Target Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Email Communications for Better Results
Despite social media’s popularity, email communication continues to be an important tool in a nonprofit organization’s peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit. But even as email technology has become more sophisticated, many organizations still send out generic recruitment and fundraising emails to their constituents and participants.
In fact, Salesforce.org’s "2019 Fundamentals of Marketing and Engagement at Nonprofit Organizations Report" shows that 83% of organizations say they rely heavily on batch and blast email to communicate with constituents. Seventy percent say they do not differentiate their messaging to different constituents.
It’s time to turn this approach around by targeting your peer-to-peer fundraising communications. Doing so will make your emails more compelling and, ultimately, more effective.
Consider these ideas for creating more targeted and engaging email messages:
Have you ever received a “Please join us...” email after you’ve already registered for an event? Sometimes this happens because a constituent is using more than one email address or has duplicate (unmerged) constituent records.
Some of these issues are within an organization’s control (through regular data maintenance and deduplication efforts); while others, including constituents using different emails and slightly different names, are harder to identify and rectify. Regardless, every effort should be taken to maintain a clean data environment and create custom audiences with tailored messages.
Creating email audiences based on past participation, past team membership and past fundraising is important. By doing so, you can send targeted messages — such as an early announcement email to past team captains, inviting them to register and reclaim their teams for your current campaign. Targeted communications help foster a sense of importance in constituents as they receive “insider” information.
A few days after your early announcement, you could send an email to all past participants, excluding those who have registered. The hope would be that your general past participant audience will click through to see teams that have already been formed, with participants registered and fundraising for the new campaign — encouraging them to take action as well.
Continue to send recruitment emails to non-registrants with new messaging, and highlight early-bird discounts on a regular basis.
Instead of sending general emails to all participants, limit communication to specific sub-sections of registrants and focus calls-to-action on raising more funds overall. For example, send an email exclusively to participants who haven’t updated their personal fundraising pages, include examples of constituents who have done so and steps on how to upload their own image and story.
Another message could go out to participants who have updated their personal pages, but have not raised any money, to say, “Great job! Your page looks awesome.” Include tips for posting to social media and sample text for sending fundraising emails to friends. Yet another message could be created for team captains to share tips for recruiting additional team members.
Work toward automating your email and social media communications, so you have more time to focus on optimizing other aspects of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Just imagine the time savings if you can schedule and send peer-to-peer emails automatically after participants register, receive a donation or post to social media. Or if you can, create an entire communications calendar, and then pre-schedule the associated emails.
Even when your communications are automated, be prepared to adjust your campaign messaging as needed, based on recruitment and fundraising trends identified through your peer-to-peer platform’s reports and dashboards.
Take the Next Step
There’s an important thing you need to send targeted, personalized messages: data. Today’s more sophisticated peer-to-peer platforms can capture a wealth of participant, donor and event metadata. And your ability to send targeted messages depends heavily on your peer-to-peer fundraising software and how data flows between it and your database of record.
Here are two resources to help you understand key considerations about peer-to-peer platforms and find the right platform for your organization:
- “The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Technology Landscape.” In this guide, you’ll learn points to consider when evaluating peer-to-peer platforms.
- “The Nonprofit’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platform Integrations with Salesforce.” Many peer-to-peer platforms integrate with the popular CRM solution Salesforce and the Nonprofit Success Pack. This guide provides important considerations and background information to help you choose the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform if you’re also using, or thinking about using, Salesforce CRM.
Mark founded Cathexis Partners in 2008 to help nonprofit organizations get the most from their existing technology tools, implement new technology to address gaps and find the best overall approach to using technology to support their missions. He previously served as director of IT consulting at a fundraising event production company focused on nonprofits.
Mark also serves on the editorial advisory board for NonProfit PRO, where he contributes monthly to his blog, “Nonprofit Tech Matters.”