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Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s UK transformed its approach to marketing and raised 70% more donations for its services with Salesforce.
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Parkinson’s UK Gets Closer to Supporters With Salesforce

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s can feel overwhelming. But while scientists work to find a cure, help is at hand.

Parkinson’s UK supports people living with the condition and their families. It helps people access the best local services, coordinate healthcare, and campaigns for policy change at government level.

There are approximately 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK, and the organisation is working to reach as many of them as possible. Every year, individual and corporate fundraisers bring in millions of pounds that goes towards vital research and running activities to support families.

“We’re a people-first organisation, uniting to make life better for people with Parkinson’s, their friends and families,” said Emily Sturdy, Head of Supporter Engagement at Parkinson’s UK. “Salesforce helps us to reach more people and build stronger supporter relationships.”

  • 70%
    increase in donations through email campaigns
  • 1M
    email sent to supporters in 2021
  • 66%
    average email open rate

Building Relationships with Supporters

Parkinson’s UK has a large network of staff, supporters, volunteers, and healthcare workers across the country. But keeping in touch with such a diverse community can be challenging.

The Supporter Engagement team is responsible for building deeper connections with supporters and driving vital fundraising support, including running email campaigns to do so.

“It’s important to reach supporters with the right message at the right time, and that means getting to know them,” explained Nicole Kell, Senior Support Engagement Officer. “To do that at scale, we needed to get a holistic picture of the supporter lifecycle.”

With data held in disparate systems and siloed teams, that’s easier said than done. Aligning teams is so important when it comes to events and campaigns to ensure supporters are targeted with the most relevant communications.

While Parkinson’s UK was using Marketing Cloud to manage communications, the team needed to optimise the platform and transform its processes to put people at the heart of supporter engagement. It also wanted to make it easier to manage consent and maximise opportunities to reach a larger audience.

“We had a backlog of issues we needed to fix, but we’re a small team with limited resources,” said Sally Rose McCormack, Senior Support Engagement Officer at Parkinson’s UK. “If a template started glitching we could fix it, but we didn’t have time to look into the root cause to stop it from happening again.”

Marketing Cloud helps us collaborate better and take a more strategic approach to communications.” Emily Sturdy, Head of Supporter Engagement, Parkinson’s UK
Parkinson’s UK

Transforming the Supporter Lifecycle

In 2021, Parkinson’s UK started working with Salesforce Professional Services to transform its approach to supporter engagement.

The team defined a strategic vision and identified workstreams to streamline supporter engagement communications and processes, with the aim to create a more personalised and connected supporter experience.

First, they mapped the supporter lifecycle to better understand the level of engagement required to convert donors into regular givers and advocates. “Knowing how to engage with people at the right time is vital. We’re creating more personalised journeys in Journey Builder,” said Kell.

Using custom reply addresses also deepens relationships with supporters. “To show people we value them, we send a thank you message from our colleagues’ email addresses – it’s important that the message is sent by the right person,” added Kell.

Getting Technical

To enhance the platform to better support the human experience, Parkinson’s UK is tackling technical issues such as making smarter, mobile-optimised templates to improve emails – for example to healthcare professionals about services.

“Healthcare professionals need to be able to digest emails quickly. We use the preview and testing functions to optimise emails on all devices and platforms,” McCormack explained.

The charity has also been exploring Datorama and Einstein to help them understand what people are engaging with, especially for longer newsletters which contain lots of information.

To manage privacy, Parkinson’s UK integrates Web Studio forms with the consent platform.

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Raising 70% More Funds for People with Parkinsons

Now that the team is using Marketing Cloud more efficiently, the charity is already seeing great results.

More than 1 million emails were sent to 159,000 supporters in 2021. Email open rates are increasing 3% year-on-year, standing at an impressive 66.4%, with 16.2% average clickthrough rates – well above the industry standard.

But how does that affect the bottom line? “Donations from email have increased significantly. We’ve seen an increase of almost 70% and it’s still rising,” confirmed Kell.

The team has established best practices for email communications and creating great content with dynamic, drag-and-drop templates is easier than ever.

“Salesforce helps us collaborate better and take a more strategic approach to communications,” said Sturdy. “We’ve got everything in one place so we are working hard to create smoother supporter journeys and have great insight into which approaches are the most effective.”

Next, Parkinson’s UK is planning to roll out Datorama to make it easier for staff to take a data-driven approach without having a technical background. It’s also launching an innovative new service to support people living with Parkinson’s, that will deliver information and support, using Marketing Cloud

“What we’ve achieved so far is amazing, and we couldn’t have done it without support from Salesforce. They’ve taught us valuable skills to innovate on the platform ourselves, and for everything else, there’s Trailhead,” concluded Sturdy.

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About Parkinson’s UK

We are Parkinson’s UK. Here for everyone affected by the condition. Funding research into the most promising treatments, taking us closer to a cure every day. Fighting for fair treatment and better services.