Gather Ye Data — Just Be Sure to Use It Well
Earlier this year, I gave myself a whisper-thin, featherweight notebook computer for my birthday. I am giddy in love with this skinny beauty and its elegant performance, heart and soul. I know now why the brand has a cult following.
The setup process was blissfully easy, and after I registered my notebook online, I received a confirmation e-mail that made me smile. “Hi. Welcome … We’re just as excited as you are,” the headline read.
“You can’t possibly be,” I thought, having discovered in less than an hour after I powered it up how the notebook and the brand’s latest operating system would change my life in wonderful ways. Then the company thanked me for registering my new notebook, confirmed which product I had purchased and offered me several links in case I needed help with anything.
So imagine my reaction to the e-mail I received from it about a month later inviting me to stop by a retail store and test-drive the exact notebook I’d purchased.
While the direct marketer in me cringes, my love and loyalty as a consumer is undiminished — because I can no longer imagine my life without this company.
But how many donors have that reaction when a data disaster or segmentation screwup illustrates our utter failure to know who they are?
See me. Know me. Show me that I matter.
There are people in this world who have a rare and riveting capacity to pay attention to others with an intensity of focus that is seductive. You can be in a crowded room full of distractions, and yet it’s like you are the only person they can see or hear, no matter how many conversations are swirling around you.
I suggest that we do well as fundraisers when we endeavor to interact with donors with that level of interest and intent. When we demonstrate with every direct-marketing campaign that we do care to know them, and when we use what we know to show we’re paying attention, we prove to each donor individually that he or she matters.