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WWF How World Wildlife Fund engaged more subscribers and generated more donations

Marketing Cloud NGO Service Cloud

Many wild animals and essential ecosystems face local and global threats like deforestation, climate change, pollution, poaching, and habitat fragmentation. This makes effective nature conservation one of the most significant challenges that modern humanity and the planet face. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) actively focuses on this task by spreading awareness and raising money to protect essential habitats and fund conservation projects. Read how Penfield Digital helped the WWF reach more engaged subscribers and generate more donations.

The challenge

In December 2019, WWF approached Penfield Digital. The organization realized that it needed help with its email marketing campaigns and the platform specialization of its marketing cloud. WWF wanted to connect with donors and subscribers on a deeper, more personal level.

What is the aim of this strategy?
Creating a more loyal and engaged following, and increasing the average donation amount and the frequency of those donations. By mid-2020, we had created multiple welcome journeys for different categories of customers. We also developed several email designs and a marketing cloud strategy, including a digital maturity roadmap. This would increase the effectiveness of campaigns and improve WWF’s email marketing. We also made sure the process was fully automated, reducing the likelihood of human errors!

Our approach

Together with the Head of Digital, Paul Zevenboom, and WWF email marketing specialist Lonieke Schepers, and their digital team, we set up strategic sessions to discover possible gaps between WWF’s marketing goals and the setup of its Salesforce tech stack.

We identified two issues that could serve as an excellent starting point for further optimization:

  • Sentiment analysis was a problem for WWF. Therefore, it was unclear how donors and subscribers valued the communication that the World Wildlife Fund sent out to them.
  • There was a lack of data regarding the areas of interest of the various subscribers. WWF needed this data to personalize emails, information campaigns, and content.

Sentiment Analysis

We used sentiment analysis to track emails using customer feedback. WWF uses sentiment feedback in all its emails and includes a dashboard with the sentiment scores in all emails. Sentiment analysis allows WWF to track the amount of positive and negative feedback they receive through emails in a -10 to +10 range. Based on the score, WWF can use the feedback to properly adjust its communication.

The biggest advantage of this approach? Better, more targeted email marketing and increased relevance for donors and subscribers. Also good to know: WWF’s customer contact department is now able to follow up on negative comments, thus ensuring higher quality customer care and a personalized approach towards donors and the increasing community of people who value nature conservation.

Interest tracking

Penfield Digital also created interest tags. These tags enable WWF to understand which topics (such as deforestation or projects focusing on specific species of animals or regions) each donor was interested in. Highly personalized emails and an increase in customer centricity are satisfying results.

We achieved this by adding tags to each content item in WWF emails (images, links, and more) and enriching the customer profiles. According to Lonieke Schepers, WWF is now also able to check which content formats are especially popular amongst the donor and nature conservation community. The organization uses this information to make more personalized emails and create enticing subjects in conversion emails. Overall, WWF sees a higher engagement level as well as an actual increase in conversions!

"Thanks to the usage of tags we are able to see the interest of our subscribers. Which we then can use in future emails or subject lines to personalize or to ask for a donation for ocean protection.”

Lonieke Schepers, Email Marketing Specialist WWF

Welcome Journeys

Solution number three? More personalized welcome journeys for different customer groups. According to a WWF representative, this step was taken to ‘make the welcome journey suitable for all our new subscribers, not only for our financial subscribers’.

To increase personalization, we created a mini-survey for the first welcoming mail to find out what each subscriber found important. The options provided were:

  • Getting involved in local nature conservation;
  • influencing governments to create new, nature-focused laws;
  • influencing the behavior of other people

WWF used the outcome of the survey to show more personalized content in the upcoming emails in the warm welcome journey

Whitepaper Wnf

Open rate

The open rate of the warm welcome campaigns went up to 59.5%

CTR Increase

The click-through rate of warm welcome emails increased to 21.8%!

Decrease churn

Fewer users unsubscribe to the newsletter due to highly personalised content.

Higher productivity

Reduced internal workloads due to marketing automation.

Increased conversion

Higher conversion rates as a result of personalisation and data