A Summary Of Experience So Far

  • ☑ Do plan and create a workable sales strategy. You need a sales pyramid whereby responsibility is devolved down and outwards
  • ☑ Do allow at least 3 weeks planning time and 6 weeks selling. Think about cross pollination opportunities months in advance
  • ☑ Do develop schools or similar organisations as sales partners - children are brilliant sales people
  • ☑ Do share sales proceeds with that school, 70/30 say, as that will motivate the teachers, PTA and parents to participate and sell more
  • ☑ Do use flyers if you wish, but only where there is no added cost such as inclusion with a newsletter to supporters. So plan well ahead
  • ☑ Do use social media wherever possible. The primary three are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
  • ☑ Do use electronic database marketing with an email advert. Send out once a week only for 5 weeks, say.
  • ☑ Do develop long term corporate partners but remember their decision making process could take weeks or months
  • ☑ Do contact small businesses - they will probably react instantly - remember to offer free balloons in exchange for money
  • ☑ Do use lots of colourful posters as a way of getting the message out there
  • ☒ Don't sell in the street unless very sure. The concept of virtual is hard for many people to instantly understand
  • ☒ Don't think prizes do not matter. They matter a lot. Remember millions buy lottery tickets every week to try and win something

Creating A Physical Sales Team

Organisers who think that just a handful of helpers will sell lots of balloons are generally mistaken. A pyramid of sales people is the best solution.

Imagine you are a parish priest or vicar, say, managing St John’s Church, Anywhere. As a vicar you will have a parish council of say 12, plus usually a small team, say, of 4 lay preachers. You can readily see that by extending down your small team of highly motivated supporters, you can create a reasonably sized sales team that will bring in some well needed revenues!

Multi-channel Sales Opportunities

The sales opportunities for the Rentaballoonrace.com virtual race system are truly multi-channel; loved by kids, corporates, tweeters and the like.

1. Corporate Sales

1.1 Major Sponsorship

The easiest way to obtain a major sponsor for a virtual race event is to look at the major suppliers to your charity cause. Which companies have most to gain by sponsoring / funding the costs? For example, if you are a health related charity then drug companies are an obvious consideration. Race costs to the corporate (or individual) are relatively small and being able to promote the sponsor on your race website is a significant PR benefit. Finding someone should not be insurmountable.

1.2 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Projects

A slightly different slant is a CSR project whereby an interested corporate runs a race internally and gives you the money at the end. Though predominantly run through the company’s employees, friends and family, others connected with the charity are not excluded. Rentaballoonrace.com has worked on 4 CSR projects. DS Smith PLC, a £4bn turnover global recycling company is running a race for Keep Britain Tidy Group (KBTG) http://www.rabr.co/keepbritaintidy All the DS Smith divisions and locations are selling balloons through their staff, friends and family via balloon cards, through their website and Social Media (SM). All divisions are also competing internally with each other to sell the most balloons per capita for an internal company prize. Sodexo, a French multi-national and the largest outsource company in the World; they supply, inter alia, the catering to all UK defence establishments - are raising money for a global charity called Stop Hunger www.rabr.co/stophunger.

Nationwide Bank www.rabr.co/nationwide for Cystic Fibrosis Trust. EY Foundation, Ernst and Young LLP a global consultancy and accountancy practice raised money for their arts foundation www.rabr.co/eyfoundation.

1.3 Multiple Smaller Sponsors

In what might be termed ‘the bad old days’ you might ask the local printer or clothes shop for a donation towards a specific hospice / charity project. For their £250 say, they generally got nothing in return. Not so with Rentaballoonrace (RABR). Firstly, if they offer money, you can give them balloons to the value of the donation. This means that staff and managers / owners can take part in the race and potentially win a prize(s). Alternatively, you can just sell them a block of balloons. A number of our hospice clients are having individual corporate races where the balloon price is higher than their schools or general public races Secondly, you can promote these smaller sponsors on your website – providing links through to their own commercial sites. It becomes very cheap advertising for them.

1.4 Email Advert Distribution / Social Media

As part of both RABR virtual race Packages we produce an email advert with embedded video and PDF. This email advert can easily be passed over to the corporate’s HR director or similar to be sent out to all employees and staff. Because you only give the advert, there are no privacy issues whatsoever. The corporate uses its’ own databases. Similarly, you might ask the company to send out tweets for you.

2. Community

2.1 Balloon Cards and Email Adverts

Marketing to your hard core supporters can be tricky as too many asks put people off from donating. We believe RABR delivers the ‘holy grail’ of less asks and bigger returns. Your community supporters are perfect clients for the balloon cards, especially senior citizens who are not overly tuned into the Internet. Similarly, sending out the email advert to your own database is simple, easy and resource friendly. As part of the standard race purchase package, Rentaballoonrace.com organisers receive 5000 DL size balloon cards. These cards are 350gsm card, printed in full colour on both sides and have designs created by Rentaballoonrace design staff, but agreed by the client organisation. A Scout’s examples is below On the front of the balloon card will be a unique ID. After creating an account, this ID or activation code must be used to enter the race and decorate a balloon(s) via their specific rabr.co.uk/whatever subdomain. The balloon will not be entered for the race UNLESS the ID is activated via the race website.

