JSA – The Junior State of America – is a nonprofit organization that works to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for lifelong involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society. Since 1934, JSA has helped more than 500,000 student leaders across the country acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be active, informed and responsible citizens, voters and leaders.
- JSA experienced a significant enrollment decline over several years in its summer programs. Connecting with high school students has become more challenging and there are an increasing number of camps and programs competing for the time, money and attention of students and their families.
- Previous direct marketing programs were expensive, one-dimensional, generic “spray and pray” direct mail pieces sent to over one million students.
- These campaigns were not targeted and did not offer a strong tracking mechanism.
- Response rates were generally very low – less than 0.5%!
- Leads were not actively followed up on in a strategic, coordinated fashion.
- There was very little integration with digital marketing channels such as email, online advertising and the JSA.org website.
- Student enrollments plummeted by 30%
- Cost per enrolled student skyrocketed to $2,129
- Key conversion rates decreased by 33%
- JSA recognized that they needed an integrated marketing strategy to increase awareness amongst target audiences, generate and nurture leads through engaging content, and prioritize the applications received to optimize follow up and enrollment efforts.
- The first step was to fine tune the direct mail program with an emphasis on segmentation, personalization and volume/cost reduction.
- Advanced statistical modeling of historical marketing data yielded 10 geo-demographic segments that formed the basis for future direct mail list purchases.
- Lead gen pieces were redesigned as more cost-effective yet impactful variable data postcards instead of the expensive, generic brochures previously sent.
- Next, the money saved by reducing the direct mail volume was redirected to create an integrated, digital lead generation funnel that included:
- PURL Landing Pages – personalized URL landing pages for direct mail pieces tracked responses and conversions by mail piece, mail list and target segment.
- Landing Pages – captured leads generated by pay-per-click advertising, organic traffic to JSA.org and various email marketing campaigns.
- Marketing Automation and Lead Nurturing – segmented, automated drip email campaigns nurtured leads over time based on their selected content until they were ready to learn more or apply to specific programs.
- Conversion Calls To Action – high impact, personalized direct mail packages were developed and sent to students who started applications, to further qualify prospects and facilitate the application completion process.
- Closed Loop Marketing – performance relative to goals by segment and channel were tracked in real time, and qualified leads were seamlessly integrated with JSA’s Salesforce CRM to assist JSA staff in prioritizing their enrollment efforts. This also allowed budget allocation decisions based on campaign data.
Increased revenue per dollar spent by 285%
Lowered direct mail volume and associated costs by 80%
Lowered cost per lead by 57%
Lowered cost per enrollment by 65%
Enhanced tracking and analytics
Created a closed loop reporting system
Additionally – and equally important – for the first time JSA had a closed-loop, data-driven framework to measure and analyze results, dynamically allocate budget and test new ideas against the best performing controls.