Planned Giving Marketing’s PSA: Dig Into the Data


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 someone 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In the past, and in some cases still, we measure that engagement by some very old fashioned and quite frankly outdated metrics. And that is: who sent in the reply card requesting more information.

The reciprocal request for information is more an indication of someone fulfilling a social contract more so than an indication of interest. 

But with digital technology, we don’t have to rely on the imprecise measure of engagement. We can see by opened emails and click throughs and form submits and how long they go to the website and how long they linger whether someone is interested or not. 

But for fundraisers, even though the information is there, it’s hard for them to dig through it. So, one of the things we’re doing with our clients is compiling all this information to a dashboard and applying lead scores to planned giving prospects.

What we’ve learned is there are people who are leaving their digital finger prints 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 introduced the email marketing frequency that we just talked about.

Within a couple of weeks of launching the email, they were interested in seeing what kind of response they were getting … 

[We saw] … a bunch of people had opened the email dozens of times. There was one donor who had opened the email 34 times. When we reviewed this data with our client … we had to point out the anomaly of this handful of people and this particular donor who opened the email dozens of times.

And low and behold, the organization reported 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; he’s been loyal; he’s been showing up year after year.

Simply knowing this donor had opened the email dozens of times gave the gift officer the confidence and the inspiration to pick up the phone.

And when they did, the magical match was made.

The gift officer said, “Thanks for all those years of giving, and we’re curious. Sometimes people who have shown this degree of loyalty are sometimes looking for other ways to impact the organization. Is this something you would be interested in?”

And the donor responded, “It IS. I’ve actually 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 upon anyone who is looking to embark upon a digital marketing campaign to drive more leads is to DIG INTO THE DATA. Monitor the digital fingerprints. Look for a pattern of behavior that demonstrate an interest that are not like the traditional interest indicators, such as the reply card and request for more information.  

Watch the full video now.

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We’d love to help you reach your planned giving goals by effectively marketing your planned giving program.

Please give us a call, send an email, or fill out the form below to get started.

Planned Giving Marketing

620 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 440, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

P: 484-680-7600 | F: 877-865-6812