Focused email campaign
Bespoke, online voting portal
Integrity currently manages the Royal Marines Association membership mailings, and have done since 2012. This involves a fortnightly mailing of welcome packs, renewals, and replacement cards to the association’s 12,000 members.
In 2018, the client came to us looking for help with the way they engaged with their members over important changes to the structure of the Association, particularly the upcoming merger of the RMA with the Royal Marines Charity into one organisation to represent members.
The Chief Executive of the RMA was concerned that the system they used at their AGM did not give all members a voice. Typically the AGM would be attended by the branch secretary of each regional membership group who would then cast a block vote on behalf of all members of that branch. What the Chief Executive wanted was to democratise the voting by creating a One Member One Vote system, with complete anonymity for the voters. The challenge was to deliver a process that enabled the greatest number of members to have their say over the merger in particular, but also to provide a platform for future votes to enfranchise the maximum number of members.
The Integrity Solution
The first step in this project was to build a secure voting portal linked to the RMA website. Following a discovery session with the Charity’s main board, the key objectives were outlined and fed into the development process of the online portal.
The bespoke platform was designed and built by Integrity’s in-house software development team. Our developers also designed and executed a rigorous testing programme for the software before deploying it.
After receiving their active members database, our team collaborated with RMA to create a clear and concise voting form that worked effectively in both electronic and printed formats.
Each member on the database was allocated a unique random identification number – the unique ID was used to validate an entry on to the online voting portal and was a one-time-use-only code to prevent a member from voting twice.
A digital voting pack was then emailed to all 8000 members with a valid email address. A physically printed voting pack was mailed to 4000 members without a valid email address – these included instructions on how to register and vote online to encourage take up of the online portal. A Freepost envelope was provided for members unable or unwilling to vote online. This option ensured that the RMA only incurred postal costs where a member physically sent back packs. The Freepost returns were sent to Integrity who handled the inbound voting on behalf of the RMA to ensure anonymity.
Postal vote returns were managed by a team working in the secure mailing facility at Integrity. Returns were processed and the votes entered onto the RMA portal and validated using the unique ID number printed on the voting form. This ensured that a member could not vote on line themselves and then try and gain a second vote by sending in a completed postal vote.
All outbound emails were monitored for undeliverable status. Any undeliverable emails were then sent a physically printed postal voting pack.
A reminder email was sent out one week later – these were monitored for open rates. Any emails that were seen to be unopened were then included in a final round of postal voting packs along with any new members who had joined the association prior to the first set of outbound post.
Integrity provided the RMA with a weekly report on voting trends during the 3 week window prior to the closing of the vote with a consolidated, full report being available on the morning of the AGM .
Overall the RMA were able to engage with 23% of their membership, which represents an increase in engagement of over 2000%. 79% of the total number of members who engaged chose to vote using the online portal.
The voting members overwhelming supported the merger of the two organisations, which has been described by Chairman of Trustees, Danny Cox, as “the greatest milestone in the history of the Corps Charity”
Integrity’s robust, innovative and cost effective solution not only increased membership engagement by an unprecedented amount, but also resulted in an additional 2000 members signing up to the RMA’s online mailing list.
Integrity continues to provide membership services for the RMA.
”The overall result was great news for the Association and the Trustees were delighted with how the solution was developed and delivered. We were very pleased with the feedback from our members that they felt so engaged in this important decision to merge the two associations.Mike EllisChief Executive, RMA (2018)