Designing Campaigns around the Decision Making Process


AIDA Chart

The decision-making processes for most of our target audiences follows a similar path that we marketers call AIDA. First we generate Awareness, then Interest, which we hope to turn into Desire and finally Action. The number of people in each stage decreases, but their likelihood to act increases.

For low-consideration decisions, like whether to add a related book to your shopping cart, the decision path can happen instantaneously. You see a call-out box or link, think about for a minute, and act.

For high-consideration decisions, like buying a new car, it can take months or longer to move from one step on the path to the next. In such cases, consider creating a campaign that feeds out information over time, and provides a powerful offer when your target shows signs of getting to Action.

Now, imagine if you were asking your readers to make a life-changing decision. You’d have to approach your communications strategy very carefully indeed. This is exactly why DC Foster Care Services sought out OpenMoves to help them recruit new foster parents.

Becoming a foster parent is a wonderful way to contribute to society and make a difference in a child’s life, but it’s certainly not a decision anyone would make instantaneously. OpenMoves designed an online campaign that would nurture respondents every step of the way.

Awareness – The initial email had to stand out in the inbox and incite readers to open it. OpenMoves tested versions of their e-mail blast with different combinations of “from” names and “subject” lines.

From versions: 1) D.C.’s 2,000 Foster Kids, 2) Darryl DMC McDaniels, RUN DMC

Subject line versions: 1) Explore foster parenting, 2) Create a legacy of love

Version 1 in both cases above was more successful. Using the “from” box to show that there are 2,000 foster kids needing homes in the DC area instantly drove home the need for new foster parents; a subject line asking people to “explore” foster parenting was more specific than speaking about a “legacy of love”. This winning combination generated a stunning 11% open rate, and 23% of readers clicked through to learn more!

Interest – OpenMoves designed a series of special landing pages for this campaign. This kept the message very focused so readers wouldn’t be overwhelmed. These pages generated interest with an emotional appeal: photographs of children pulled heartstrings, and celebrity RUN DMC shared his personal experience as a foster child. Multiple links provided an easy way to learn more without making a full commitment, and generated a strong 8% conversion rate of people registering to get contacted.

Desire – Knowing that it could take months for people to decide to become foster parents, OpenMoves created a drip campaign, where subscribers received one pre-written email each month after signing up. The “Fostering Heartbeats” newsletter helped keep DC Child and Family Services top of mind and brought foster parenting to life through personal stories and photos.

Action – Once a prospect decided to pursue becoming foster parent, they would be invited to attend an orientation. Face-to-face contact is necessary at this point; staffers work individually with the applicant and guide them on their journey into foster parenting.

By creating a campaign that paralleled the decision-making process, OpenMoves helped DC Child and Family Services achieve strong open, click-through and conversion rates. Talk to us and see what we can do for you!

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