Are Your Online and Offline Efforts in Sync?
Many organizations today have falling direct-mail response rates and little or no increase in online giving. Those are the Great Compromise organizations.
Others have stable (even improving) direct-mail results — and skyrocketing online giving. Those are the ones not shackled by the Compromise. If you want to keep raising funds in this changing environment, you need to be one of those organizations. Here's how:
Integrate and align your direct mail and your website, along with any other important fundraising channels. This means making some tough moves:
- Same calls to action in both places.
- Same obsessive focus on those calls to action.
- Same messaging.
- Same look and feel.
You may be saying, "Doing all that means the website won't be nearly as pretty as it is now. Vice President So-and-so will hit the ceiling!" It's true. That's the pain of ending the Great Compromise. The VPs will have to console themselves with the rising revenue.
The Web can do all kinds of cool things that direct mail will never be able to match: interactivity, social connectivity, multimedia messaging and more. Don't forget those things and end up with a website that's as static as your mail. Just make sure they exist in the same conceptual world as your successful offline fundraising.
Test like crazy
One of the advantages of online fundraising is that it's even more measurable and testable than direct mail. You can learn exactly what's working and not working.
Your testing should focus on whether donors are able to do what you want them to do: Are they getting lost somewhere between landing at your site and giving? If so, what are the barriers? Are they jumping ship somewhere during the online giving process?
You can know the answers to these questions. You can fix what's broken and improve what works.