An eCard Experience

Bo Crader - 07.27.2009

I'm often asked for examples of creative, compelling or otherwise "cool" online fundraising campaigns.  So I wanted to share an experience that went well beyond a one-time transaction.

This Mother's Day my wife and I took Anthony's advice (read his piece on Mother's Day eCards- thanks Anthony!) and donated to Doctors Without Borders, sending an eCard to my mom for the occasion.




Sending an eCard in lieu of flowers or a Hallmark™ card made sense for a number of reasons:


  • we supported an organization we have come to know and love over the past year (read more about some of the great work of Doctors Without Borders)
  • we were able to share this organization and its work with my mom (she loved it, btw)
  • rather than sending a typical card, the eCard and donation were literally a "gift that will help save lives"
  • the entire process took about two minutes - giving us more time to enjoy spending with *our* own daughter this Mother's Day.


What I wanted to write about though, was not the action of sending an eCard, but the overall experience I had with the organization - both as part of sending an eCard, but also afterward. 


  • First off, I received an immediate and professional Acknowledgment Email - this is like apple pie and motherhood, but many organizations skip this important step
  • A few days later, I received a welcome packet in the mail - yes, the actual mail.  What impressed me here was both the speed at which the welcome packet followed the eCard (while I was still engaged from the online transaction), but  the actual package exceeded my expectations - including a fold out map of the areas where MSF works.  This was an unexpected "thank you" from the organization, and a nice reminder of how I had in a very small way helped them fufill their mission.   This is also a great example of how organizations can help convert online donors into offline constituents.
  • About a month later, I received an email announcing their Father's Day eCard offerings (view the web page version of the email).  The appeal is well-written, to the point, and speaks directly to the organization's mission.  While I did not follow up with another eCard at this point, I did feel an immediate, tangible, and memorable connection to the story of another father caring for his young son. 


Individually each of these touchpoints are well-done, but relatively unremarkable.  Together, however, these are a great example of the strategic fit between online marketing, donor stewardship, direct response, and full circle again back to online marketing.  Perhaps more importantly, this was an experience I won't soon forget.


Be sure to read more about Doctors Without Borders and check out their eCards!


Have you had a powerful online experience - one that went beyond a few clicks of the mouse?  Post your own experiences with eCards or other interactive campaigns below. 


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