August 2018

Implementing online marketing
Swiss Paraplegic Foundation – Jointly venturing into online marketing
A data-based liaison with the future

+ 18% higher income from membership

10.63 % conversion rate from lead to member

+ 1.5 % better member retention

From late bloomer
to trailblazer

With almost two million members, the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) is one of the largest member organisations in Switzerland. What is impressive is that it achieved this level of membership primarily through conventional, analogue fundraising and without a lot of online marketing. Thanks to well thought-out strategies and a professional organisation, the SPF has been able to live on the success of their conventional fundraising for a long time. However, the foundation realises that the future lies in digitisation. They want to exploit this potential with getunik as their strategic partner. In collaboration with getunik, the SPF has been implementing optimised and comprehensive online marketing strategies since 2018, which were previously only available in their basic features.

Challenge – a strategy for digital growth

In order to increase member retention and attract new sponsors, the SPF decided to introduce an email marketing and marketing automation programme in Spring 2018. Using the new communication options, existing and potential members and donors can be reached in a better-targeted way. The real challenge was that analogue processes which worked well must not be disturbed by the new digital processes. A connection to the CRM database, which functions as the main database for all activities, was therefore a core requirement for the new email marketing strategy. The SPF did not send a newsletter until the end of 2018. They were completely inactive in this area. As a strategic partner, we provided help at every step to introduce and implement email marketing and fundraising digitisation. It is thanks to the SPF’s professional and well-founded approach that this was a great success. 

Solution – small steps towards online marketing success

August 2018: The first step was for the SPF and getunik to develop personas in order to understand and document the needs of their target groups. This enabled a better assessment of which members need to be addressed with which message on the various channels. In order to conceptualise this from members’ perspectives from the start, representatives from public and individual fundraising, the CRM area, and also online marketing were involved in the development of personas. In this way, the SPF ensured that the entire knowledge about their target groups was taken into consideration.

“I think it is admirable what the paraplegic group has managed to build in just a few decades and how professionally they are operating in all areas of their activity. This professionalism, the high level of quality awareness and the desire for innovation challenge us and also move us forward as an agency.”

Gregor Nilsson, Managing Director, getunik

Woman in wheelchair in front of the Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil

Source: Swiss Paraplegic Foundation

September – December 2018: getunik developed a newsletter and email marketing concept based on the personas. The following targets were defined in advance by SPF:
  1. The members should be retained.
  2. Existing members should be converted to permanent members.
  3. New members should be attracted.
  4. Donations should be generated.

The concept was subsequently implemented with ActiveCampaign. A template specially designed for the SPF provides good aesthetics for the newsletter and the emails. As the CRM system was to function as the main database, it was necessary to implement an interface between the database and ActiveCampaign. This happened in collaboration with Creativ Software, RaiseNow and CRM advisor, Harry Graf. The contacts can be selectively segmented using the connection to the CRM and a tagging process that has been created. Thanks to training and ongoing consulting, the SPF employees are able to work independently with the software.

December 2018 – January 2019: The design, content and product placement of the newly-launched SPF website were checked in an evaluation. User-friendliness and conversion optimisation for the most important journeys on were taken into consideration here. A catalogue of measures for the responsible web agency and the SPF was subsequently formulated, with the help of which the fundraising elements on the website were optimised.

January – April 2019: The next step was to create a solid foundation for data-based decisions. To achieve this, Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics were checked and optimized. Tracking for e-commerce and events was also configured. The final step was to configure the getunik dashboard so that the insights gained in this way could be operationalised in concrete measures. It automatically compiles the most important key figures of the digital channels and compares them with the benchmarks from the NPO industry.

January 2019 – present: An essential principle of this collaboration is that projects are not only successfully completed, but that continual checking and optimisation also take place afterwards. This is achieved through regular meetings and video conferences. The ongoing consulting retainer also includes regular consulting for the SPS team, and handling tasks in the areas of email marketing, marketing and analytics. Furthermore, the retainer provides support for the development and implementation of journeys.

