The goal of the campaign was to promote the system of Catholic secondary education within the Diocese of Albany to current students in grades 4 through 8 attending Diocesan primary schools.
Cathedral’s solution was dramatically different from the traditional approaches for Catholic-based education recruitment, such as lawn signs and billboards. Instead, Cathedral used student information to develop personalized print and digital media services to gain a competitive edge by strengthening relationships. The result was a campaign in which customized postcards containing URLs to a unique microsite were sent to four segmented audience groups: male students, female students, parents of male students and parents of female students.
Each postcard was personalized using variable data and select imagery based on the targeted student’s gender. The microsite that the recipient was directed to included his/her name, current school of record and gender-specific imagery.
“Similar to other Diocese, over the years we have had declining enrollment,” said Tish La Torre, director of institutional advancement, Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools. “Part of that was economics and part of it was that there has been competition from public schools in our area. The Cathedral program piqued the kids’ interest. It really broadened their choices, allowing them to go online themselves to look at all local Catholic school options and compare. This personalization streamlined our marketing approach to achieve better results than we’ve ever seen.”
The campaign resulted in a record 38% of recipients visiting the microsite. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the average penetration rate for a direct mail campaign to a prospect list in 2011 was 1.3%.
“We are honored to have been considered for this award by the USPS and are proud to say that this campaign reflects the same enthusiasm and knowledge we implement for each of our clients,” said Marianne Gaige, president and chief executive officer of Cathedral Corporation. “Our expertise is transforming prospect information in a way that builds stronger relationships and gets results.”
In addition to achieving record results, the Diocese was also able to track visitors for the first time ever, providing them with numerous follow-up opportunities.
“Catholic education is facing many challenges, including competition for donors and decreased student enrollment,” Gaige said. “Our direct marketing programs allow for more efficient spending of recruitment dollars. Rather than diluting crucial funds with expensive billboards and signs that cannot be tracked, our results-driven solutions use targeted messaging. This ensures our approach is of interest to the audience, generates higher response rates, and results in quality leads.”
Cathedral is recognized as a national leader in transactional documents, customer care communications, personalized direct mail and e-marketing programs.
Cathedral serves 5,000 clients in a wide range of businesses, including credit unions, banks, educational and health care institutions, utilities, religious organizations and a variety of industries.
For additional information on how Cathedral can meet your needs, please contact Marianne W. Gaige at 315-334-1307 or visit Cathedral online at www.parishessentials.com or www.cathedralcorporation.com.
About Cathedral Corporation
Cathedral Corporation is a direct marketing and transactional document specialist. Through expert management of secure data, the company transforms customer, member and donor information into stronger relationships that drive business growth.
Cathedral’s fully integrated direct marketing solutions include the Essentials® line of printed and electronic financial communication programs, personalized direct mail and e-marketing services.
Recognized in the industry for on-time and error-free performance, Cathedral Corporation serves a broad range of industries in the U.S. including financial services, health care, utilities, higher education and religious organizations. The company is headquartered in a 60,000-square-foot facility at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, N.Y., with additional facilities in Lincoln, R.I. and Huntsville, Ala.