Jul 16, 2021
Why Every Fundraising Campaign Should Be a Multi-Channel Design
WHY A MULTI-CHANNEL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN?
If you’ve been challenged to get your message in front of, and heard by, your donors and supporters, you aren’t the only one. In today’s world of social media, live-streaming, podcasts, binge watching, email, direct mail, and more, it’s harder than ever to get the attention of your donors.
Yes, there are more ways than ever to reach donors. So you may think it would be easier than ever to reach your audience. Sadly, though, the inverse seems to be true. More media channels than ever to distract donors. That’s why it is so important to create multi-channel fundraising campaigns.
With so many messages of all kinds being sent to donors, you cannot expect that they will see every one of yours. By implementing a multi-channel campaign (using multiple marketing channels to send your messages), you can increase the likelihood donors will see your messages and act.
BUILD MORE AWARENESS AND INCITE ACTION
Never rely on any one marketing channel alone for a fundraising campaign. Most emails sent today have about a 20% open rate (which means 80% of the recipients aren’t opening them!). The Facebook News Feed only displays approximately 20% of the potential messages one could see.
A multi-channel campaign approach increases the chance of your messages being seen, which boosts the opportunity for a donor to give. Studies show you get a higher response rate with a multi-channel approach than you do with only one, or even two, marketing channels.
A study by the Printing Industries Alliance proved the dramatic results. The average response rate using direct mail was only 6%. However, when direct mail was augmented with digital marketing and email, the response rate increased to 37%! That could mean a lot of fundraising dollars you’re missing out on if you are only communicating with one or two marketing channels!
HOW TO CREATE A MULTI-CHANNEL CAMPAIGN
Creating a multi-channel fundraising campaign is not as difficult as it may sound. Yes, you want to establish multiple ways of communicating with donors and schedule multiple touchpoints for each media channel you use. However, you don’t have to create a unique message for every marketing channel. Your multi-channel campaign communications will share the same message. However, you should write unique copy for each channel depending upon the audience of the channel.
What does that mean, exactly? It means you should not replicate the same exact copy across all media channels (your Facebook post shouldn’t have the exact copy in your text and email). You can keep the message and tone, but augment the copy a bit to target the media channel (Twitter is shorter than Facebook, text is even shorter). In the end, all communication pieces should work together and convey the same overall message.
Don’t worry if a donor receives more than one of the communications from you. That’s actually a good thing! Remember, the more media touches, the higher the conversion rate. And if your message is compelling, which, of course it will be, donors don’t tend to mind receiving it a few times through different media channels.
SUGGESTED CHANNELS TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR CAMPAIGN
Here are some suggestions on marketing channels to use in your multi-channel fundraising campaign and how to use them:
- Direct Mail is good for telling a longer story and sharing a lot of images, but requires long lead times and a marketing investment.
- Email enables the ability for a longer narrative and easy links to other media (videos, photos, newsletters) and donation pages. 36% of all online revenue comes from email messaging, so this is a good one to keep in the mix.
- Social Media is great for quick and frequent updates, using images and videos. Social Media is a key channel to identify your ‘influencers’ and enable them to promote your appeal to their network.
- Text messaging supports the highest open rate, quickest review, and creates a sense of urgency. With a 98% open rate, using SMS as a channel to tell your story increases the average gift size to $167.
- Video is currently a preferred communication channel by many and taps into emotions. Many people give after watching a heartfelt video about how they can make things better for others; even better is live video.
- Websites are critical to the success of a campaign. Many donors will not respond immediately to the marketing channel they are currently on, but will come back to your website later to donate. Be sure a donor can find and easily donate on your website.
To ensure your organization is receiving every donation possible, every link within your multi-channel appeal should go directly to your giving page. Don’t include links to your website’s home page, your Facebook page, or your Instagram account. Don’t let the donor get distracted; this tends to reduce the amount of money you’ll raise. Make it easy for a donor to land quickly on your giving page and make the donation process easy.
YOUR WEBPAGE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR CAMPAIGN
As previously mentioned, not every donor gives right at the moment they are reading your text, email or social media post. That doesn’t mean your message doesn’t connect with them! Donors often come back to give at a time when it is more convenient for them and when they do, they go to your website.
Therefore, make sure it is super easy for your donor to find your giving page from your home page. Be sure your donate button is big, bold and easy to find from your home page. Research showed 17% of orgs made it hard for donors to locate the give button and 47% created usability and navigational challenges for donors! Giving shouldn’t feel like an IQ test! Make it easy!
In today’s information age, a multi-channel fundraising campaign is vital in order to break through the clutter and have your story heard. A multi-channel fundraising campaign enables you to reach more donors, improve communication and boost giving.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and share your story!