Client RSPB | Partner CACI | Industry Charity | Key objective Mobilise public support to save nature and keep it high on the agenda during the election

The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. The RSPB protect threatened birds and wildlife and plays a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

The RSPB was formed in 1889 to counter the trade in plumes for fashion, a practice responsible for the destruction of many thousands of egrets, birds of paradise and other species in the late Victorian era. Since then, the Society had enjoyed strong long-term growth and a widening of its aims. The RSPB has over 1 million members, but more recently, income growth was starting to stagnate, at a time when the threat to nature was increasing exponentially.

RSPB Customer Story

The Vote for Bob campaign was created to mobilise public support to save nature and keep it high on the agenda during the election. The idea was that the public could lodge their support for Bob, and email their MPs, encouraging them to give more thought to natural habitats and the UK’s wildlife. 

A website was created to collect the ‘votes’ and to help people contact their MP and their prospective parliamentary candidates more easily. The site also displayed the number of people who had voted for Bob, globally and at constituency levels, and enabled any MPs and candidates who wanted to lodge their support for Bob to contact the site and do so.

RSPB Customer Story

The Apteco Solution

The campaign was publicised to over a million RSPB members in the quarterly magazine, Nature’s Home, via a regular e-newsletter and a social media campaign. Apteco was used to create follow-up communications, with over 650 variations, that were sent to Members of Parliament and their constituency voters.

Throughout the campaign, the RSPB designed and sent out tailored versions of the regular newsletter, keeping people up to date on the Bob campaign trail. PeopleStage made this straightforward – a single campaign was set up and automated, simply changing the message it sent. The RSPB also ran a three-way test of send times – on Friday evening, Saturday lunchtime and Saturday evening.

Until this point the RSPB hadn’t sent any emails at weekends, as there is no weekend cover. Campaigns were also scheduled to run on Christmas Day (‘Bob’s Christmas Message’) and New Year’s Day, despite the offices being shut from 25th December to 5th January. This represented a significant step forward for the RSPB in terms of operational capabilities. The RSPB also needed to exclude certain supporters based on their location. FastStats made this process effortless. The RSPB simply selected the relevant geographic areas from a selector field.

For the Bob campaign, Apteco has helped the RSPB to achieve one of its core aims of creating relevant, personalised and timely communications, whilst maintaining a strong reputation and brand image in a difficult marketplace.

The impact on the business

Possibly the most innovative use of Apteco software was through the follow-up email sent towards the end of the campaign to inform Bob’s supporters of what their MP had done, and what the campaign had achieved. The intention was to personalise each email to the constituency of the supporter. FastStats Import Data function was used to create the variables needed and the result was a single message with over 650 variations. RSPB then passed these values straight through PeopleStage, adding fields to indicate the latest customer behaviour. With the RSPB's previous data capabilities and email tools, they would have only been able to do this by separating all variants (potentially thousands of combinations of behaviour and location) which would have taken hundreds of hours and been prone to error and to source data going out of date. With Apteco, the RSPB could incorporate all the variants in a single email, quickly and accurately.

Apteco gave the RSPB the confidence to set a schedule for the sends and leave them to run – with no one tied to a computer!