Tuesday, December 22, 2015

To integrate or not to integrate: That is the Question

It seems that integrating your fundraising messaging makes sense. 

But what is integration? And is it worth it?

I think it depends on what is your definition of integration, and how widespread it could be.

Let’s look at integration options for a direct mail appeal.  Assuming the same theme, images, story are being used there are all these options for integration for your current donors.  (There are loads more if you include potential supporters – I am just concentrating on current donors, though you may pick up some new ones too).
  • Direct mail appeal letter
  • Home page lightbox / hijack (a pop up when you visit the page
Amnesty International's home page hijack
  • Home page ad (not just a ‘donate now’ button: A call to action referring to the campaign)
  • Facebook updates relevant to your campaign

  • Upload donor emails to Facebook and tailored advertising to them on Facebook
  • Other social media updates
  • Bespoke landing/donate page reinforcing the message
  • Bespoke thank you / what you are achieving landing page
    • Link to share with friends
  • Pre mailing phone call (‘Hi, there is a really important letter coming your way, please can you look out for it?’)
  • Pre mailing email (as above – short email with donation link)
  • Direct mail follow up letter (or letters)
  • Post mailing email (‘Hi – did you get my letter about…’)
  • Post mailing call (as above)
  • Donation thank you email and link to ‘what you are achieving’
  • Second donation ask by phone ‘thank you for your $xxx but I am still short of target’
  • Second donation ask by email ‘thank you for your $xxx but I am still short of target’
  • Second donation ask by mail ‘thank you for your $xxx but I am still short of target’
  • Phone all donations over $x by CEO or someone else really important
  • Post campaign event to explain what is being achieved to top donors
    • Invitations to that event
  • Personal visits for really high donations
  •  …. I’m sure there are more…

Wow.  A load of options there.  And each one will maybe increase revenue by a little bit, and definitely increase costs a bit (time as well as actual expenditure).

So should you bother, and if so – which of the many options are the priority?

First thing to note is that outside of emergencies, the majority of the income is likely to be triggered by your direct mail.  So another direct mail chaser is probably the best option for boosting income at a reasonable cost.

Also, a fair proportion (and it grows every year) will likely donate online. So having the campaign at least mentioned or featured on your home page makes sense, and having a dedicated landing page to back that up would be a good idea.

Following up high value donors by phone is almost certainly going to be a good idea. 

But all the other things are likely to have marginal impact – even pre and post emails.  I recommend that if you do do pre and post emails, you keep the costs down by making the pre email really short and the post email the same as the direct mail letter, but with URL links whenever there is an ask.

If you are expecting to raise a LOT (say over $1,000,000) from your appeal then possibly all of the above integration ideas should be implemented. After all, a 3% boost from pre and post emails is worth $30,000 - but below that you really need to work out the extra income generated and the cost to do that.  It could be marginal.

If anyone has any more tests to share about these please let me know!

I have a workshop coming up in Auckland  in February on integration (and Facebook) register here

And also a shorter intro and tips (free) webinar (register here).

Hopefully see you there!


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