5 Tips for Doing a Brilliant Re-engagement Campaign
Let's face it: Attrition happens. Despite our best efforts to make sure we have excellent email subject lines, have effective A/B testing of our messages and are sending relevant and engaging information, people drop off of our lists.
Based on the latest numbers available — CauseVox published that for 2017 — donor retention was 45.3%. The gift retention rate was 48%, and for every $100 gained by nonprofits in that same year, they experienced $96 in losses because of gift attrition.
When there's much more need in our communities, this is the perfect time to consider doing a re-engagement campaign. It could help you raise more funds at a time when nonprofits have strained under the stress of fundraising losses.
What’s a Re-Engagement Campaign?
In considering your unique fundraising ideas for spring, a good thing to add is a re-engagement campaign. Remember, it costs you less to re-engage previous supporters than it does to get new ones. So, what’s a re-engagement campaign? In short, this campaign gets targeted to donors who haven't responded to calls to action or opened an email in a certain period of time. Usually, you want to target people who haven't engaged in more than one year, but you could check in with people who haven't engaged based on their usual schedule.
5 Tips to Get Your Donors Back to Giving
1. Segment your list.
First, you should take a look at your list and segment people into different groups. Those who have not responded in a year will likely remember you. Donors who haven't engaged with you in three years or more may not recall you. So, you want different messaging for your segments. You could be more familiar with those who recently stopped engaging.
2. Ask people if they want to remain on your list.
While you aim to retain as many people as possible, you don't want people on your list who’ve moved on and aren't coming back. As you know, it skews your reporting. In short, you want people on your list who you want to support you. Therefore, it’s OK to ask from time to time if they want to stay on your list. Remind them of the work you do, and chances are, many will choose to continue.
3. Give your supporters options.
For donors who have supported you, there's something that motivated them to give. However, perhaps they haven't engaged in a while because they've got way too many emails. Inboxes are overflowing, and things get easily lost or deprioritized. A great strategy to engage and retain donors is to give them options. Offer them the opportunity to manage their subscription preferences.
4. Ask your donors for their feedback.
A great way to get people re-engaged is to ask them their opinions! For instance, you could ask them why they signed up and what content most resonates with them. Getting this kind of information is valuable because it helps you define what different donors want to receive from you. Perhaps some want to know about broader issues, and others want more human-interest stories.
5. Give them an offer.
Finally, another great tip you could use for your re-engagement campaign is to give your supporters something of value. As a nonprofit, perhaps you’ve got an informative resource (e.g., e-book) that you could give them. Alternatively, you could invite them to take a behind-the-scenes tour of your work, and then follow up with a virtual cocktail hour.
One final tip: remember that people might not see your first email. So, it makes sense to create an automated drip campaign. In doing so, you could reintroduce your donors to the work you do, give them relevant content and drive urgency.
Kristy Morris is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”