Analysis of a Marketing Campaign

A month ago Curve launched a charity drive to raise money for food charities, to feed people suffering from Coronavirus-related food shortages and poverty. I thought I’d have a look at how they were getting on to understand more about the size of their active customer base & how engaged their customers were.

Curve built a new website, emailed their entire customer base (confirmed last year as 650k, planned to be 2m customers now), sent multiple tweets and even got Mastercard tweeting out their campaign many times - “Not All Heroes Wear Pants”. The stated goal was to raise £100,000.

They’ve managed to get donations from 174 people, totalling £2,343. Curve’s attempts to get people to tweet photos after their donations resulted in 2 tweets.

The system they’ve built is not good - it’s incompatible with Gift Aid (so charities lose the tax top-ups) and the website charge charities 6% for the publicity on top of the card charges (say another 2-3%) - but only geeks will have read the small print to notice this. I don’t know if people feel they don’t have the money to donate to charity, or if Curve’s customer base is small, but achieving 2% of their target and a 0.0001% response rate is less than ideal, especially considering Curve’s CEO confirmed he had donated. The website would have cost more to develop than it raised.

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I don’t think it’s because people can’t afford to donate. Look at the £100m plus donated for Captain Tom.


On a side note, hasn’t Donate disappeared from Revolut entirely? Last time I noticed, they had very little in donations as well.

Even if I was going to donate to the specific charity, I’d do it via their website and probably as a direct debit, if possible.

That may be a reflection of its community - small and largely disinterested in “community” issues.

It’s overwhelmingly devoted to Curve-card-related matters with a growing international membership, which is good for Curve but does little to promote wider non-Curve related issues.


It’s still there on Revolut, hidden away in the widgets.

It’s the first comment on their community page for it, saying it’s better to just fund the Trussel Trust directly. I lost interest in the campaign after seeing that.


Thats really high, especially when in the UK there are generally no fees, or you’re asked if you want to add a % on top to cover service costs. And no GiftAid… do they know what country they’re in :smile:

I looked at the website as well, it’s terrible. I don’t understand why they didn’t just use justgiving or a similar service, they could have made a nice cheap single page website with a widget on there for donating.

Not everyone would have agreed to marketing emails, but that still doesn’t account for the poor uptake.

Its really sleazy that they’ve hidden the fees in the terms and conditions. I get suspicious when I see things like this. They can do what they like, but theres a reason they went with this specific unknown Spanish company over a well known UK company to manage the donations.

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Very true - but they emailed hundreds of thousands of customers and had Mastercard send out several tweets - do you think they have more than a couple of hundred readers of their ‘community’?

@Graham also mentions their community as being a reason, but it seems as though their post about the campaign generated only 62 click throughs.

Just because we are on a forum discussing credit cards, it doesn’t mean more than a tiny fraction of their customer base are. And some of those that are there seem to be pretty aggressive with limited social skills, which doesn’t encourage people to hang around and post.

But a campaign without hidden fees would have helped, at least partially.

Just reflective of the company’s culture really.

Good point. Not sure why I even went there. I only use the card for adding Google Pay to cards that don’t have it.

I saw this campaign, and donated directly to FareShare instead of the campaign page, to avoid the charity being hit with the fee. Maybe some others did the same.

True, but this was promoted far wider than the community. It was promoted heavily on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and via a mail out.

It says a lot for how trustworthy Curve seem that when I saw this campaign, the first thing I did was check the small print to see if there were any hidden gotchas. Seeing Curve promoting this if anything made me less likely to donate, but in the end I think the charity is a worthy one so I went directly to them.

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maybe i fit in with curve more than i thought :slight_smile:

They’ve actually got quite a bit in donations from the Australia wildfires and the launch of their WWF partnership :slight_smile: