Five Components of DRTV Fundraising Success
Credibility and accountability are every bit as important in DRTV as in direct mail. Challenge yourself and your agency to have one sentence or element that conveys your accountability quickly and succinctly. Tell a story that is uniquely you. What does your nonprofit have that makes you different from other nonprofits? But don't make your message so dire and hopeless that the audience tunes out. Donors like solving problems, so showing hope is an important element.
In terms of format, nonprofits generally stay with a problem/solution format, although for emergencies the news/documentary format is common. Testimonials -- often from celebrities -- have been used by many health-related nonprofits.
Finally, make it easy to respond. Tell the viewer what you want her to do, make sure she has time to capture the phone number or URL, and then offer the phone number or URL again at the end.
3. Media partner. Once you've created your perfect commercial, it's time to find a specialist media partner. Television time is costly, and the buys need to be as efficient as possible. Find an agency partner with a proven DRTV track record and one who understands that nonprofits are not into offering CDs or widgets. These specialist agencies have more leverage in the television market and can get you the best rates and bonus advertising. Your agency will be able to monitor TV ad time supply and demand, and place your advertising in periods when there is less demand and, therefore, lower prices.
Create a true partnership with your agency. Give the agency the information they need to make you successful. This includes daily reports on lead generation and back-end cost per donor so the team can adjust its buys accordingly. Drill down into your back-end information so that you and your agency are looking at ROI on each TV station, by each creative execution and by time of day. Actively manage the relationship -- which can mean phone calls several times a day during a campaign.