HopeLink of Southern Nevada and Everox successfully collaborated using Henderson Chamber of Commerce’s marketing channels.
By Paul Ahmadzai, Principal at Everox
Everox recently had the opportunity to collaborate with HopeLink of Southern Nevada on a fundraising initiative to support HopeLink’s mission. For those who aren’t familiar, HopeLink’s mission is to prevent homelessness, preserve families and provide hope. HopeLink has championed this cause for 30 years in Southern Nevada, and their mission is more important than ever as Southern Nevada continues to grow.
According to Stacey Lockhart, Executive Director of HopeLink:
“Since the onset of the pandemic, requests for rental assistance have exponentially increased in the Las Vegas Valley. Last year, HopeLink of Southern Nevada provided over 10,000 individuals with life-saving support services including assistance with rent, utilities, food aid and rapid rehousing."
The team at Everox wanted to support this vital mission doing what we do best: Marketing! We also wanted to do something special for Henderson Chamber of Commerce members.
We initially connected with Katheryn Phillips, Employment Specialist at HopeLink, about the opportunity at an HCC event. We then dreamed up the SEO Health Checkup For Charity: A special (and deep-discounted) search engine optimization service (SEO) offered by Everox, where every dollar paid would go to HopeLink.
We ultimately raised $1,000 for HopeLink, connected with 41 Southern Nevada decision makers at 39 participating organizations and exposed HopeLink’s mission to thousands of Southern Nevadans. We did this primarily using the HCC marketing channels.
(You’ll see that we recognize participants who helped make this fundraiser a reality throughout this blog. To be fair to everyone, participants are listed in a random order.)
Along the way, we learned lessons that we want to share with our fellow HCC members about collaboration and marketing with the HCC channels.
Culture and Values Matter
We knew from Day 1 that we wanted this campaign to reflect our company values:
To put these values into practice, we knew that our offer had to be:
So how did we combine homelessness prevention and SEO into something that compelled people to action?
What We Offered
We offered an SEO Health Checkup, because it provides real value and starts a conversation about an organization’s search engine optimization - and its overall marketing efforts.
Relationships live and die off conversation, so the richer the conversation, the better the relationship - and the more we could amplify HopeLink’s mission to participants.
Nothing sells like free, so we made sure that our service was almost free: $20 for something that’s usually $449.
Donating all the proceeds to HopeLink was a no-brainer for us, and it seemed to make a lot of sense for participants, too. Many remarked, “Why not?
To us, that was a clear signal that we were making decisions easy with win-win opportunities.
We also set a limit of 50 on a first come, first served basis. We wanted to make sure that we could meet demand and provide an excellent experience throughout - and that requires being realistic with operational capacity.
How We Promoted It
The Henderson Chamber of Commerce has several ways to tap their network and reach Southern Nevada decision makers. We used three online channels and one offline channel, with each feeding off the other.
The three online channels were:
The offline channel was:
We started with the HCC website. We used the free “coupon” formats in the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Members' Area (login required) to broadcast our offering. The formats were:
Once our coupons were approved by the Chamber, the HCC team uploaded them to the Daily Deal Coupons on the HCC website. In addition, our coupons were automatically integrated into the email newsletter.
The info we entered into HCC Member Deals automatically made its way into the Chamber’s email newsletter and Daily Deal Broadcast email. This was great because we didn’t have to do any additional work. Ultimately, the email channel ended up being the most successful channel for us (more on this in the Results section later).
We ran paid advertisements on HCC profiles across these social networks to leverage the Henderson Chamber’s social media presence:
In addition, we also ran ads using our own branded LinkedIn profile.
These were helpful for visibility. As hinted above, email was still the most successful conversion channel for our case.
Events (Offline channel)
The HCC’s motto is, “Personal relationships. Powerful results.” Nothing embodies this more than the events put on by the Chamber. These events were a critical channel to introducing and fostering connections related to this campaign and beyond.
We found that the campaign provided a productive conversation starter with many members, whether via online meetings or in-person events.
(We categorize events as an “offline channel”, because it requires a physical presence from an Everox team member - even though Zoom is definitely online.)
Ultimately, having something of value to offer to fellow HCC members made it much easier to open up conversations and get to know one another.
