Will you make a promise to WaterAid?

The power of a promise

When WaterAid approached us to improve their (admittedly already very good) regular giving proposition, we jumped straight into the data.

After a bit of scrambling (it looked like they already had done everything possible at first glance!) we came across some key audience insights that would help to shape a creative approach unlike any other…

“… And then all the pieces just came together.”

WaterAid’s audience consists of two archetypes. Their ‘traditional believer’ is older, guided by empathy and holds personal ethics in high regard. Their ‘global citizen’, meanwhile, is younger, proudly intellectual but is, again, very ethical.

This ethical connection, coupled with some other new understandings, would go on to form the central pillar of our strategy – which was to appeal to our audience’s sense of moral conviction.

The power of a promise

Are you the kind of person that would never break a promise? If so, you are exactly the kind of person that would support WaterAid.

So we decided to theme our inserts around promises, an act that one immediately associates with both commitment and strength of character. We knew a proposition like this would be perfect for both segments of WaterAid’s audience.

And so it was

But we didn’t stop there. We were eager to impress. To that end, we got nitty-gritty with the copy, loading it with nudges, rhetorical devices and making good use of WaterAid’s trademark ‘ripple effect’, as a means to tell people what their monthly donations could achieve. We structured it as a letter, something WaterAid hadn’t tried before, knowing that this format would help to improve performance.

We even made the seemingly counter-intuitive decision to make our copy very long. Of course, we still made every word count.

Take that, banker

Our job was to beat WaterAid’s already high-performing banker in a split test. So the question was, would our new proposition and behavioural tactics work?

They did – so well, in fact, that WaterAid called this the most successful insert they’ve ever done. Not only did we earn double the number of responses, we raised the regular giving average from £75.99 to £77.55 per person per annum. This gave us a brilliant ROI of 0.44 – a whole 33% higher than the banker’s pack.

28th November 2016


Direct Mail, Inserts


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