It’s hard to believe that for the past 27 years, Schultz & Williams (S&W) has served countless zoos across the nation, helping to build and sustain their membership programs through direct mail and multi-channel fundraising programs. While much of the country anxiously awaits the arrival of spring, zoo season is well underway here at S&W. We are busy working with zoo clients to plan and roll out their 2015 membership acquisition campaigns, promoting exciting new exhibitions and offering unbeatable value for families and zoo-lovers alike.

While each zoo year offers new and exciting opportunities to feature and promote, much of what has proven successful for our zoo campaigns in the past, still holds true today. We are, however, continually looking for ways to improve program performance by leveraging analysis and integrated direct response strategies to broaden and strengthen our direct marketing efforts.

Without a doubt, zoo memberships are still an unbeatable value. In fact, discounts, premiums and exclusive member opportunities are the backbone of any strong acquisition offer. In addition, this year many of our zoos are offering additional discounts for new members who “skip the direct mail form” and join online!

Over the past few years, we have introduced digital and online components to reach a broader audience. Some digital campaigns have gone intentionally viral with discount offers landing on coupon sites like For some clients, we have helped them develop and implement light boxes, Facebook ads and retargeting ads on consumer advertisements that take the prospective member back to the zoo’s website. We have also made offers on “mommy blogs,” which are yielding positive returns for a number of our clients.

An added benefit for our zoo clients who use online and digital components is building awareness about their conservation work. As campaigns grow more sophisticated through a variety of channels, zoos are able to emphasize the good work they do in their communities and around the world.