How do you create a fundraising campaign that doesn’t dwell on the actual raising of funds? If you’re Davida Pitts, you get strategic, learn how to use MailChimp, and create an email marketing plan that helps to raise $38,000 in just four weeks.
Let’s rewind. Earlier this year, Davida was preparing to launch an Indiegogo campaign for the soul rock singer, Res. The goal was to raise enough money to ensure Res (also known as Shareese Ballard) could independently finish and release her new album, RESET. And while Res is an accomplished musician with a strong fan base, Davida knew that email would play a critical role in the campaign. She also knew she needed to learn more about MailChimp in order to turn fans into funders.
Davida joined Chimp Essentials and got right to work. She created a campaign-specific landing page with a signup form and developed a MailChimp automation sequence. New subscribers (confirmed by two-step verification) received a free song download from the new album. Three days later, subscribers also got a surprise remix of a popular single – a email marketing technique Davida says she learned from Chimp Essentials.
Davida also sent a weekly “Reset Mondays” email featuring a new song, inspirational thoughts about what it means to reset, and updates on the Indiegogo campaign. “That really helped to build the email list and increase its value,” says Davida, “in terms of converting subscribers into people who actually donated to the campaign.”
Through Chimp Essentials MailChimp tutorials, Davida quickly learned how to segment music industry influencers from the core list, how to add screen shots with campaign sharing instructions, and how to automate other key MailChimp features.
Her strategy and hard work paid off. Davida created the list from scratch six weeks before the Indiegogo campaign began, and the email outreach continued through a month of official fundraising. Together, Res and Davida raised $3,000 over their $35,000 target in 10 weeks, total. “I know for a fact this campaign would not have been so successful without the email list,” says Davida, who estimates that at least 50% of all the funders were list subscribers.
Everyone loves a good success story – and an overfunded campaign is pretty sweet. But Davida emphasizes the big picture: “For my friend Res, this is really a reset of her life. She’s been trying to get this album out for a while now. Hopefully it’s her jump-start back into the industry.”
The crowdfunding experience is also resetting Davida’s life. She moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in order to run the campaign in-person and work closely with Res. Now, opportunities are opening up on the West Coast. Davida suspects she’ll stay in LA – and she has plans to apply what she’s learned about MailChimp into her own graphic and web design business, Orange Moon Creative.
Email isn’t magic, but in the right hands, with the right expertise, it can do some pretty awesome stuff. “Chimp Essentials is worth more than it costs,” says Davida. “If you really put the lessons into practice and buy into the idea of how to effectively communicate with your email list, you’re going to get results.”