The Multichannel Renewal Campaign
Now … take the basic principles above and add in the multichannel media mix, and you have renewal on steroids.
The power of integration
The current buzz terms for using multiple channels of communication to raise money are "integrated fundraising" or "multichannel fundraising." Regardless of what you call it, one thing's for certain: Multichannel fundraising leads to better results and deeper donor relationships. Nowhere in the fundraising cycle is this truer than in the case of multichannel renewal campaigns. First, let's take a look at some recent history to explain why.
The near-universal use of the Internet for communications, sales and fundraising has brought the issue of multichannel marketing front and center. In the past, direct mail, TV and the telephone were combined to improve fundraising results. Even before the Internet, there was irrefutable evidence that the use of the telephone — the most active channel because of the power of the human voice — was an effective way to renew and upgrade donors who were floating in the more passive channel of direct mail.
Thus, marrying a direct-mail renewal notice with a telephone call reinforcing that notice and the importance of the donor continuing his/her annual support is the best and most classic multichannel example.
Why is the telephone such an important and powerful channel?
As Canadian fundraiser David Love notes, "No one has ever made wet dash out of the bathtub to open a letter, but they have to answer a ringing telephone." Thus the difference between an active and passive channel.
Now, when you add e-mail, video, conference calls, photo albums, slide shows and a host of other techniques easily and inexpensively available, you quickly see why today's wired world creates amazing opportunities for renewing support.
But what about the old rule that donors who come in via one channel should be renewed through that channel? This belief has been reinforced by the unfortunate existence of powerful direct-mail and Web silos in most organizations where never the twain meet.