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How introducing TV to the media mix can help drive down acquisition costs

25 January 2022

Many clients assume TV is too expensive. But, when you focus on what matters most, direct response TV (DRTV) can often be a very cost-effective tool for acquisition. This is because it’s cheap to buy on a media cost per thousand (CPT) basis compared to other channels.

Making a TV advert needn’t be more expensive than a print job on an insert campaign, for example, but it can be used more than once.

Despite fewer people watching linear TV, DRTV can still reach certain audiences in huge numbers, enabling clients to grow their customer bases exponentially.

This was the situation we found with one of our charity clients, Blind Veterans UK.

Choosing new marketing channels

A common situation our challenger brands, like Blind Veterans UK, face is that the pace at which they acquire new customers slows and, as a result, their cost per acquisition (CPA) starts to increase.

This may be because there’s no scale left in the channels they’re using. Or that anyone who was going to respond via that channel, or combination of channels, already has done – so, any more spend is wastage and just adds to the average cost of recruiting new customers.

The brand needs to target more of the same audience using different channels with greater reach, or target new audiences. By doing this, it’ll continue to grow its customer base and its CPA should start heading back in the right direction.

Acquiring new customers

Blind Veterans UK, a charity dedicated to providing free support and services to vision-impaired ex-armed forces and National Service personnel, had a weakening base of donors and were facing strong competition to recruit more. It’s in a competitive sector of charities that support, as well as ex-Forces, vision-impaired people from all walks of life.

To improve its CPA, Blind Veteran UK’s marketing needed to do three things:

  • Recruit more new donors. Its main donor base was elderly and might not be around in years to come.
  • Speak to younger 50+ audiences, who are greater in number and likely to live longer. This would help recruit new donors without alienating Blind Veterans UK’s core base.
  • Move away from relying on direct mail in a post-GDPR world.

Using DRTV planning to reach a new audience

We developed a strategy to allow us to expand into new audiences who would soon become core donors. The key to unlocking this new audience? Classic DRTV planning.

We really focused in on:

  • When and how the audience was watching – which channels, which daypart and which programming.
  • Phasing and flighting – weighting the campaign correctly across channels, weeks and timelengths.
  • Cost – striking a balance between the cost of a slot against the kind of return we’d get for it.

Introducing TV alongside current channels helped to reach both the historic core demographic and a wider 50+ audience in the run-up to and around Remembrance Day. A time when there is greater awareness about armed forces veterans.

Although October and November tend to be busier and costlier months for TV, we mitigated the cost premium by negotiating introductory test CPTs for Blind Veterans UK in this first burst.

We employed classic, tried-and-tested DRTV planning to generate new donors and drive donations as cost-effectively as possible. This ensured the best possible results for the budget available and, importantly, minimised the risk of using this new channel.

How DRTV boosted all channels

DRTV planning can be the channel that opens up a new audience to you. It’s a case of knowing who you’re targeting and when and where to reach them. As this work with Blind Veterans UK proved.
The number of new donors YoY increased by 203% and the cost per donor reduced by 29%. We also saw an uplift across other channels running at the same time, with their response rates higher than our forecast.

Our client was so pleased with the results that they immediately approved another burst to be booked for 3 months later.

Gina Almond, Head of Income Generation, Blind Veterans UK said:

“We enlisted Join the Dots to help revive our media strategy and grow our donor base, by targeting a different audience, with a broader channel mix … TV has revolutionised our recruitment of new donors and will continue to form a core component of our channel mix moving forward.”

If you’d like to find out more about how TV can help your business, then do get in touch:

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