Year-End Countdown Week 11: Warm Up Donors Now
#GivingTuesday and year-end will be here before you know it. Now that you’ve (hopefully!) started working on your campaign, it’s time to make sure your message is going to resonate with your donors. Not only does the content of your appeal matter—but so does the way it is delivered. That means taking the time to “warm up” your donors and make sure their giving experience is clear and easy.
Here are three action items for this week to make sure your donors are ready to give well before your launch date:
1. Don’t let it come as a surprise- no cold calling.
Start warming up your audience this week. Send them an email about the milestones you’ve reached this year, and what you hope to do as 2016 comes to a close. Share specific examples of how their dollars are impacting those you serve.
When was the last time your donors heard from you? Now is your chance to become top of mind again.
2. Use last year’s data to tweak this year’s plans.
If you have data from last year’s campaign, take time this week to review and see what resonated with your audiences. (Note: If last year’s data isn’t easily accessible, make sure you’re keeping good records for this time next year. Network for Good’s donor management system makes this easy). What subject lines got the most opens? What call to action or client story generated the most clicks? Start collecting this information and repeat the best performing elements from last year’s campaign in 2016.
Need extra appeal-writing tips? Sign up for this week’s webinar, “How to Write a Winning Appeal”, with fundraising consultant Shelly Watts.
3. Remove all the barriers.
This step is where the usability of your emails, website, and the actual donation process comes into play. Watch a friend or family member make an online donation to your nonprofit and see where they get hung up. Are there unnecessary steps? Is everything is easy to understand? Try to find ways to make everything as straightforward and quick as possible.
And, be sure your campaign elements are mobile-friendly!
According to recent statistics, more than 40% of emails in the nonprofit sector are first opened on mobile devices. Mobile-friendly email templates aren’t just optional anymore—they’re required table stakes. If you’ve ever spent time trying to swipe and scroll and zoom just to read an email, you know how tedious it is.
In a world where people are flooded with emails every day, if it’s not easy to read, it’s sooner deleted. Don’t let this be the case with your appeal. (If you don’t have access to mobile-friendly email marketing, check out donor management.)
Finally, if people are reading your appeals on their phones, you want to make sure they can make a donation right then and there. Giving is emotional, and the longer it takes between the desire to give and the ability to do it, the less likely it will happen.
It is invaluable to have a mobile-friendly donation page. When donors click on it, the page’s look and feel should match your nonprofit’s branding and reflect your mission. Make sure you have an appropriate range of suggested giving amounts and labels that show your donors how their dollars can have a positive impact.