The connection with many campaign participants was started on the events channel and then ended in a conversion over digital.
Results speak volumes. Some key numbers from this effort:
As we moved towards the end and realized that we wouldn’t hit our 50 checkup limit, we decided to expand the offer to HCC members’ family and friends. We reasoned that it was for a good cause and that we were still providing value to the Chamber network, so it was an easy decision to make. This also ended up being a lesson learned.
Some key takeaways from this experience were:
It takes a budget.
It’s an old saying, because it’s true: It takes money to make money. Everox decided to carry all the costs of the HCC marketing to ensure that HopeLink was taken care of, and it was a win for everyone involved.
Make sure that you plan a budget and account for possible successes and failures. If done right, your generosity can pay big dividends.
Consider marketing to HCC members plus their friends and family.
The power of the HCC network is not just in the members, but in their extended networks as well - family, friends and other relationships.
If we could go back, we would frame our offer as something like this: “Exclusive for HCC Members plus Family & Friends”
Arguably, this is more supportive of our value to “Be relationship-oriented”. While it will vary for each organization, we think this strikes a balance between providing exclusive value to (and respecting) the HCC network while ensuring that the net is still wide enough to meet goals.
Keep things as simple as possible.
As you can see above, the complexity of these campaigns can grow quickly. We used four marketing channels to cross-promote. That’s before fulfillment, delivery, follow up and numerous personal emails, phone conversations and video chats.
Staying organized is a must - and keeping things simple is a big help in this regard.
We recommend avoiding using too many new tools or pieces of software.
Instead, focus on results and provide a great experience for all involved - whether it’s HCC team members helping you get things published, your newfound contacts or, if applicable, your collaborator.
Collaborate with someone!
The old African saying goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The same goes for marketing with HCC channels. It’s likely that you’ll have a richer experience and get more bang for your buck if you work with a partner.
Stacey Lockhart, Executive Director at HopeLink, put it best:
“HopeLink of Southern Nevada is about building a community filled with hope and dignity for all through homelessness prevention. Collaborating with business partners is key to this work. Our experience with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and Everox has been a great example of what it takes to make it happen.”
We stayed connected with our fellow collaborator throughout, and vice versa. Be fearless and productive with your communication: Pick up the phone, answer that text and send honest emails.
After all, you joined the HCC to connect. Why not build this into your promotion from the very beginning?
It’s worth it.
The Henderson Chamber of Commerce provides an awesome platform to build goodwill and grow real relationships with your fellow Southern Nevada decision makers. For Everox, being successful meant embracing a multi-channel strategy across HCC platforms and being vigorous with follow through.
We were thrilled at the chance to amplify HopeLink of Southern Nevada’s mission and make a humble contribution to their organization, while helping our fellow Chamber members. To echo the HCC motto once again: “Personal relationships. Powerful results.”
Jane Sherlock serves as Chair of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and was awarded Ambassador of the Year at the 2021 State of the Chamber luncheon. Learn more about Jane and motivates her!
Tell us about your business and what you do?
I serve as the Business Development Manager for Coby Sherlock at Movement Mortgage working alongside my husband Coby Sherlock to help home buyers and homeowners with purchasing and refinancing residential properties not only in Nevada but also in California, Arizona, Florida as well as Coby’s home states of Louisiana and Tennessee. We love working with growing families just like us but also Veteran’s (we waive all fees for Vets) and also specialize in condo and high-rise properties. We are all about educating our community about home ownership and offer complimentary workshops every week! We also work hard to educate and elevate our realtor partners with workshops for them too.
Why did you become an Ambassador for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce?
I became an Ambassador for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce because I love people! I’m very passionate about supporting my local Southern Nevada community grow and thrive. We have an amazing business community filled with so many incredible business owners and I find joy in bringing great people together so we can flourish in excellence as a community. As the Chair for the HCC Ambassadors, I am committed to creating connection and being the source of connectivity for our members.
How has the Henderson Chamber helped your business?
The HCC has been instrumental in the growth of my business by giving me the opportunity to meet extraordinary people in our community at the many networking events and through personal introductions. I would not have the amazing network that I have today if it weren’t for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce.
What business advice would you give to an entrepreneur?
The best advice I have for entrepreneurs is to get involved and give back to your local community. I have met so many wonderful people that have led to amazing opportunities in business by volunteering and being in service.
