The Multichannel Renewal Campaign
Put that "Renew Now" button on the homepage along with a message that "even if you're not a member or donor, you can join now!"
Tip No. 3: Don't overlook mobile. I believe it won't be long before the smart mobile phone is the all-purpose transaction wallet in most donors' pockets or pursues. Until that day arrives, use the power of a text message to remind the folks whose mobile numbers you have that you've just sent them their annual renewal notices, thank them for past support and indicate you're counting on their continued help. Some of the pros I interviewed indicated that this technique boosts renewal response rates by as much as 25 percent.
Tip No. 4: Include the renewal concept and renew button in online alerts and urgent campaigns. There's no more certain way to trigger the vital sense in a donor's mind that my organization gets results and is active than to connect an urgent or highly topical Web article or action with a request for renewal. The connection between an urgent need and what's required to transform that need into success — support — is easily made with a "Renew Now" button.
Tip No. 5: Experiment with the mix and timing of channels. Some organizations have seen increases in renewal response rates by sending e-mails or SMS to donors the day the postal renewal notices are mailed urging them to look for the notices in the mail and respond quickly. Others have found greater response in using e-mail as a follow-up to the postal notice. And still others find that a before and after e-mail is just the ticket for boosting postal mail.
In virtually all cases, the use of the telephone — before or after — has worked wonders both in terms of response rates and average gifts. In fact, any renewal program that fails to include the telephone channel on key segments of its donor base is leaving very substantial money on the table and is doing less than it should to insure the retention of the very best donors. It doesn't really matter whether you or your board doesn't like telemarketing. The irrefutable fact is that it works!