk about.

John Wilburn, director of direct response for the National Park Foundation, joined guest host Christine Newman at bbcon to talk about how being data-driven and open to innovation has helped him develop a successful direct marketing program at the organization. Listen in to hear what John has to say about deciding which marketing ideas to test out, choosing which metrics to follow, and getting others in the organization on board with your ideas.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What is direct marketing?
  • How to decide which ideas to test
  • Examples of ideas that worked well for the National Park Foundation
  • Experiments John tried that didn’t work well
  • How John uses analytics to drive strategy and measure results
  • How to choose what metrics to follow
  • Getting started using analytics
  • Advice for getting the buy-in from others in the organization

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John Wilburn
Article: What Fundraisers Can Learn from Direct Marketing
The Next Generation of American Giving


“If you start seeing it enough from different nonprofits, that might be a good idea to try for yours.”

“For us, national parks really are the capital N capital P parks across the big vistas such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite.”

“I think big data’s sort of gone away in terms of the lexicon, it’s more about smart data, and that can be actually small data can be a smart data point.”