5 Internet Strategy-building Musts
Engage with visitors/donors by offering giving options like e-cards, online monthly giving, tribute gifts and matching gifts. And educate them by providing updated content that keeps them informed and gives them a reason to return to your site. The bottom line is to make it easy for visitors to find the services they’re interested in, Habig said. And when they give, send online acknowledgements or welcome packages telling them what your organization is using their gift for before you ask for more money.
Lastly, entertain donors by holding virtual events that they can participate in, create a gift catalog, and feature video and audio as well as flash animation on your site.
3. Harnessing e-mail. Cutting-edge technology is essential to sending e-mails and tracking their results. “Don’t use Outlook!” the presenters warned. E-newsletters are great for donor stewardship and cultivation. And e-appeals are great for fundraising, but don’t over solicit because it’s too easy for recipients to opt-out if they feel bombarded.
Multi-wave campaigns are another technique. An example of this is a campaign by PetSmart Charities, which mentioned a fundraising campaign in its newsletter and then sent out e-appeals for the campaign shortly afterward.
Testing e-campaigns is as important as testing direct mail. Test things like timing (what’s the best day of the week to send out an e-mail?), the subject line and the “from” line (should it be the organization’s president’s name or the organization’s name?).
4. Synchronizing media. Offline and online efforts need to work together, and fundraisers should work to move people from strictly offline or online constituents to multi-channel constituents. Develop an over-arching schedule for offline and online efforts and coordinate, schedule and time your media, testing things like whether an e-mail appeal should go before or after a direct-mail piece in a campaign. Promote online monthly giving programs, as they’re more cost and time efficient.