Fri, November 30 2012

5 tips for better orchestrating your messages this holiday

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials • Marketing essentials •

If you want the best response to your outreach this holiday, focus on creating surround sound around your supporters.  You want to project the same messages via multiple channels in a well-orchestrated marketing symphony.

How do you do that?  Roger Craver had some good tips in Fundraising Success that focused on retention. Here are five ways to better orchestrate your messages this holiday, inspired by his thinking.

1. Create one message or theme and build on it. You want your outreach via email, direct mail, telephone, social media, mobile, etc. to sound like variations on a theme - not unrelated music.  Pick a key idea and reinforce it through each medium through which you contact supporters.

2. Contact supporters in multiple ways. The best way to build a relationship with donors is to acknowledge the fact that people like to give in a variety of venues: email, direct mail, Facebook,etc.  There are not just pure “online donors” and “mobile donors"and “direct mail” donors - there are donors who choose to mix it up.  Research shows donors give the most - and stay the longest - when you take this approach.

3. In each form of outreach, reference other ways to connect.  Put web addresses for online giving in your direct mail.  Put postal addresses on your website.  And so on.

4. Experiment.  Roger notes that some organizations have success when they send text messages to donors the day direct mail hits.  Others find better responses by sending emails a little while after a direct mail piece lands.  Test different combinations and timing to see what works best for you.

5. Plan around the donor.  Get all of these pieces playing together by creating a comprehensive plan around the donor (rather than having each department at your organization doing their own thing).  You want harmonic sense for your supporters—a lovely set of surround sound rather than a cacophony of ad hoc outreach!  So make a calendar from the donor perspective and confirm your supporters are getting the right messages, through the right channels at the right times.

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