What we knew
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), an organization with a long-standing commitment towards advocating for LGBTQ youth, found themselves facing a critical issue. The alarming statistics showed that LGBTQ students are three times more likely to contemplate suicide compared to their heterosexual peers, with a significant majority reporting feeling unsafe in school. The situation was exacerbated when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, during a congressional hearing, failed to condemn the discrimination faced by LGBTQ youth. The necessity for NCLR to intervene was clear, but they faced obstacles such as limited internal resources and email delivery issues hampering communication with their constituents.
What we did
As the new school year commenced, it provided an opportune moment to demand Secretary DeVos to advocate for all students, including those from the LGBTQ community. We initiated a three-part email campaign, aiming to involve constituents and prompt them to act. To overcome the deliverability issue, we employed several strategies like segmenting the file, rotating signers, and modifying send dates and times for optimal visibility in crowded inboxes. The emails linked to a petition that naturally transitioned into a fundraising request. We also expanded our outreach through Facebook targeting, lightboxes, and slider images to engage web traffic.
The campaign ran for a span of two weeks and yielded the highest engagement rate NCLR had ever seen. It garnered more than 1,000 signed petitions, and email open rates rebounded to industry average levels, a significant improvement from the previous low of under 8%.
Despite the primary goal not being fundraising, the campaign also resulted in unexpected revenue generation. This campaign’s success offers a roadmap for effective future engagement initiatives within NCLR.