What Is This Multichannel of Which You Speak?
On a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon a few months ago, I became a rabid online activist.
Curious about the current state of multichannel marketing and integration efforts, and, more specifically, about what nonprofit organizations are doing to convert online action takers to donors and members, I signed petition after petition. I took pledges. I contacted my elected representatives in Congress. I sent letters to the White House and the United Nations. And I signed up for a slew of e-news offers and action alerts. It was an exhausting, but illuminating, exercise.
Determined to do my part to advance the cause of integrated, multichannel marketing, I gave out my postal address freely, everywhere I could. I was surprised to discover that out of dozens of organizations, only 60 percent provided the means for me to offer my mailing information.
Sometimes you can’t even give it away
Roughly half required the address fields be completed, the vast majority of whom needed the information in order to send my petition or letter to my representative in Congress.
The American Humane Association and Chesapeake Bay Foundation had opt-ins to receive postal mail, which I happily checked in the affirmative. And during its petition submission process, the Brady Campaign’s privacy notice near the “submit” button alerted me that my e-mail address would not be traded or sold, but it might send me e-mail or postal mail in the future.
On several Web sites, I had to provide my name and address information repeatedly, first for the petition and again to sign up for an e-news offer, for example.
Accustomed to prepopulated forms and the “click if this is correct” button while shopping online, my experience on some nonprofits’ Web sites was almost as frustrating as dial-up Internet connectivity. Maybe it was because I’d been at it for hours, but were I a less determined online activist-to-donor conversion investigator, it could have been cause to bail.