Increase student engagement and build a mobile list of dedicated supporters
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a renowned cancer treatment center with a simple mission – that no child be denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. The work of St. Jude has inspired thousands of college groups around the country to get involved. Each year, the St. Jude College Leadership Seminar brings the most dedicated student leaders to a 3-day seminar in Memphis, where the students meet their peers, learn fundraising skills, and see firsthand how their work changes lives.
Among the strong supporters of St. Jude are the Tri Delta Fraternity and Up ’til Dawn, an organization that holds all-night fundraisers at schools around the country. With leaders from both groups converging on Memphis, St. Jude realized it had an excellent opportunity to build a mobile list of its most engaged young advocates.
Turn downtime into mobile action
Of course, most college students carry mobile phones. And although the College Leadership Seminar’s days were packed with lectures, hospital visits, and social activities, there was also plenty of downtime in between sessions. With 600 people just waiting for the next presentation – and with screens throughout the conference room – St. Jude seized a perfect opportunity for a mobile call to action.
Working with Mobile Commons, St. Jude engaged the waiting audience by asking multiple-choice questions on the screens, to which the conference attendees could text in replies. “How hot is Memphis?” was one of the questions – to which a sample answer was, “I want to jump in the Mississippi River.” St. Jude also offered attendees a text-to-win promotion, asking the audience to text in “CLS” to win prizes like an iTunes gift card or a St. Jude t-shirt.
As an additional part of its mobile outreach, St. Jude printed a QR code on the conference schedules and on the conference directional materials. Scanning the QR codes gave readers access to a digital copy of the schedule – and gave St. Jude further information about the event attendees.
A mobile list of the most passionate advocates of St. Jude
St. Jude found that it didn’t matter what gift it was offering – the captive and engaged attendees were willing to text in to be a part of the promotion. Over 30% of the audience texted in, and every opt-in provided his or her name and email as a follow-up. And even with no instructions provided about how to scan the QR codes, almost 28% of the attendees scanned the codes, expanding the list even further.
Since their College Leadership Seminar event, St. Jude has continued to engage the youth activists who joined their mobile list. Every month, St. Jude sends out a mass text to its entire mobile list with the story of a “Patient of the Month,” providing the history, diagnosis, and interests of one of the St. Jude patients, along with a link to a video. The heartrending yet inspiring stories keep some of the most dedicated advocates attuned to the vital importance of the St. Jude mission.
And, because of Mobile Commons’ targeting tools, St. Jude can specifically target just its college leaders, without blasting a message to their entire list. The CLS attendees are segregated by opt-in keywords that create a list that’s easily segmented. For example, when the Up ’til Dawn events kick off in mid-fall, St. Jude can remind its college leaders to keep fundraising – and also to forward on the text messages to their friends, spreading the St. Jude message even further.
By selectively targeting college leaders, and then fostering that relationship through sustained engagement, St. Jude was able to build one-to-one relationships with its most most engaged young advocates.
“In 5 months since we joined Mobile Commons, we’ve accomplished more than we did in 2 years,” said John Avola, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Social Media and Mobile Liaison. “Your team and your platform have opened our eyes to new mobile opportunities that we never thought about. We’ve been able to take advantage of these opportunities to achieve incredible results.”