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Shelter lottery player welcome journey

More onion worked with housing and homelessness charity Shelter to help them to engage and keep brand new lottery players through designing and optimising a tailored welcome journey.

More onion are just incredible. They’re brilliant at challenging you, steering the conversation and taking a pragmatic approach that always puts the audience first. Their collaborative approach to strategy development helped us to deepen buy-in and alignment from key stakeholders from across the organisation.

Working with more onion was very collaborative, they act like part of the team and we really saw them that way. They’re generous with their knowledge and we learned so much from their expertise. It's my ideal way of working with an agency.

quote.portrait_alt Josie Isherwood.
Senior Direct Marketing Manager

Up until 2023, Shelter had an eight-email welcome journey for all of their financial supporters - including lottery players. Only one email in this journey was tailored for lottery players specifically and this one email was the best performing. It was clear that lottery players had very different interests and needs to other types of charity donors and so they needed a welcome experience to reflect this.

More onion worked with Shelter to design and optimise this journey. Most of the content for the new journey is delivered via email (where email contact consent exists) with postal content adding richness along the way (where postal consent exists).

The journey was set up to start and send the emails automatically, on a timescale to suit the supporter. Their journey begins when they first sign up to play and give contact consent. This means that we can send communications at a time to suit the players needs and interests. Automated journeys also have the added advantage of creating fantastic opportunities for testing and optimisation.

Note: we also designed welcome journeys for onetime donors and regular donors. Read more about the other fundraising journeys here.

Lottery player journey strategy development

As with most projects, we started by developing a clear strategy which would guide all following decisions. For this welcome, our primary objective was to keep lottery players playing for as long as possible. Through audience analysis we were able to identify the key ways that this audience was quite distinct to other Shelter donor audiences, for example:

  • They were mostly recruited face to face.
  • Although the majority are committed to tackling homelessness, only 1/3 have any connection or interest in Shelter specifically.
  • Fun and opportunity play a role in their motivation to play.
  • They are particularly motivated by local angles.

With this information in hand, we were able to design journeys and content tailored to the audience’s specific needs.

Creative content development

With the strategy, audience analysis, and content audit undertaken, it was time to get creative! We designed and facilitated a creative session with the wider Shelter team to come up with some fun and accessible ways to talk about the topic, the charity and the supporter benefit from playing the lottery. Over a few hours of fun and fast paced exercises, the Shelter team generated hundreds of new ideas which we selected and developed into content for the journeys.

“The ideation sessions run by more onion were really well facilitated - we got great feedback from other people who took part. Everyone had fun and we generated loads of really great ideas.”
Josie Isherwood, Senior Direct Marketing Manager, Shelter

Optimisation testing the welcome journey

An advantage of an automated welcome programme is that you can constantly improve it. The journey that you launch is just the starting point. By reviewing real data you can see what your supporters respond well to and what to adapt or scrap, meaning that the journeys get stronger year on year.

For this lottery journey, we wanted to test one key question which would run across the whole length of the journeys: the balance between cause focused emails and prize/fun centred emails.

To answer the question of what was the perfect balance of motivations, we created three different versions of the welcome journey with 1/3 of the new players receiving each. The versions were:

Version 1:

~70% of the communications were focused on fun and the personal benefit to the supporter.
~30% of communications focused on the benefit of playing to the cause.

Version 2:

~40% of the communications were focused on fun and the personal benefit to the supporter.
~60% of communications focused on the benefit of playing to the cause.

Version 3:

~5% of the communications were focused on fun and the personal benefit to the supporter.
~95% of communications focused on the benefit of playing to the cause

A visual representation of the lottery welcome journeys

In the above diagram, red boxes are emails which tell stories of the impact of Shelter's work, green boxes are emails which focus on the benefit of playing to the supporter. White are other narratives or asks.

“One thing that really stands out when working more onion is their focus on more strategic testing and building journeys that will optimise over time, not setting something up that works and seeing the job as 'done'. Everything is set up to look for improvements over time.”
Josie Isherwood, Senior Direct Marketing Manager, Shelter

This test will not only help us to deliver even more effective welcome journeys in the future but will also teach Shelter some important information about the motivations and interests of their lottery players so they can continue to keep them happy and playing for years to come.

These long term tests are a fantastic opportunity to learn and improve supporter experience. The only downside… the data takes a long time to get. The journeys are live at the moment and we hope to have enough data to analyse the results in late 2024. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to hear more.

In the meantime you can learn more about optimisation testing with this free report.

Some of our clients

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