Special Report: Pulling It All ?Together: Smart Channel-Integration Strategies
Study after study shows that the multichannel donor has a higher long-term value than the single-channel donor. The donor who gives through and receives communications from multiple channels typically donates more frequently, has a higher average gift and stays active for a longer period of time.
The key is to bring these folks in using one channel, then use the honeymoon period (30 to 45 days post action or donation) to get them to convert through a second channel. Then you've got the makings of a ?winning integrated program!
Direct-mail donors are most likely to donate again when they've recently given, and it's no different when you're integrating your fundraising channels. That person who just joined your e-mail list? Make a case for why you need his or her financial support on the phone or through direct mail, and you've just increased the value of that donor — and thus your donor file — without having to increase your file size! You've also acquired a donor without list-rental fees, and he's more likely to stay on your file longer, give more frequently and give higher gifts.
If you're just getting started with integrating your online and offline programs, here's what you need to do to get your channels talking to each other:
1. Ask for an e-mail address on everything. And I mean everything: direct-mail packages, inbound and outbound telemarketing calls, major-donor pledge forms, and all your online forms (donation, e-mail sign-up, petition, forward-to-a-friend). And don't forget to add an e-mail join widget to your Facebook group.
2. If you aren't able to directly ask for an e-mail address, send the potential donor to your Web site, where you have an e-mail sign-up form waiting — along with a good reason to join! Add your Web site URL to your public service announcements, press releases, major-donor collateral, print newsletters, social-networking profiles, DRTV ads and anything else you send out.
3. Add new online donors and constituents to your next direct-mail acquisition mailing — it's a "warm" file with no list-rental fees!
4. The recent "Wired Wealthy" study by Convio, Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research suggests that up to 50 percent of people who ?receive your direct-mail packages check out your organization online before making gifts, even if they make those gifts through the mail. This is especially true among people considering gifts of $1,000 or more. Look at your Web site from this perspective: Does the main content echo the issues in your mail? Are your mailing address, annual report and financial statements up-to-date and easy to find? Does your Web site communicate that your donors' dollars will go toward programs that effectively and efficiently meet ?your mission?