It’s always fun to recap the year with great client success stories. We had a lot this year and I wanted to highlight a few throughout 2011 that really stood out ranging from advocacy, social media gone viral, housefile growth to epic multi-channel strategies. Check out the following top 5 client success stories of 2011:
MULTI- comes from the Latin word mulus which means MANY & MUCH. There are way more words out there than I originally thought that start with multi-. So, I thought I'd share a few, and they just might help you improve your Words with Friends score or answer some random trivia questions.....
5. multi-tasker – the performance of multiple tasks at one time
4. multi-loquent – speaking much; loquacious
3. multi-ped – an organism with many feet; as, a centipede
2. multiplicity – the quality of being multiple; as, a multiplicity of thoughts
1. multi-channel – pertaining to communications, usually full duplex, on more than one channel simultaneously
And, now that you have a few more words to use on game night, check out the top 5 blog posts this year on my #1 favorite multi- word... multi-channel!
You’ve got 2 weeks until the end of 2011, 1 week before you’re on vacation, and maybe a few hours to address all those miscellaneous tasks fighting for your attention so if you haven’t made your end-of-year fundraising plan before now it’s just too late right? Not if you keep it simple!
End-of-year fundraising is important but you don’t need to over-engineer your message, especially for the final days of the year, if you’re short on staff or time. A simple, compelling and straightforward message can out-perform a message with fancy holiday graphics and will definitely outperform not sending a message at all.
Here is a fun EOY Fundraising Campaign Mad-Lib that you can use to create your campaign in just 15 minutes!
Ken Cantu is a program manager in Convio's services department.
It’s that time of year when the holidays just start barrel rolling into one another and before you know it, they’re over and it’s 2012. So before all that happens, I wanted to share an amazing Client story from the Food Bank For New York City (FBNYC). Thanksgiving is obviously a busy time of year for food banks. With over 1.5 million New Yorkers who rely on FBNYC’s programs and services, Thanksgiving is always a large initiative. Each year, FBNYC distributes turkeys, chicken roasters, vegetables, and other nutritious food items to those in need during the Thanksgiving holiday. Knowing whether or not a food assistance program receives state funding, has a freezer or not, and what type of program they are – not to mention the fact that certain individuals work at soup kitchens AND food pantries – communicating with their network about how to order can obviously be very complicated. In the past, FBNYC would send an email that would print 10 pages long. Network members would then have to sift through the order categories to find the instructions that apply to their programs. Everyone would get a single email loaded with information that didn’t pertain to them.
Using the Convio database, FBNYC is now able to segment their emails so that food assistance programs receive only the instructions relevant to them. Utilizing the database, the Food Bank can identify whether a contact is from a soup kitchen, food pantry, low-income day centers; whether they receive state funding; if they have a freezer; etc. Thanks to a system of fully-imbedded conditionals, the men and women who are on the ground, providing healthy meals on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year, can easily learn what they need to do to be fully prepared for the holiday. “Donors are now given just the message that they need,” explained Daniel Buckley, Senior Online Communications Manager at FBNYC. “Not a 10 page email that includes 4-5 different options.” Convio’s database enabled FBNYC to store information in different ways, allowing them to effectively communicate to different segments.
“These are the people that are the soul of our mission. They are on the frontlines. And being able to communicate to them effectively is key.”
This year FBNYC was able to distribute over 10,000 turkeys and chicken roasters as well as thousands of pounds of potatoes, carrots, onions and apples. Thanks to the support of their donors and volunteers, families in need throughout the five boroughs in New York City had a warm, nutritious meal with their friends and family on Thanksgiving. Be sure to check out the organization's blog to get a close and personal report on the hunger front lines of Thanksgiving Day.
For years, the bane of every email marketer's existence has been staying off of the dreaded spam filter and staying in good graces with readers. But now, it seems there is another challenge facing email marketers, and it's worth your time to keep it in mind. Call it bacn, bacon, or graymail, it's that "other" kind of email - not personal, not spam - that's making it harder and harder to get noticed in an overflowing inbox.
Microsoft has recently announced that they are increasing their efforts to help filter out the cacophony in Hotmail. Not too long ago, Google also introduced a feature in Gmail called Priority Inbox, which has automatic classification of the importance of an email based on their criteria, but also allows users of the service to train the Gmail filter what is and is not "important", and higher prioritized, email. From Apple Mail to a half a dozen inbox monitoring services, there are all kinds of hurdles out there for email marketers to jump in order to stay not only off of the spam list but also on the radar.
There's not much any of us can do to stop the filtering systems and bacn overload that plagues email inboxes. Unlike spam filters, which seemed to have more specific rules to protect against malicious behavior, this is really about helping readers from being overloaded by the noise and missing the signals. Usable, consumable emails are more important now than ever. So what is an email marketer to do - especially one who is busy and stretched too thin already? To help facilitate the conversation about what you can do to get your email noticed, I've compiled a short list here of suggestions we offer all of our clients (with a few brief explanations of each), but would love to hear from you what you've found to be successful for your organization.
In the U.S alone, it's estimated that 35% of American adults use a smartphone. And, 87% of them are accessing the internet and email with these phones. If you look at your email on a smart phone, and there is any moment that you need to pinch, zoom, re-orient, or squint, it'd be wise to do a little tweaking to make it more consumable on the go.
It's not polite to categorize people based on just a little information that you know about them in person. But when it comes to email, there's nothing wrong with boxing people up. Segmenting your audience by using data you already have (or data that they likely will volunteer to you) is a great way to make sure you're sending the right information to the right people. You would never solicit major gifts from the $15 donor. Yet with email, it seems there's often a lack of clarity on the audience that results in blanket emails. This can be a turn-off to the over-emailed masses who don't want to guess whether the content in your email will have anything to do with their interests.
Obfuscating unsubscribe opportunities won't get you in anyone's good graces. But, adding options for contact frequency can be a great way to help get readers to stay on your list and get the information that they want. Not everyone wants every alert that you send out, but giving readers an option to only receive one email a month, or only receive important action alerts, helps to encourage subscribers that you're listening, and you want to do something that's convenient for both of you.
The time users spend looking at email is getting shorter all of the time. Studies show that users are spending less than a minute on average glancing at newsletters, and that's assuming they open them to begin with. I don't expect everyone to pour through the 586 page study on email newsletter usability, but understanding a very small time frame for capturing a reader's attention is worth a thought. If you have an action you want users to take, make it clear. If you want to inform your constituency about an event, a disaster, or an injustice, it's best to get to it, and quickly. Sometimes you only have the 3 minutes before the waitress gets to the table.
These are a just a few things to consider. What else are you doing to help ensure that your email gets seen?
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