What starts with “s”, ends with “n” and can immediately improve your fundraising results and your donor/prospect/community engagement?
Nope, it’s not seclusion. Or seduction, secretion, sexualisation, sanitization, sentimentialization, septuagenarian or sesquipedalian.
Gold star for anyone who got it. Segmentation.
Seriously – I’m starting to wonder whether some charities think the $70,000 database whirring away in the corner of the server room is, as once suspected, a giant rolodex for the ED to look up phone numbers. Why do you bother with a fancy database, training and attending conferences to learn about direct marketing if you send the same email (or letter) to your whole file?
As good Agents, we’re not just being Provocateurs. Here are just 2 examples from this week alone. Names removed to protect the guilty – and lazy.
Case #1: E-Blast received Tuesday.
Subject: Newsletter from [charity] Executive Director (really?)
Content: Very difficult financial times for us. Having a strong base of supporters like you is so important. I am personally more passionate than ever about finding practical solutions. I hope we can count on your ongoing support. [link to newsletter].
Confession: I’m not a donor. But I have signed up for your e-news (and follow you in social media) because I care about your cause. So don’t talk to me like I’m a donor. Inspire me to join this amazing movement. With good direct response writing, you’d only need to change a paragraph, maybe just a few sentences. Come on!
Case #2: Mailed copy of newsletter with personalized note.
This looked promising. A real letter, just for little old me? Great! Let me read it before I dive into my newsletter. I am, after all, a generous monthly donor. And I give monthly because I want to give every single day to a cause close to my heart. I’m reading…reading…then the crushing realization. No mention of the fact that I’m a monthly donor. In fact, an ask to JOIN the monthly giving program. I have a few tweeps that would say #epic #fail.
1990s movie fans will remember this famous movie quote: “Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?”.
Yes! Speed. A classic so-bad-it’s-good movie: “Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a charity going too fast, not taking time to really talk to donors. Hoarding names and throwing them without really thinking about it into blasts, DM packs and TM calls. Once the donor is pissed off, she loses interest. Pissed off 2, 3, 4…50 times, she blows up. What do you do?”
Answer: I’ll give you a clue – it starts with a “S” and ends in a “N”…