Maximize Donor Engagement With Multichannel Integration
Another essential integration technique in today’s increasingly online-driven world is to gather e-mail addresses offline. Collect them on reply devices in your direct mail. Ask for e-mail addresses on telemarketing calls and at events. And make sure to tell donors what they’ll get in return for providing their e-mails, such as a newsletter, special event documents, etc., Millea suggested.
Social media provides another excellent channel, and Millea said fundraisers should encourage their donors to connect through social media and stay active in the conversations.
“The good old-fashioned word-of-mouth mechanism works, and social media makes that easier than ever,” she said. “Facebook offers us an area for conversations we may not otherwise be able to have.”
To draw people from one channel to another, Millea offered these tips:
- Create a landing page/online donation form.
- Coordinate an e-mail schedule.
- Include a URL shortcut.
- Promote additional online activities to drive engagement, such as “View photos online.”
As an example of effective multichannel integration, Millea laid out the four-step process of the “Thanksgiving Feast for 1 Million” campaign by America’s Second Harvest (now called Feeding America). In the second half of October, the organization sent a direct-mail piece to donors. On Nov. 16, it sent its first follow-up e-mail reiterating the goal and theme of the campaign. Five days later, it sent a second follow-up e-mail that introduced another aspect of the campaign, a matching gift from Tyson Foods. Finally, on Nov. 30 the organization sent a third follow-up e-mail thanking donors and sharing the results of the campaign.
OMRF annual appeal
As another example, Lee discussed Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s April 2009 annual appeal. According to Lee, OMRF chopped down its mailing list to its 10,000 most active donors a couple of years ago and focused the annual appeal on one story, instead of many stories.