Here are some ways to improve your prospects this year, from John Haydon’s blog: Seven Ways to Increase Your Nonprofit’s Donations in 2013…
- Say Thanks
- Give Your Supporters Better Tools
- Plug up the Holes in Your Website
- Make Your Supporters’ Agendas Your Agenda
- Constantly Report Outcomes
- Develop One Cause Marketing Partnership
- Don’t Shoot for Perfect
Four is the center of it all. Once you realize that fundraising is not a process of getting people to join your club, but trying to get people to let you into their club — you’ll start doing a lot of things much more brilliantly.
(I’d take #6 with a grain of salt. You could spend a lot of time trying to bring that to life and never bring in a dollar.)
Are rainbows evil? That’s pretty much the equivalent to the question asked at the Analytical Ones blog recently, Is segmentation evil?
It’s about an organization that chose not to segment their donor file by giving behavior…
In accordance with Scripture (James 2) they made the decision not to treat donors differently based upon their giving history. So segmentation was not used. So by default they were using what I call ME2EAT (Mail Everything To Everybody All the Time) segmentation.
It’s not my place to criticize somebody else’s interpretation of Scripture, but James 2 is all about showing favoritism toward the rich: “… if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Thinking of segmentation a form of favoritism is pretty silly. Segmentation is being responsive to someone’s behavior, not their wealth. It would be the height of unwarranted insight to think you know that a 0 donor prefers more or less or a different type of communication than a donor. Heck, much of the time you can’t tell a donor’s wealth level by their giving habits.
If someone proposes some kind of egalitarian system that forces you to mail stupidly, just say no.
Segmentation is responsible fundraising.
Here’s an interesting test from the Which Test Won blog.
For a travel industry e-newsletter, the test compared sending shorter, more frequent newsletters to longer less frequent ones. The total amount of content was roughly the same either way.
The less-content, more-frequency version got lower open and click rates, but much higher multiple opens and multiple clicks. More important, it got more purchases, revenue per contact, and less churn.
That’s a pretty sweet deal. Look into the less-content, more-frequent approach to cultivating your email names. It just might make a difference for you.
More evidence that your donors are moving online, this from the Pew Internet Project: Older adults and internet use. Key findings:
- 53% of Americans age 65 and older use the internet or email
- But of those 76 and older, internet adoption is only 34%
It’s likely your 65-and-up donors are even more online than these figures show. Donors as a group index high for income, education, and technology use. If anyone is telling you there’s no need to pay attention to your website’s ability to process gifts or your ability to email your supporters, they’re more wrong about that every day.
Thanks to Clairification for the tip.
The great and terrible thing about online marketing is how quickly things change. Here’s a post from the VerticalResponse Email Marketing Blog that points out some things that not so long ago were widely held to be universal truths — but may not be so any more: Mythbusters: Do Old Wives’ Email Marketing Tales Hold True?.
- Using words like ‘free’, ‘dear’ or ‘save’ in the subject line will cause your email to be marked as spam.
- Test everything!
- Send email only during the week.
- All unsubscribes are bad.
- Sending too many emails too often will make you to look like spam.
As always with things like this, test before you decide to remove it from your rulebook.