Washington State Department of Revenue

Unclaimed Property Program: Integrated Marketing Campaign

GA Creative & Rich Marketing


Background information

The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) returns missing money to Washingtonians every day through its Unclaimed Property program. Companies that have lost contact with the owner of the assets turn the money over to the DOR–and it’s up to them to reunite this lost and forgotten money with its rightful owners. Common types of unclaimed property include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance proceeds
  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
  • Utility and phone company deposits
  • Customer credits
  • Uncashed checks–such as payroll, insurance payments, or traveler’s checks
  • Safe deposit box contents

The Unclaimed Property division has returned $1.2 billion to Washingtonians, as well as Washington businesses, non-profit organizations, and municipalities. The Department of Revenue has made it easy for people to see if they have missing funds. Residents simply go to the ClaimYourCash.org website to search. New assets are turned over every year, which means the state currently holds over $1.4 billion waiting to be claimed. That’s where we came in.

GA Creative and Rich Marketing were tasked to help get the word out and supplement DOR’s internal efforts including postcards and locator outreach.

Our advertising campaign goals were to increase awareness about the program and drive traffic to the website. We know that one in seven Washingtonians has unclaimed property, so our target audience was statewide. We led the Department of Revenue through the process of building a broad awareness and traffic-driving campaign and they increased staffing to support it.

Target Audience

Because one in seven Washingtonians has unclaimed property, our target audience was adults 18+ statewide.

Campaign objectives

  • Increase awareness about the program
  • Drive traffic to the website to search for unclaimed property
  • Increase the number of claims searched and submitted


The state’s privacy laws are strict, and it took some work and many conversations with various leaders to ensure that the tracking pixels on their website and Facebook page adhered to their guidelines yet gave us the insights we needed to measure the success of the campaign.

Their new website did not have event tracking set up in Google Analytics, so we set up a UCP event funnel to track events categorized as conversions including:

  • Claims searched
  • Claims cart
  • Claims information
  • Claims preview
  • Claims summary – Submitted (for all claims – including those that don’t require documentation)
  • Claims document Upload (for claims that require additional documentation)
  • Claims document upload – success (for claims that uploaded all necessary documentation)

While there was a desire to reach Spanish-speaking residents, the website was not yet translated into Spanish. Once the Spanish translation is complete, we will incorporate Spanish radio and social into the mix.

Methods and Strategies

We led the Department of Revenue through the process of building a broad awareness and traffic-driving campaign.Here’s how:

Our recommendation for an integrated media strategy included a mix of traditional, digital, and social media working together to grow awareness, increase traffic to the website, and boost conversions through remarketing.

Awareness and prospecting tactics, like radio, efficiently reach the greatest population across the state.
Traffic-driving tactics, including digital ads and social media ads, point people to the website with an easy click-through format.

Remarketing tactics are implemented as first-party data metrics build, to drive users who have shown interest to the next step in the claim-submission process.

The creative developed for this campaign took a vibrant, fun, alliterative approach and includes:

Broadcast television and radio: Using theater of the mind, we created awareness, inspired action, and urged actions online. Radio partnerships included a mix of paid ads as well as on-air DJ interviews, including testimonials about how much money they had found themselves.

Digital media: Using a mix of digital display ads, also known as banner ads, as well as native ads that encourage people to click through to check for unclaimed property of their own. The four unique creative units were then created in all the standard 7 digital ad sizes.

Social media: Use a mix of image and other format ads to educate and create engagement.

Website: The website was updated to align with the campaign creative.


By setting up a real-time dashboard that pulls in metrics from the programmatic Basis ad platform, Meta, and Google Analytics, we can see the performance of the campaign–and continually optimize to improve results.

  • In just the first two months of the campaign:
    150K new users to the site – up 43% from the previous 60 days
    Month 1: 9,811 claims processed – up 40% from the previous year and $9.3 million refunded – up 116% from the previous year
    Month 2: 11,031 claims processed – up 28% from the previous year and $9.6 million refunded – up 85% from the previous year

Using A/B testing we identify the best-performing creative units and media tactics and employ TruAudience to capture high-level interest-based information about those coming to the site which in turn is informing future creative personas – from cooking and gardening, to travel, pets (favoring cats), camping, and sports (favoring skiing and baseball).