Tips for Using the Web, E-mail and Social Networking to Net 'Wired Wealthy' Donors
In the pre-donation stage, organizations can rely on Google AdWords to build awareness, their Web site to upgrade knowledge about their mission and video to gain consideration by constituents. Once a person selects an organization by donating online, the post-donation phase should involve sending a thank-you e-mail to build satisfaction and loyalty, and e-mail marketing to encourage advocacy.
"As your donors move from stage to stage, do your strategies, tactics and objectives adapt?" Smith asked. "Supporters react differently to marketing messages depending on what stage of the [donor] lifecycle they are in."
He recommended organizations create a donor stewardship system that incorporates the "Rule of Seven," where donors are contacted seven times before they're asked for money.
- Send a thank-you card/letter.
- Send a holiday card.
- Send donor e-newsletter(s).
- Invite them to special event.
- Send something of value.
- Call them upon receipt of gift.
- Send information by e-mail or direct mail about the organization.
McKee Scott closed out the session by going over these seven tactic takeaways yielded from the "Wired Wealthy" study:
"The days of mass e-mailing are over," Scott said. She recommended organizations segment their files by donor level with targeted content (prospects, low dollar, middle and major); treat low-dollar donors as wired wealthy in waiting; and segment middle and major donor groups based on cohort (e.g., all business vs. relationship seekers vs. casual connectors).
2. Make your Web site engaging, inspiring and easy to use.
Tell more stories; avoid jargon and insider language; use vivid imagery; include "sticky" content (videos, quizzes, photo essays, actions); and make Web site navigation clear, easy to understand and intuitive.
3. Make sure your e-mail content is inspiring.
Cultivate donors by updating them on your progress. Tell them how their support is making a difference. Tell more stories, but don't try to tell too many stories in one e-mail. Don't be afraid of emotion. Use it to influence your donor decisions. Two statistics in an e-mail is one too many. Tell the story instead, Scott said.
4. Give donors what they already are adopting online.
This includes video, blog content (but avoid the word "blog"), podcasts, online donation processing and online tax receipts.
5. Integrate your marketing efforts.
Break through the departmental divide to work with your PR, communications, fundraising and programs teams to create integrated campaigns with cohesive messages and multiple engagements. Scott also advised integrating e-mail marketing with direct-mail efforts, as these are multichannel donors. Mirror offline efforts in the mail (e.g., renewal series); include a donation pathway on your Web site homepage for mail packages; and invite offline donors online (live webcasts, podcast series, etc.).