2.2 Outside Events

Selling balloons at events can work very well too. Two volunteers from the Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (MAP) lobby group who ran a race in March 2015, each set up a general account. The girls then used those general accounts to sell balloons at a number of outdoor events, including a summer fete, to visitors and supporters who were disinclined, for whatever reason, to buy a balloon online themselves. Between them, they sold an amazing 700 balloons.

2.3 Social Media

Social Media (SM) in the primary form of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter works really well. RABR managed a race for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust in March 2015 using SM only and for only 2 weeks. With little or no effort, and using Buffer, an automated Twitter Feed System, the healthrelated charity pulled in over £20K in that very short time. The case study is available on our resources page.

2.4 Legacy

Having the ability to upload a picture of a loved one onto a balloon means that the Legacy department have an important new marketing tool. Similarly, the balloon can be decorated to commemorate all sorts of events too, such as the Battle of Britain or Poppy Day for the Royal British Legion.

3. Direct Marketing Databases

3.1 Electronic

Many charities have significant email databases of direct supporters and other members of the general public who have shown interest in some way. This latter group could have signed an online petition for example, but not actually ever formally joined the supporters’ network. And having a large ‘Opted-In’ database means that the Rentaballoonrace virtual balloon race system lends itself very well to an online sales campaign using email adverts. Supporters will be notified by email and can then purchase balloons via the organisations individual website, for example, http://www.rabr.co/sueryder. The purchaser receives a thank you email containing a unique ID or activation code which can be used to change parameters or decorate his or her balloon(s). The balloon is automatically entered for the race irrespective of whether the balloon parameters are changed or it is decorated.

3.2 Paper-based Databases

Charities with a predominantly older age range of hard core supporters often have large name and address databases. Unfortunately sending out printed matter in the form of newsletters and appeal flyers is very expensive. Moreover, if envelopes only go out twice a year, say, long term planning is vital. Any flyer should direct the supporter to the race website or indicate who of their network might sell them a physical balloon card for cash.

4. Schools

We have developed the model of working with schools and more especially ecoschools. Check the following link to see how many eco-schools are surrounding you. An example for Derby is http://www.eco-schools.org.uk/schoolsearch?lea=188 Because eco-schools and Rentaballoonrace are both very environmentally focussed, the school PTA are readily drawn to any proposal. Please review the Eyton Primary, Welsh ecoschool case study in Resources on the main Rentaballoonrace.com website. Sharing the money 50/50 between school and hospice / charity is a massive incentive to the school PTA and kids and many children sold over 30 balloons each!

An Example Of A Multi Media Marketing & Sales Plan/Campaign

Client

RABA ( A countryside-focused charity)

Race Launch

1st November

Selling Commences

12th September

Internet Based
1. Email adverts

Who Views

All members on the RABA databases

When

Mid-August, Mid-September, Mid-October, November 12th

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution to

All members on the RABA database

Distribution by

RABA digital team

2. Youtube

Who Views?

General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution by

RABA digital team

3. Online Press Releases

Who Views

General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution to

Internet newspapers and blogs

Distribution by

RABA digital team

4. Online Adverts on RABA Websites

Who Views

RABA supporters / General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution to

RABA digital team

Distribution by

RABA digital team

5. Social Media

Who Views

RABA supporters / General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution to

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs and Forums

Distribution by

RABA digital team

Printed Matter
6. RABA Magazine Adverts

Who Views

RABA members / General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA Creative

Distribution to

RABA Magazine team

7. A3 Paper Posters + A5 Colour Flyers

Who to

Corporates/schools/shows

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA Creative

Distribution by

All field sales Midlands (full & P/T)

8. Newspaper Press Releases

Who Views

General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA Creative

Distribution to

National and local newspapers

Distribution by

RABA Community Marketing

Radio
9. Radio Press Release/News item

Distribution by

RABA Community Marketing

Who Listens

RABA supporters / General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution to

Radio stations SPB digital team

Distribution by

RABA digital team

Balloon Puchasing Methods
10. Via A5 Colour Balloon Cards

Who to

RABA members / General Public

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA Creative

Distribution by

Field sales team Midlands

Where

RABA Field centres Midlands

Where

RABA Field centres Midlands and Part time staff at RABA tents at agricultural shows

11. Via Point of Sale (POS) Laptop or Plain Paper

Who to

Field centre visitors

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace

Distribution by

RABA field centre staff Midlands

Where

RABA field centres Midlands

Where

RABA field centres Midlands and Part time staff at RABA tents at agricultural shows

12. Via the Internet

Who to

RABA members / General Public / Corporates / Schools

When

Mid-August onwards

Creative

Rentaballoonrace / RABA digital team

Distribution by

RABA digital team