How the Canadian Red Cross Got 17x ROI With Personalized Video

It’s amazing how a simple “thank you” can create a ripple of positive impact.

It’s especially important in the nonprofit world, where charities rely on donations to fulfill their mission. It’s something the CX team at the Canadian Red Cross was thinking about as they planned a campaign to show appreciation to their loyal donors. But rather than send out generic emails or letters, they wanted to do something truly special. Attention-grabbing. Inspiring.

Enter Personalized Video. By creating and sending out video messages tailored to each loyal supporter, the Canadian Red Cross not only overcame the engagement hurdle nonprofits often face but skyrocketed their results to a remarkable 17x ROI.

Let’s explore how they did it.

The Engagement Dilemma: Fueling Nonprofits in the Digital Age

In a digital world brimming with content, nonprofits have found themselves struggling to capture and retain the attention of their audience. Whether it’s tugging heartstrings for a vital cause or rallying support for disaster relief, the battle for engagement is real.

60% of supporters feel the emails they receive from nonprofits aren’t personalized enough.

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Nonprofits rely on a dedicated stream of donations to fulfill their vital missions, but therein lies the challenge. Convincing individuals to contribute regularly requires more than a bland email asking for help. While email is the top communication channel preferred, 60% of supporters feel that the messages they receive from nonprofits aren’t personalized enough.

The goal, then, isn’t merely just to ask for donations but to forge a genuine connection. This demands a deeply personalized approach and a solid emotional connection. Understanding this, the Canadian Red Cross turned to personalization to cut through the noise.

This case study video, made by our friendly AI video creator, Lucas, shows an overview of how the campaign worked, but we’ll dig into more of the details below.

From Pixels to People: Inside the Canadian Red Cross’s Campaign

At the heart of successful donor relationships lies appreciation. In a groundbreaking campaign that showcased the power of Personalized Video, the Canadian Red Cross thanked their dedicated supporters — personally. Let’s delve into the steps they took to achieve such a remarkable ROI.


Here’s what 2,000+ consumers want from brands, according to research

The nonprofit recognized the importance of acknowledging their loyal supporters individually. By tailoring their message and addressing each recipient by name, they strengthened their bond with donors while boosting contributions.

To measure the impact of this approach, the Canadian Red Cross designed a strategic experiment. The recipients were divided into 3 distinct groups, each receiving a different treatment:

Group 1: Control

This group acted as the baseline, receiving no additional communication beyond the standard direct mail packages.

Group 2: Generic Video

Donors in this group received a generic version of the video so the team could compare how the generic and personalized versions performed. (Spoiler: The personalized one did better — by a lot.)

Group 3: Personalized Video

The heart of the campaign lay here. This group received a personalized version of the video, tailor-made to resonate with each individual donor.

The video included the donor’s name in the audio track and included visuals that included the name with thank-you messages throughout.

The Canadian Red Cross team executed their campaign with very intentional timing, launching it on World Humanitarian Day. By associating their gratitude with a global day of compassion, they maximized the emotional resonance of their message.

creative sample

The videos were sent out via email. For the personalized one, the email subject line let the donor know the video was just for them: “[First Name], we made this video for you.” (This is always the approach we recommend for email subject lines, one of our best practices for Personalized Video, since it piques curiosity and encourages engagement.)

Donors could view their video on mobile or desktop and even share it to social media to further increase the campaign’s reach.

red cross phone

Results That Speak Volumes

The campaign was a clear success. The donors, touched by the personalized thank-you, responded by being even more generous.

The Personalized Videos achieved a 17x ROI compared to the control group. Driving that impressive return on investment was an increase in contributions. Despite the focus of the video being on appreciation rather than asking for donations — or maybe because of it — the Personalized Video campaign led to an 11% uptick in giving compared to the control group.

Andrew George, the Director of Direct & Integrated Marketing at the Canadian Red Cross, said the project was a success all around.

“By partnering with Idomoo we tested the personalized video against a control segment and a generic segment who received the same video without personalization. After the campaign, we saw a 11% lift in year-end giving between the personalized video and control group. The process to execute the videos was seamless thanks to the customer support of the Idomoo team.”

– Andrew George, Canadian Red Cross

And with 2x video views compared to the generic version of the video, it’s clear that personalization doesn’t just resonate — it captivates.

The Canadian Red Cross’s success story with Personalized Video serves as a guiding light for nonprofits seeking effective and engaging ways to connect with donors. By harnessing the potential of tailored content, they achieved impressive returns.

Supercharge Donor Engagement With Idomoo

By blending the magic of visual storytelling with deep personalization, the Canadian Red Cross not only thanked loyal donors but also showcased the tangible impact of their contributions.

As our CRO, Yaron Dishon, explains it, the Canadian Red Cross team knew they needed a personal approach for this campaign, but it was also about showing donors (not just telling them) what their donations made possible.

“By sending a dynamic video rather than, say, a letter, they combined the power of visual storytelling with personalization. This is a proven recipe for loyalty, and it worked here, increasing engagement and donations. As an added benefit, videos are easy to share on social media, helping spread the word further.”

– Yaron Dishon, Idomoo CRO

At the heart of this success lies the synergy between innovation and accessibility. While we offer complete campaign support, the Canadian Red Cross chose a DIY approach, collaborating with their agency to access our fully open Next Generation Video Platform. They were able to easily add data to their video creative, turning those videos dynamic and unique for every viewer.

Inspired by their success? You too can transform your customers’ experience with Personalized Video. Whether you choose our full-service or self-serve approach, Idomoo empowers you to captivate your audience and drive remarkable ROI.

When you’re ready to get started, get in touch. We’d love to show you behind the scenes and set up a demo if you’re keen to learn more.

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