Here’s How You Know if Your Marketing Is Working
As a Planned Giving Fundraiser, you spend a lot of time and money using marketing to nurture prospects. How do you know it’s working?
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JEFF: The beauty of digital communication right now is that there are a ton of metrics being generated every time you send something out and every time somebody responds.
Measuring that engagement is key to understanding who among your marketing prospects is interested. In the past, and in some cases still, we measure that engagement by some very old-fashioned and frankly outdated metrics. And that is, “Who sent in a reply card requesting more information.” The reciprocal request for information is really an indication of somebody fulfilling a social contract more so than an indication of interest.
But with digital technology we don’t have to rely on that old and imprecise measure of engagement. We can see, based upon opening of emails and click-throughs and form submits and going to the web site and then how long they linger, whether somebody is interested or not.
But for a fundraiser it’s really really hard. The data is all there, but it’s really hard to dig into it. And one of the things that we’re doing with our clients is compiling all of this information into a dashboard and applying lead scores to your plan to giving prospects.
And what we’ve learned is there are people who are leaving their digital fingerprints all over your electronic marketing. They are opening your emails over and over and over again.
We’ve been doing work with a hospital system and we launched them on this program where we introduce the email marketing frequency that we talk about. And within a couple of weeks of launching the email, they were very very interested in seeing what types of responses they were getting.
Andrew was nervous because he didn’t see a lot of form submits and downloads, but when he looked at the data and noticed that they were a bunch of people who were opening the email dozens of times. There’s one donor who opened the email 34 times over the course of two weeks. When we reviewed this data with our client, we were very apologetic about the lack of volume of interesting information, but we had to point out the anomaly of this handful of people in this one particular donor who opened the email dozens of times.
And lo and behold the organization told us they knew who this donor was. He had never risen to the level of a major giving prospect; his annual giving was unremarkable. But he’s been around, and he’s been loyal, and he’s been showing up year after year after year.
Simply knowing that this donor had opened up his email 34 times gave the gift officer the confidence and the inspiration to pick up the phone. And when they did that magical match was made. The gift officer said, “Thank you for all of those years of giving, and we’re curious. People who have shown this degree of loyalty are sometimes looking for other ways impact the organization. Is this something you would be interested in?”
And the donor responded, “It is! In fact I’ve had you in the will for years. I just didn’t know if this was something that people talked about or if you would be interested in knowing. I’m so glad you called.”
What we really need to impress up on anybody who is ready to embark upon a planned giving marketing campaign to drive more leads is to dig into the data, to monitor the digital fingerprint and really look for patterns of behavior that demonstrate an interest that are not like the traditional indicators that would include the return reply card or the request for more information card.
Invitational Marketing Works Better
Marketing isn't meant to educate. It's mean to inspire donors and invite them to make an impact. See how invitational messages help you discover untapped resources so you can reach a new level with your planned giving.
- Email Template One: Download, personalize, and send to donors.
- Email Template Two: Download, personalize, and send to donors.
- Article: What Makes Marketing a Planned Gift Effective?
- Mission Minded Marketing: An Immediate and Effective Communication Plan for Fundraisers
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