What's the Value of an Engagement?
What's the lifetime value of a person who follows your work religiously, signs petitions, recommends your website, and reposts and retweets like crazy, but has yet to make a donation?
We can track online interactions with amazing sophistication. But until an individual's engagement turns into a donation, how do we decide how much it's worth? Or whether it's technically even fundraising? Maybe it's something else … like marketing, or communications, or some kind of pre-fundraising.
Direct marketers are special because we are hardheaded realists. We test, we measure, we adjust and we can use data to explain our actions. So, as exciting and obviously valuable as online and mobile engagement are, the time is probably at hand to ask some of the same hard questions we ask of every other medium.
Like everybody else, I know the answers to these questions will be positive. But they do need to be asked.
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.