Content. Your message. Your story. Your needs. It’s that information that you are trying to convey to your audience whether it be a specific call to action, news piece, announcement or thank you message. In today’s world there is an abundance of places where you present this content. You have direct mail, your website, social media sites, email and other various offline marketing materials or happenings. So how do you bundle it all up and tie it with a bow, while maintaining a cohesive message and your sanity? Recycle your content.
Sure, your messaging and language will need to be a little different to fit the specific channel where you are sharing this, but don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel for each channel. So many times we can fall into the trap of having one person working on direct mail, another on email, another on social media, and so on. This can lead to duplicated efforts and non-cohesive messaging.
Instead of continuing to work in silos, here is a simple step you can take to improve your multi-channel marketing efforts: set up a meeting. Pulling together your various teams or team members, sit down in one meeting room, and work out a plan to come up with your main marketing pieces across channels. Once you have an idea on what your “big picture” campaigns are, you can work together to pool content. Then, each individual marketing guru can re-work that content for the medium they specialize in.
For example, do you have your graphics already planned out for your next direct mail piece? Want to integrate it with your online? Use the same images and just dust them off a little bit, tailor them for the web and reuse them in your email marketing as well. Take it a step further and use the same tag line too! Integrating your campaigns can be as simple as the couple of steps that it take to simply recycle your content.
Have other tips and ideas? Please share them here!
Working with small, resource-strapped nonprofits, we often find that many have the same questions about engaging new supporters: How often should we communicate? Are we saying too much? Too little? What’s the best way to approach someone who’s never been in contact with our organization? What tools do we need? What channels should we use? What should our message be?
To help the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (a nonprofit medical research organization) find the answers, the Convio Go! team helped design a quirky multi-part campaign to engage new supporters and build their file. Read on for a good example of how to capture and keep the attention of new supporters.
1. Select the right campaign structure
With limited funds and a desire to reach a wide target of potential supporters, OMRF opted for an incentive campaign—specifically, a giveaway. The goal of an incentive campaign is to increase awareness about your organization and attract potential supporters who identify with the work you do.
The email campaign was original and hard to ignore: OMRF emailed their existing supporters with a Tell-a-Friend-eCard that featured a chance to win a “Geek Pack” (including protective goggles and personalized lab coat). This pass-it-on eCard encouraged recipients to register to win. Completion of an online registration form on the OMRF website captured the recipient’s email address and other relevant information required in order to be eligible for the Geek Pack.
2. Establish a clear pathway to participate
To keep the momentum going, OMRF engaged email recipients further with a brief eCard reminding them to register to win and inviting them to forward funny content (in this case uber-cool eCards which OMRF designed based on a Convio template) promoting the campaign to family and friends. OMRF also sent out a thank you for entering eCard that kept the pass-it-on theme alive by reminding entrants that they could further increase their odds of winning every time they passed the eCard along.
3. Continue the conversation with a welcome series
Entrants that opted-in to receive future communications from OMRF were sent a two-part welcome series of communications that introduced the organization and suggested ways to learn more and get involved.
Because supporters are usually the most passionate when they first engage with an organization (Go! participants commonly see high open rates in the 25-30% range with click-through rates averaging around 3%), the welcome series was a great way for OMRF to keep the momentum generated by its creative campaign going. It also helped evolve participants’ interest beyond the level of a fun diversion to an actively supported cause.
OMRF supporters were proud to expose their “inner nerd". Many of their supporters forwarded information about the foundation's cause - to the tune of a 9% response rate. The efforts of these supporters combined to build community awareness and help the “research is cool. pass it on.” message reach more than 300 new inboxes.
Identifying a core group of outgoing supporters proved to be a game-changing strategy for OMRF as they successfully ramped up their online fundraising efforts.The foundation continued to work with their Go! team of consultants, trainers, and hands-on production assistants to execute the full 12 months of best-practice online communications—and their biggest gains were yet to come.
To read more about OMRF’s success story or learn how Convio Go! can help you identify, develop and execute the best list-building strategy for your organization, visit www.convio.com/omrf
To learn more about the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), please visit http://www.omrf.org
Originally posted on Constant Commentary, here's four tips from Caroline Shahar at Constant Contact on how to increase the open rate on your nonprofit's emails. After all, you have to communicate with your constituents to even begin to engage.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of working on new and exciting ways to fundraise, have you ever stepped back and just thought to yourself “Why do ‘we’ give? Why do I give?” It is easy to get caught up in the next best thing in social media or the latest story for this month’s fundraising appeal. With all the chaos that non-profit professionals juggle, it can also be easy to lose sight of the heart of the matter. But, perhaps taking a moment to pause and do so could open up our eyes to a whole new fundraising “vision”. By better understanding why people give and who donors are, we can better communicate with them.
While doing a little research recently, I came across several studies that looked deep into the matter of demographics: what age group gives to whom, which ethnicity prefers giving to which types of non-profits, and the list goes on. There are many numbers, theories and statistics floating around. I started to think to myself, “OK, this is a lot of great information, but I think it could be looked at little simpler”. What is the true heart of the matter? It’s your donors – who they are and what inspires them. What are donors? People. They are people like you and me, people affected in some way by a disease, or disaster, or financial circumstance. While maybe not directly affected by misfortune, we all seem to know someone or somehow have been touched some issue that a non-profit organization strives to fix. We have a connection, whether it be personally or just in our intrinsic nature to feel and care. In Storytelling and the art of Email Writing, M+R put it simply, and I think best. They say that we give for the following reasons:
It makes us happy. Flat out, we just feel like “good people” when we give.
It makes us feel important. Donating our money or time to the greater good makes us feel like we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves. And, that is a good feeling.
We want to be part of a success story. Hey, if a horrible disease can be cured, who wouldn’t want to say they had something to do with it?
Others are giving. It’s in our nature to want to jump on the bandwagon of something good. While we may not think to give on our own, when we see others doing it – our friends, family, celebrities, etc. – we want to be a part of that too.
Taking a look at our core, our human nature to enjoy feeling happy, important, successful and communal, it is easy to understand why we give. Understanding why we give can help better craft our interactions with our donors, our community. Next time you are working on a fundraising appeal, keep these simple things in mind and remember that your donors are like you. People. Good people. After writing it, read your appeal outloud back to yourself. Would you give?
Guest blog alert: Donna from Charity Dynamics (a Convio Solution Provider) is sharing an real-life example of how integrated marketing and fundraising helped a nonprofit increase online revenue by more than 100%. Wow! If ever there was a doubt in your mind about the multichannel approach, this will dispel it. Thanks Donna for contributing this excellent example of multichannel success!
A couple of weeks ago I shared some insights on integrating online and offline fundraising channels for strong results. While that’s all well and good, there’s nothing like seeing an organization put these tips into practice and learning from their example.
In 2009 Volunteers of America looked to get more out of their online fundraising program by tapping into the power of integrated online and offline fundraising. As a result, online revenue originating from direct mail integration increased from 12% to 28% from 2009 to 2010!
How’d they do it?
- Keep a consistent message in front of donors. In online and offline messaging we presented similar design elements, including images, colors and stories. (Check out the graphic, that's an example of an email we sent as part of an integrated campaign.)
- Introduce online landing pages in the direct mail pieces to encourage donations be made through an additional channel.
- Provide shorter, more direct asks in online appeals.
- Varying online appeal messaging to either notify donors of an impending arrival ("you'll soon be receiving") or as a follow up ("you recently received") of a direct mail piece.
What were the results?
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