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HELP USA’s mission is to provide the housing and supportive services necessary to help the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant. Based in New York, HELP USA provides emergency, transitional, and permanent housing throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.

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COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

We assisted HELP’s communications team with expanding their presence online to better engage their supporters and reach a new generation of donors. Our team focused in particular on strategies around email outreach, website content and user experience, and internal database management.

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ANALYTICS

Each month, we provided HELP USA with detailed analytics reports covering website, email, and social media outreach. Reports included:

  • Monthly comparisons, plus quarterly or yearly comparisons as needed
  • Benchmark and milestone comparisons
  • Campaign- and event-specific data
  • Areas of improvement and opportunity
  • Actionable and specific recommendations for generating higher-quality engagement

AS A RESULT…

  • By tracking open rates, engagement rates, and other data, we’ve improved targeting and tailored messaging, cutting down on unsubscribes and increasing click-throughs on email.
  • We worked with HELP’s social media manager to continually reach and engage advocates across multiple platforms, resulting in a 209% increase in Facebook referrals, and 95% increase in Twitter referrals to HELP’s website without using any kind of paid advertising.
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CONTACT LIST CLEANUP

We worked closely with HELP USA’s development firm and communications team to:

  • Acquire 25 lists of high-level prospects
  • Find and upload new email addresses for historic bounces
  • Segment and tag existing email addresses for prospects, donors, and supporters

We also developed and executed a strategy to migrate all of HELP USA’s tens of thousands of email contacts from an outdated, somewhat rigid database to a newer, more flexible and user-friendly one. This involved:

  • Removing or consolidating thousands of duplicate email addresses between dozens of lists
  • Consolidating all known contact, employment, donation, and program interest information between tens of thousands of contacts across dozens of lists
  • Importing all historic unsubscribes and bounces to ensure nobody could accidentally be added back to the organization’s email lists if they’d previously been removed
  • Developing groups and sub-groups (e.g., “HELP USA Internal” group with sub-groups such as “Board Member” or “Staff Member”), tagging every person with all applicable sub-groups, and uploading to database
  • Formatting all names and contact information into similar styles—for example, separating first and last names into separate fields, or ensuring all names were capitalized

AS A RESULT…

  • By implementing a few simple changes to HELP USA’s email outreach strategy, we increased their e-blast open rates by 54% within one month. Open rates continued to climb throughout the next six months, to more than three times the initial open rate.
  • By migrating all contacts to a new database, HELP USA is able to significantly cut down on the amount of time spent on segmenting or combining lists for individual emails—to the tune of three minutes rather than a half-hour.
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DESIGN

In addition to strategy and analytics, we’ve helped the organization with e-blasts and other designs, including magazine advertisements and event donation cards. Below are two of HELP’s recent emails:

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HELP E-blast

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HELP USA E-blast

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SPECIAL PROJECTS

We’ve assisted HELP USA with a variety of other projects, including:

  • Migrating all communications files from an outdated server to Dropbox, which allows for collaboration and realtime file management for remote teams.
  • Organizing and renaming six years’ worth of communications, marketing, and fundraising files into logical, searchable folder trees.
  • Training team members in services such as Dropbox, MailChimp, and Google Drive.
  • Providing technical expertise and research around matters involving CRM software, file management services, web servers, and more.
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Want to Learn More?

Get in touch with us! Email Team@VandenbergDC.com for a free, one-hour consultation.

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