August 2019 – present: getunik has also taken over marketing in Google Grants and Adwords for the SPF. Thanks to the strategy that has been worked out, the free ads from Google Grants should be better exploited and the revenues from the Paid Search channel increased overall.

September 2019 – present: Together, SPS and getunik have developed an automated Journey to convert the acquired leads to members. The Journey illustrates the various stages of the process from initial care after the accident to reintegration into the working world. Thus, the readers of the newsletter are able to follow the holistic approach of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation and witness the SPF’s part in helping a paraplegic lead an autonomous life.

Effect –  increase in income, better retention and 200,000 active newsletter recipients

Not all the fruits of this successful collaboration have yet been harvested, but initial results are convincing. The income from the website was able to be increased by 18% in a eight-month reference period:

01.05.18 bis 28.02.2019: 1,485,000 CHF

01.05.19 bis 28.02.2020: 1,750,000 CHF

These numbers can be traced back to the SPF’s brand campaign which was supervised with digital marketing performance measures.

232,779 existing email contacts which were completely unused until 2018 were able to be converted into more than 200,000 active newsletter recipients.

After the first year of newsletter distribution, the SPF analysed whether the newsletter achieved the hoped-for effect in terms of rentention. For this purpose two statistically identical groups were compared, which only differ in the presence of the newsletter subscription. The result: Of the persons without newsletter, an average of 94.4 % of the persons have their membership, which already represents a very high retention rate. Among the persons with newsletter this value is even 95.9 %.
The figures from the Lead-to-Member Journey are just as pleasing: A full 10.6 % of leads can be converted to members through automation.

By managing both Google Accounts (AdGrants & Adwords) and a stronger focus on conversion optimization, the number of conversions increased by 90 % and the number of clicks by 40 % (comparison October-February 2019 to 2018). Decisive factors here are a very clear and granular campaign structure, active monitoring, as well as optimal coordination of both channels.

“getunik’s vast amount of expertise in digital marketing and marketing automation, coupled with a fundamental understanding of CRM processes, make getunik our ideal partner. The customer-orientated and professional co-operation with getunik confirms this daily.”

Simon Rohrer, Swiss Paraplegic Foundation

getunik services

getunik was able to support the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation in the following steps:

Large digital potential
After the launch of the new website, there was no more holding back for SPF in a digital sense. This large institution was prepared for further online marketing measures such as newsletters, email marketing and marketing automation, as well as data analysis and monitoring. With two million members, the digital potential is certainly enormous. The result is comprehensive and functional online marketing using established, professional and data-based planning and implementation.

Journey der SPS

Monitoring personas and target groups
Multiple digital channels and therefore numerous possibilities to address the SPF target groups. But how best to reach the target groups? SPF and getunik developed personas in order to get to know their target groups better. It was important that representatives from public and individual fundraising, online marketing and the CRM area were involved. Essential – the members’ perspectives are always at the centre of persona development.

6 Personas

Member journeys, a special kind of bonding agent
SPF’s membership numbers are impressive. Almost two million people support this institution. What can be done so that there are even more members, that the members stay members and maybe get even more involved? Based on the personas developed, tailor-made journeys can be designed. The basis for this are sophisticated email series which are implemented as marketing automations using software (“ActiveCampaign”) and, above all, with good storytelling material.

Donner Jorneys PSP

A clear data structure is essential

Precious resources are used for the creation of digital content. So that we not only churn out the money, but also know where we used how much and what really achieved something in the end, we set up an efficient monitoring system together with our customers. Customised and easy-to-understand dashboards facilitate data-based decisions and real-time success measurement.

kleines getunik Dashbord

Achieving digital goals together
We were able to get to know our customer SPF well. After all, the better we know our customers, the more successful our consulting is. We deliberately took a strongly data-driven approach and made our decisions, recommendations and advice based on the performance figures. The result was quickly noticeable: + 76% higher income from membership.

Menschen die Beraten

Swiss Paraplegic Foundation – accompanying paraplegia. For a lifetime.
Our customer, the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation, is a centre of excellence and a benchmark institution for all people with paraplegia in Switzerland and other nearby countries. The goal is integrated rehabilitation, and that those affected should be able to return to their families, jobs and society.