Digital Marketing and Fundraising
Here are a few things that will improve your website:
- Reduce the copy. Remember, visitors to your site are quickly scanning content, so the layout of each page must be visually compelling and not visually overwhelming.
- Format each paragraph with a strong but short message stating what you do.
- Use compelling, high-quality photos and videos — each graphic must tell a story.
- Offer clear, bold calls to action.
- Make it easy for your website to be shared. In fact, encourage it.
E-mail is the digital king
Earlier I shared that 98 percent of online users read and send e-mail; they just do it on a variety of different tools, such as their computers, iPads and smartphones. That’s why I claim e-mail is the digital king.
So what are some of the e-mail marketing best practices? Of course, the scheduling, offer, copy and graphic integration of e-appeals with traditional direct-mail appeals are givens. My focus here is the how to apply theses best practices in e-mails and e-appeals.
- First, we must be committed to careful and thoughtful testing. Though the “I think/you think” interpretations of results have value, the real value is in empirical test results.
- The e-appeal must have a compelling subject line. The definition of compelling is discovered through copy testing and the measurement of donation results.
- Having a recognizable “from line” is important. If the recipient does not recognize the sender, she is less likely to open the e-appeal. Currently we are incorporating both the nonprofit name and the executive director’s name in the “from line,” and we will be testing various formats.
- The nonprofit logo, call to action and key messages must all be above the fold line.
- Brief copy linking to your website.
- At least three calls to action.
- Easy and convenient e-appeal forwards and social-media share options.
- Easy opt-out: The recipient must be able to easily stop your e-appeals from showing up in his inbox.
- Currently, we believe the maximum number of e-communications (including gift thank-yous) is four a month.
- Blast the e-appeals Tuesday through Thursday during the day or Friday mornings. No weekends, evenings or holidays. Obviously, year-end or emergency appeals may be exceptions.
Using digital media to thank your donors
I am told that confession is good for the soul, and I have a confession. I’m on the board of a very small nonprofit, and I have a really good friend who gave us a $5,000 gift. The other day we were having coffee, and she mentioned that she never received a thank-you letter or a receipt for her gift. She is one of my best friends, she is very gracious and thankfully she gave us the same gift again this year.