Helping Steptember step up to the challenge – The meteoric rise of one of Australia’s most iconic events

the challenge

Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) first engaged FED back in 2013 to manage the digital acquisition and participant communications of their fledgling event, ‘Steptember’—a four-week health and wellness virtual event that raises money for people with cerebral palsy and their families.

Our challenge was simple: acquire new participants and increase their engagement with Steptember to maximise their fundraising potential—and, ultimately, increase income for the event overall.

how we tackled it

To encourage past participants to return for another year, we developed highly-personalised email and SMS communications that focused on the impact of their involvement. We developed a series of beneficiary videos to show this impact, featuring some of the children whose lives had directly benefited from therapy and equipment provided by CPA.

Our acquisition approach for new participants involved diversifying channels: social media, email marketing, prospecting from current supporters, remarketing and paid search, to name but a few.

The creative addressed specific interests or motivations for participation—health-motivated individuals looking to improve their fitness, cause-motivated people who want to help kids and adults with cerebral palsy, and of course, people with a mix of both.

Periods of free registration, competitions and incentives were utilised for both the acquisition and reactivation components, leveraging urgency and competitiveness to generate more income overall.

The communications to participants mixed automation and behavioural touch points—it varied based on when a participant signed up and what their stepping and fundraising activity looks like.

the result

Since CPA’s first significant investment in participant recruitment in 2013, its income grew from $600,000 to almost $6.3M—an increase of over tenfold in just five years. Today, Steptember is one of the most iconic virtual events not only in Australia, but around the world, and we’re so proud to have helped its meteoric rise and to have met so many incredible beneficiaries along the way.

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