Christian Aid interactive marketer interviewed on e-consultancy.com

Howard Lake | 14 September 2005 | News

Nick Burne, interactive marketer at Christian Aid, has shared details of his activities in an interview with e-consultancy.com.

In an interview with Chris Lake (no relation to UK Fundraising’s Howard Lake), Nick explains his role at Christian Aid and his approach to online marketing for the charity.

He reports that email has worked very well for the charity as a marketing and communications tool. Although he already uses segmentation to send relevant messages to certain supporters, there is room for improvement with the planned introduction of personalised email communications. Viral microsites have also performed well for the charity in terms of bringing in new supporters.

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Asked about organic v. paid-for search engine marketing, Nick explains that they adopt both approaches. The main corporate Christian Aid site is well indexed by many search engines, but the charity makes use of the instant profile that paid-for search offers. He cites the example of paying for the keyword “tsunami” after the December 2004 south Asian tsunami disaster.

Nick admits that joining up online and offline marketing efforts is a real challenge for Christian Aid, like other organisations. He says that the root solution to this involves developing and applying a cohesive design, message and brand.

The charity uses agencies regularly for big projects such as creating a viral marketing site, but at the moment its is handling paid-search and email in-house. These are “functions that have to be performed month-in month-out so it makes sense to do these in-house”, explains Nick.

Although Christian Aid doesn’t currently use affiliate marketing, Nick is looking at launching one as part of the marketing of a new catalogue due to be launched before Christmas.

On SMS fundraising Nick is waiting for the network’s costs to come down. “The costs of processing £5 online compared to £5 through a mobile network are incomparable. As soon as the mobile networks sort it out I’m sure there will be large take up”, he believes.