What do you do in your free time?
In addition to our mortgage business, Coby and I are very busy parents of two children under the age of two, so our hands are very full but our hearts are overflowing with love and joy. We enjoy traveling as a family, trips to Disneyland, Dodger games, making home cooked meals and volunteering for various local non-profit organizations. I also love to sing and am honored to have sung our national anthem at the HCC 2021 State of the Chamber!
Interview conducted by Betty Boyd, bettyboydwriter.com
On July 1, 2021, I will have the distinct honor of becoming the Chairperson of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. As I look back on my journey with the Chamber, I am overwhelmed at the opportunities I have been afforded and the experiences I have enjoyed.
I joined in 2012. At that time, I was advised to (a) ask to become a member of the Issues Committee and (b) apply for Leadership Henderson. Although the Issues Committee has evolved significantly from its format in 2012, I knew from my very first meeting that serving in a role in the Chamber’s advocacy efforts would be the best way to contribute to the growing and vibrant organization. I have served on the Issues Committee (advocating on federal and regional matters on behalf of the Chamber members) since 2012, including the privilege of being its Chairperson for several years.
I followed the second piece of advice with as much enthusiasm. I interviewed and had the tremendous opportunity to enroll in the Leadership Henderson Class of 2013. Through this renowned program, I learned more about the City of Henderson, its businesses, non-profits and community partners than I ever thought possible. Additionally, I became entrenched with some of the finest people in Southern Nevada.
I was able to further spread my advocacy reach commencing in 2013 when I was invited to serve on the Legislative Committee. I have now served on this elite and impactful committee for five legislative sessions. I have been the Chairperson since 2017. The work this Committee does to advocate on behalf of the nearly 1800 Chamber members and the tens of thousands of employees of those members is, perhaps, the most rewarding work I have done within our community. In this capacity, the Chamber expresses and influences policy that benefits the small business community which, of course, is the backbone of our economy.
Being able to Chair the Henderson Chamber as we regain normalcy after the pandemic will be a challenge, but I think the greatest opportunity. Building our business community back and increasing its strength and vitality will be my primary focus. To that end, during my tenure, the Henderson Chamber will be relaunching the Henderson Business Resource Center – the oldest business incubator in the State of Nevada. The Henderson Chamber of Commerce will continue its path of providing a pathway to affordable health insurance through its Association Health Plan. The Chamber will continue to fortify its strategic partnerships with other stakeholders within the business community as well.
While the Henderson Chamber of Commerce has always provided great opportunities in marketing businesses and networking opportunities, I am most excited to further our advocacy on behalf of and with our members. The Chamber’s footprint on local, regional, state and federal issues has grown so much since I first joined in 2012. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to assist the Chamber and its members in growing it even more.
You can learn more about Aviva Gordon, Esquire, on her website at gordonlawlv.com.
We've missed you!
Starting in April, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce is taking a phased approach to resume in-person events with the offer to attend events that will remain virtual for the time being. These currently virtual events include the New Member Briefing, Virtual Business Speed Networking, Chamber Chat and Roadmap to Success. We recognize the need for our member business community to network in-person to build important relationships and referrals. And we are excited to welcome you back to the events you know and love, like our Networking Luncheon.
The health and safety of our members and staff is of the utmost importance. As the state of Nevada's response to COVID-19 evolves, our in-person events will include measures to promote safety and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If you choose to attend our events in-person, the environment will promote social distancing and event protocols guided by the CDC and Southern Nevada Health District. We will be observing capacity restrictions so please be patient with the team as events may sell out due to these restrictions.
Will I have to wear a mask at Chamber events?
Yes, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce is requiring attendees to wear a mask upon entering, exiting and moving about the space. Once attendees have been seated and are socially distanced, masks may be removed. All venue and Chamber staff not seated will be required to wear a mask throughout the event.
Can I shake hands, hug, fist bump or elbow bump?
The Henderson Chamber of Commerce is promoting social distancing and asking attendees to refrain from physical contact including hugs, handshakes, fist bumps and high fives. However, if you are wearing a jacket or long sleeve top, we encourage a friendly elbow bump!
"Henderson Chamber plan helps businesses save on health care."