Looking back: How ECOA Helped the ASPCA Bounce Back

Email marketing is one of the most effective channels ASPCA uses for mobilizing and staying in touch with its constituents. Due to the high churn rate of email addresses, however, email bounces are an ongoing problem.

ASPCA decided it wanted to address its problem with undeliverable emails head-on. The organization knew that its donors and members were constantly changing email addresses, making it difficult to easily stay in touch. Not only was ASPCA losing the opportunity to build stronger relationships with its constituents, but it was also aware that high bounce rates could trigger unwanted attention from ISPs in the form of blocking and blacklisting.


ASPCA contracted FreshAddress to perform ongoing ECOA services to find updates, confirm deliverability of the updated email addresses, and ensure its constituents’ permission.  Most important to ASPCA was that the vendor they selected for the service was knowledgeable and experienced in permission messaging; the organization knew this part of the process could make or break the entire initiative.

Over the past couple of years FreshAddress processed multiple ECOA projects for ASPCA. At the conclusion of each process, FreshAddress provided guaranteed deliverable email addresses to ASPCA, thereby allowing ASPCA to reconnect with lost constituents with timely and exclusive online offers, current news related to its mission, and information about its latest programs.


On an input file of approximately 381,000 bouncing/inactive email addresses, FreshAddress delivered a cumulative match rate of approximately 27%.  By updating over 99,000 email addresses with accurate, guaranteed deliverable ones, FreshAddress was able to help ASPCA reconnect with lost constituents.

In a final analysis of the email addresses updated by FreshAddress, the ASPCA found the ECOA service indispensable and crucial for communicating with lost members, reengaging them to the mission and creating a profitable fundraising outcome. The organization experienced an average conversion rate of 4.93 % on the ECOA email addresses, and an average gift size of $40.75. These metrics exceed the average overall conversion rate of 4.62% of its house file and are just slightly below the average house file gift size of $44.14.

And, best of all, ASPCA reported an ROI of 91% on these projects.


Editors Note: This information was originally published in a case study in 2009. 


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