6 Steps to Increase Donor Response Through Offer Optimization
3. Set the stage
Graves said it's important to set the stage for your messaging strategy by:
- Contemplating questions to ask supporters that assist in tailoring campaign messaging
- Identifying additional means for data collection and donor engagement
- Being careful to not share too much of your data (or the appearance of that) to prevent unnerving supporters — "Big Brother" syndrome, so to speak
4. Establish campaign messages
Graves added that you have to establish strong connections and missions of your campaign to build a fundraising strategy. That includes taking into consideration what parts of the campaign are best suited for personalization to maximize the impact and investment.
5. Synchronize across channels
To truly optimize your fundraising offer, you have to integrate and synchronize the creative across every channel — e-mail, website, social media, direct mail, etc. — Shapalis said. Your message has to be consistent across all the channels through which your supporters connect with you to convert as many donors as possible and increase retention. Plus, as studies have show, she added, multichannel donors are the most lucrative donors.
6. Tweak and retool
Fundraisers and consultants everywhere trumpet the importance of testing, and for good reason: Not every message inspires donors the way you had intended, Shapalis said. That's why it's important to test, test and then retest because little tweaks can make a big difference. You should never be satisfied with your control.
To wrap up the session, the presenters offered the following final thoughts.
- Resource allocation — ensure the bones of your database structure can support your program in the short term and the long term.
- Be mindful of how much is too much with personalization and data sharing.
- Identify the key interest groups of your donor base through data.
- Understand the facts of who is one your housefile. Don't rely on gut feelings!
- Have the conversation — engage in a dialogue early in the process to developed a better rapport with your team and your donors.
- Be willing to take risks.
- Be patient, and plan for the expected and unexpected issues that inevitably give you problems when executing a campaign.
- Be mindful of costs, and development partnerships to get the most bang for fundraising campaign buck.
- You must test to determine if the ROI — both financially and staffing resources) justifies the campaign.