COVID-19 put added strain on hospitals because of increased admissions, making fundraising more critical than ever before. The million-dollar question became: how could people best support London’s hospitals so that they could, in turn, provide better care to patients and their families?
For almost a quarter of a century, London Dream Lottery has been raising money for London’s hospitals—and tbk has a long-standing relationship with the lottery organizers, LMR Lottery Consulting. Recognizing the urgency of supporting the hospitals during the pandemic, we wanted to supercharge ticket sales for this worthwhile cause. tbk worked to create a strategic, multi-channel digital campaign based on years’ worth of data to effectively market Dream Lottery. Tickets sold out in a record breaking 14 days.
unique purchases from tbk’s paid advertising campaigns
revenue from tbk’s paid advertising campaigns
conversion rate from paid advertising
cost per action from paid advertising
Let’s Make Results (LMR) Lottery Consulting Inc. (acquired by Ascend Fundraising Solutions) is a full-service consulting company for charitable gaming. It’s licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to work closely with non-profits to develop, implement, and manage charitable raffle and lottery programs throughout the province.
return on advertising spend (ROAS) from paid advertising
revenue from email marketing
increase in SMS conversion rate (compared to previous Dream Lottery)
in net proceeds
London’s hospitals continually need financial support to enhance patient care, purchase medical equipment, and fund ongoing education and research projects. Nearly two million patients count on St. Joseph’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Foundation, and the Children’s Health Foundation each year.
As they’ve done for many years, LMR was raising proceeds for these three local hospitals with their biannual Dream Lottery. tbk has been working with LMR for over five years, and in the spring of 2021, LMR once again asked tbk to partner with them. They needed help creating a time-sensitive, multi-channel digital marketing campaign that motivated people across Ontario to buy tickets sooner than later.
The 2021 Spring Dream Lottery offered several grand prize options. The big winner could choose from:
People could also win vacations, cars, gift cards, and more.
The earlier people bought tickets, the more they could win. The Dream Lottery operates in sprints, beginning with Free Ticket draws, then continuing with Loyalty draws, VIP draws, Bonus draws, and Early Bird draws.
To build hype and persuade people to buy tickets early, tbk created an integrated marketing campaign for LMR. Our agency scoured years’ worth of data and learnings from past campaigns to build the most effective media strategy for our client. tbk’s strategic marketing plan consisted of well-timed digital ads, email marketing, and SMS marketing.
tbk intentionally leveraged a variety of high-performing digital channels from past lottery campaigns within all stages of the marketing funnel and purchase journey.
Awareness tactics, such as Google Display and Facebook/Instagram ads, were used to reach the broadest possible audience at a low cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) and cost-per-click (CPC). For Dream Lottery, this was people aged 18+ living within the province of Ontario. tbk amplified brand/product awareness in a cost-effective manner with in-market, topic, competitor, and interest targeting to successfully reach consumers most likely to engage with Dream Lottery.
Within the awareness stage, tbk also ran programmatic ads on Connected TVs (CTVs). The premium ad placement served consumers with video ads about Dream Lottery as they streamed content in-home on their smart TVs.
To re-engage people in the consideration stage, tbk leveraged Google Display and Facebook/Instagram ads once again—but using a different strategy. We retargeted ads to reach people who had visited the Dream Lottery website, but who had not yet purchased tickets.
In the conversion stage, tbk ran Google and Bing search ads to serve ads to people who actively searched for the London Dream Lottery or competitor Lottery programs (e.g., Princess Margaret). This ensured top visibility on the search engine results page for people with the highest intent to purchase.
tbk further supported ticket sales by creatively addressing COVID-19 restrictions. The Dream Homes were not open to the public for viewing. Since this usually helped entice people to buy tickets, tbk promoted virtual tours and photo galleries. These marketing assets helped people better imagine that dream becoming a reality—even without physically walking through the house.
On lottery launch day and at key buying times throughout the lottery, tbk used a combination of email marketing and SMS advertising (text messaging) to inspire real-time action from hopeful lottery winners.
We made sure to deliver the right message at the right time by continually updating ad copy, encouraging people to act quickly. For example, we developed ad copy variations with deadline specificity (e.g., Thursday, Tomorrow, Tonight) and ads that included the percentage of tickets sold (e.g., Over 70% sold! Don’t miss out.).
Facebook and Instagram campaign marketing were executed in tandem, a strategy designed to give the ad platform more freedom to deliver our ads at the right time, on the right channel. 98% of LMR’s ad spend was auto directed to Facebook placements, as these proved to be a much more efficient marketing channel for Dream Lottery.
The 2021 Spring Dream Lottery performed exceptionally well, selling out in a record-breaking 14 days—even before the end of the Free Ticket sprint. It generated over $2 million in net proceeds, the first time that’s ever happened in the Dream Lottery’s 24-year history.
tbk’s digital campaign resulted in over 3,000 unique purchases equal to over $490,000 in revenue. The return on advertising spend (ROAS) exceeded 10,500%, defying industry benchmarks. By comparison, retail/purchase objective campaigns typically benchmark 200-300% ROAS.
SMS marketing performed well with conversions increasing from 5.5% (Fall 2020) to a whopping 20.8% in Spring 2021, a 15.3% boost that equates to an estimated $60,115 in revenue. In addition to direct conversions, SMS marketing generated 226 assisted conversions at an estimated $33,750 in revenue.
tbk is pleased to continue supporting London’s hospitals in partnership with LMR. This important community fundraising event literally changes lives—not just the lottery winners, but the many people who rely on London’s hospitals for care. And that’s a BIG win for both tbk and LMR.
Thank you for all your amazing work on the website and continued assistance throughout the program. None of this can happen without a team and partners like you.