Interview: Esther Mathai, marketing manager, World Vision UK

| 25th Sep 14

At the recent iFundraising conference in London, Esther Mathai, marketing manager at World Vision UK delivered a seminar discussing the charity’s use of video in its email marketing campaigns. Charity Digital News was there to catch up with Esther afterwards.

How is World Vision UK using email to great effect?

We have used emails to engage child sponsors for some time, but are now integrating more video content, to bring to life their sponsored child and their community. These videos help reaffirm that they have made the right decision in sponsoring, and that their donations are changing their sponsored child’s world for the better.

Why use video?

Sponsors are asking for more videos! From our side, it establishes an emotional connection early on, and we have seen the impact of this in our early donor retention. Where sponsors receive a video from their child and the wider community, they are more likely to stay sponsoring. It increases trust that the child is real, and that the change their sponsorship is making is real.

What are your top tips for using video in email marketing campaigns?

Make sure the video is really relevant to why your donors first gave. For us, our sponsors want to know how they are changing a child’s life. All of our video content needs to reflect this.

Rather than talk about change in a broad, generic way, show the donor the specific difference they have made. How is the sponsored child’s life better? Are they attending school because they are healthier from having access to clean water in their community? Show this to the sponsor, and support the beneficiaries (in our case children and their communities) to speak for themselves.

How do you use video across other digital channels?

Personalised videos from the child are sent to the sponsor on email, and soon these will be available on a web portal which will pull together the content from their online journey. They can then share the videos on their own social media profiles if they want to. Community level videos are shown on World Vision UK’s Facebook page, so sponsors feel part of something much bigger.