According to the Direct Marketing Association’s Response Rate Report, the percentage of marketers using multichannel marketing is on the rise, and the channels they are using most are direct mail, email, and social media. Is this what your clients’ channel mixes looks like?

According to the report:

  • 83% of marketers use email marketing programs
  • 65% use email + one other channel
  • 44% use three channels: email + direct mail + social

Most of us are quite familiar with the integration of email and direct mail, but how to integrate social media is more unfamiliar. Where we see this used extensively is in nonprofit, educational, and fundraising. A great example comes from Saint Francis University, and it’s an example that can be replicated in a variety of verticals.

SFU’s annual fundraising campaign had three objectives: to engage young alumni, actively engage with the university on social media sites, and increase donations. To do this, SFU targeted 10,000 alumni with a one-year long campaign that included social media contests, video updates (such as how alumni gifts make a difference), e-cards, direct mail, and personalized landing pages.

How one university integrated social media into their cross-channel campaign, with BIG results

The campaign kicked off with personalized emails with relevant, personalized content, videos targeted by demographic, and a social media contest. The contest, “Where Are You Now?”, was designed to get alumni to brag about their activities for a chance to win an iPad. To participate, alumni had to upload a video and a story on SFU’s Facebook page that shared what they had doing since graduation. They also had to like SFU on Facebook, use a specific hashtag (so SFU could track them), and follow SFU on Twitter.

Finally, the campaign encouraged participation in “Giving Tuesday” using personalized direct mail and email, both of which sent participants to their own personalized landing pages to maintain their personalized experience across channels. If visiting alumni gave a gift, the micro-sites generated a dynamic update on the total amount of donations given to the university over the course of the campaign.

The results?

  • 28% increase in e-mail engagement over the national average
  • 4% increase in donations
  • 9.4% increase in pledges from the calling program

Social media contests don’t have to be as complicated as this one to be effective. Something as simple as encouraging people to respond to an email or direct mail piece by posting a selfie on your Facebook page to be entered into a contest can be enough to create engagement, too.

If you’re behind the curve on social media integration, it’s time to catch up. You don’t have to be a social media guru to integrate social media into a multichannel context. Sometimes just adding social sharing buttons and a call to action is enough. Sometimes it takes more. But you should be doing at least something. After all, your competitors are—just look at the data.