Donor Story Remix: The Importance of Repetition

We love interviewing our clients’ donors to get their planned giving donor stories. We hear some pretty remarkable things—things supporters are reluctant to share with a fundraiser.

Their candor makes for compelling quotes and stories that resonate with other donors. And when other donors can relate to those who’ve shared their planned gift intentions, they’re far more likely to consider sharing their intentions, too.

But we often hear a common theme about testimonials. It goes like this: “Don’t use the same planned giving donor stories. We’ve used those already.” 

Donor testimonials are fantastic marketing content.  And like all good marketing content, they should be deployed strategically and repeatedly to maximize their impact.

In fact, they NEED to be deployed repeatedly to have ANY impact. We know this because …well … science.

Yet non-profits often bristle at the idea of using testimonials twice (let alone repeatedly).

  • “We don’t want to ‘take advantage’.”
  • “It looks like we don’t have any others to use.”
  • “Donors will think we’re being lazy.”
  • “We’re getting bored with that one.”
  • “We think we’ll get better responses if we mix things up.”

Marketing Psychology and Planned Giving Donor Stories

I never met Café Altura’s CEO Dillon Miskiewicz, but I feel like I know him. I hear from him on my daily commute. Each morning and every evening, he breaks into the news to share his pain of staffing his growing small business.

He needed to find an experienced coffee roaster (presumably a key hire for a coffee company) and everyone who applied was unqualified. But all that changed when Dillon turned to ZipRecruiter. Qualified, coffee-obsessed candidates applied through ZipRecruiter and the hiring crisis was over.  Now Dillon saves time and money, and he’s free to focus on growing his business.

I hear this story every day—sometimes 2-3 times a day! Some days I barely pay attention. I have other things on my mind, and Dillon’s hiring woes aren’t one of them.

Other days the prospect of growing our business and expanding our team is top of mind.  Maybe I could grow my business like Dillon did, and perhaps ZipRecuiter could help.

Dillon Found Me

Yesterday I got direct mail from ZipRecruiter.

The cover featured what appeared to be a successful entrepreneur and the headline “Employer Success Story – How I Hired.”

Even before I opened the envelope, I had a pretty good idea who that was. It was my man Dillon. And sure enough, when I opened the brochure, there was Dillon again, perched atop a pallet of coffee beans sacked in burlap.

On the next panel Dillon (again), this time with Bret, the experienced coffee roaster he hired through ZipRecruiter.  I immediately knew what this about—even without reading one word. I had heard this story dozens (perhaps hundreds) of times before. It was engrained in my memory. I knew Dillon. I knew about his business. I knew ZipRecruiter helped him.

And when I did read the copy, it wasn’t just familiar, it was identical to the ad I’d heard on the radio.

Same quotes. Same copy. Same offer.  IDENTICAL.

I actually heard Dillon’s voice from the radio when I read Dillon in print.

Is ZipRecruiter taking advantage of Dillon?

No, Dillon wouldn’t have agreed to the testimonial, radio spot, or photoshoot had he thought he was being used.

In fact, I’d bet Dillon was pretty receptive to the whole thing. ZipRecruiter helped him with his hiring problem, and he became a more successful business owner. He believes his story will help other entrepreneurs just like him.

People like being helpful.

Do you think ZipRecruiter repeats Dillon’s story because they don’t have any other success stories?

Should they mix things up because they’re getting bored?  Definitely not.  They aren’t marketing for their own entertainment. They’re marketing to get more leads that drive more business.

Are they being lazy?

I think they’re being smart. They found a story that resonates. When people hear the story, they call ZipRecruiter. So, ZipRecruiter keeps telling the story.

Non-profits are businesses. Fundraising is sales. And the science-based principles of marketing that drive more revenue for market-leading brands will drive more revenue for your non-profit’s planned giving program. 

Your job as a fundraiser is to find Dillons who can represent your various constituencies.  Thank them for their extraordinary support and make them your heroes.

Let them share their planned giving donor stories–and then tell them over and over and over again.

In person. With print. Through direct mail. By email. On your planned giving website.

The stories of your heroes’ planned gifts will begin to inspire your other planned giving donors. Soon, your donors will feel like they “know” your Dillons. And they’ll start to wonder how they could make a difference with their planned gifts.

We can help you create the marketing material that will help your “Dillon stories” spread. 

Once your donors hear the story of your planned giving donor consistently and frequently through direct mail, email, newsletters, and on your website, they’ll feel like they know your donor personally.

So that when they consider their own legacies, they’ll remember the story and get in touch with you.

Give us a call and let us create a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing package for you. We can automate your marketing to run consistently in the background all year. Like the ZipRecruiter ads, consistent marketing will engage your audience for you.

And here’s the best part … you’ll be able to see who is responding, and contact those people first. So instead of making cold calls, you’ll be able to interact with prospects who’ve already indicated their interest.

Schedule a demo to see how it works.

Planned Giving Marketing Messages that Have Been Tested, Tried, and Proven to Work.

Get an all-inclusive, single-price planned giving marketing solution that sends your donors tested-and-proven messages at scheduled times throughout the year. You'll be able to see who has engaged, so you have more confidence knowing who to call.

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