How to Include Text Messaging in Your Year-End Omnichannel Campaign
As four out of five nonprofits now either have a text messaging program or are planning to start one, some nonprofits will add text messaging to their year-end campaign for the first time this year.
With nonprofits already using several year-end channels — like direct mail, email, social and paid digital — where and how does text messaging fit in?
Since 90% are opened within the first three minutes, text messaging also offers a near-instant line of communication to donors. Texts will usually reach donors much faster than social, search and digital ads, which have to wait for donors to visit social platforms or search the internet.
What Drives Text Messaging ROI?
What moments then within a year-end campaign are best for utilizing text messaging’s high engagement and immediate reach? If you’re thinking of time-sensitive, deadline-focused moments, you’re on the right track. I’ve seen many examples last year and this year where fundraising texts performed best when they’re time sensitive and near the end of a campaign.
If we apply this to year-end campaigns, fundraising texts sent closer to critical giving moments may outperform texts that are more spread out. For example, multiple fundraising texts on GivingTuesday may outperform those spread out the week leading up to GivingTuesday. Similarly, multiple fundraising texts on Dec. 30 and 31 may have higher ROI than spreading texts out Dec. 26 through Dec. 31.
Integrating Texting into a Year-End Campaign
Does this mean text messages should only be sent close to fundraising deadlines? No, like any channel, only asking for donations can decrease channel engagement and effectiveness.
So how then does text messaging fit into an omnichannel year-end campaign? While direct mail letters will often arrive from mid-November to mid-December, text messaging should complement digital channels used throughout November and December.
As an example, text messaging may complement an early November cultivation email to report back on the impact of past gifts to donors. With email deliverability hurdles and lower open rates, too many donors may not see that email. Texting can ensure donors see their impact and are warmed up to give again prior to year-end giving.
While fundraising emails may be more spread out leading up to GivingTuesday, fundraising texts may be focused more on or near GivingTuesday.
Heading into December, it’s important to not go silent with text messages until late December. While late-December fundraising texts may perform best, text messaging should often mirror your digital engagement and fundraising communications throughout December. Texting’s immediacy can provide value to donors during the busy holiday season, such as timely messages on volunteering, holiday wish lists, events and donating this calendar year.
Tracking Texting’s Direct and Assisted Conversions
Text messaging proved that it could be a strong direct response fundraising channel back in 2010 when text messaging raised $43 million after the Haiti earthquake.
For year-end campaigns, It’s obviously important to track your direct conversions from texts. That’s often done via Google Analytics, separate donation forms or your texting platform.
But it’s also equally important to track how text messages may lift other channels. Last year, M+R found that adding text messaging to an existing email fundraising program can increase the revenue raised per person by 25% to 50%.
Heading into your year-end campaign, ensure you have a way to track who on your texting list is also receiving email, direct mail and digital ads — and who is not. That will allow you to compare the conversion rate and average gift across other channels for those who did and did not receive text messages.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Related story: 4 Ways to Quickly Grow Your Nonprofit's Text Messaging List
Mike Snusz brings 20 years of digital fundraising experience to his role as director of nonprofit customer experience at Tatango. Today, Mike closely partners with Tatango's nonprofit customer to maximize the impact text marketing can have to further their mission.
Prior to Tatango, Mike spent 15 years at Blackbaud, leading a team of digital consultants focused on increasing nonprofit fundraising. Mike started his nonprofit career managing the Ride For Roswell in 2003.