5 Ways to Get the Most From Your Multichannel Fundraising Renewal Efforts
[Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from "The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising," the 131-page report from DirectMarketingIQ. It includes nine chapters, from leading fundraisers, on channel selection, messaging, direct mail, e-mail, mobile, social media, multichannel renewal, multichannel testing and more. It also features eight multichannel case studies on successful campaigns.]
A fundamental or “bedrock” element of all annual giving programs — regardless of type of organization — is the annual renewal effort. In most organizations, the renewal effort accounts for as much as 80 percent of all net income. No wonder. The concept of renewal is so powerful because it focuses on the donor’s sense of responsibility and accountability. Implicit is the tacit understanding in the donor’s psyche that “I made a commitment to support this organization last year, and now it’s time to renew that commitment.”
No matter what other programs you currently have in place, if you don’t have a renewal channel — and especially a multichannel program — you’re missing the boat big time.
Tips on getting the most from multichannel renewal efforts
Let me hasten to point out there is no right or wrong way to integrate the various channels into a productive whole. However, there are some best practices that have worked for me and lots of others. In the end, it’s up to you to test, test, test and determine what mix works best for your organization’s efforts.
Tip #1: Use same message regardless of medium
The classic renewal notice often appears in the form of an invoice or billing statement. Historically, of course, that’s something that once arrived in postal mail (and mostly still does), but guess what? It works as well when delivered by e-mail.
Consider adding a booster shot to your postal mail renewal notices by creating an e-mail follow-up to add some gravitas and urgency. For example, “I’ve been looking through our list of contributors and notice that you haven’t yet renewed.” Then continue your message by restating the key points in the postal mail, and include a link to an online renewal form.