The 7 Steps to Multichannel Success
When you woke up this morning, did you listen to the radio? Watch TV? Scan the newspaper? Hop online to check Facebook? Read the news feed on your phone? Check e-mail? Gasp! — talk to your spouse/partner/ roommate?
We live in a multichannel world. We're used to getting information from multiple sources. And so are donors. If we do it so easily in our daily lives, why is multichannel fundraising so hard?
There are a slew of reasons — some institutionalized by our organizations (housing online fundraising in the communications department) and others due to infrastructure challenges (smoothly functioning multichannel database, anyone?). Part of the challenge is that old habits die hard — those of us who "grew up" in a direct-mail world have a harder time thinking about online strategies than the 25-year-old whippersnapper who spent her college years using the Internet. And there's a good chance that 25-year-old doesn't know the first thing about direct-response fundraising! But aren't those really just excuses?
It's time for us to pull our heads out of the proverbial single-channel sand and overcome the obstacles to integration. Organizations that do are more likely to survive economic hard times with better retention, higher revenue per donor, higher levels of engagement, etc.
The data is irrefutable. A donor name with an e-mail address attached is worth 25 percent more than one without even if he never makes a donation online. This is old news to the telemarketing crowd, who figured out that a donor name with a phone number was worth 20 percent to 40 percent more than one without back in the olden days of the 20th century. (We assume that a donor name with a mobile number is worth more than that!)
Don't forget the Rule of Seven — the old marketing adage that says a consumer needs to see/hear your message seven times before taking action/buying your product. Watch any episode of "Mad Men" and you're reminded of the power of TV, print ads — and midday martinis?