What Makes Marketing a Planned Gift Effective?
One positive outcome of national “pause” is that we have space to evaluate what’s working and what’s not.
Maybe on a personal level, you’ve reevaluated your diet, your exercise, or how you interact with your family.
Professionally, you’ve learned new methods for connecting with planned giving donors, using technology, and getting tasks done when you’re not in the office. But the pause also exposed cracks where systems are fractured.
We’ve seen this from the marketing perspective. Organizations that weren’t marketing to donors realized they had no way of knowing who they should call or who might be interested in a conversation.
Organizations that had invested in marketing planned gifts realized their marketing message didn’t hold up in a crisis, and they’ve had to pause their marketing efforts.
Now they’re left asking what happens with planned giving marketing during Covid19.
That’s because most of the content pitched by planned giving “marketing” agencies isn’t marketing at all. Instead of marketing content, the loud voices in the industry have persuaded fundraisers that donors need an education about gift types.
This breaks every single rule of effective marketing.
Planned giving marketing is meant to inspire. To connect. To create a story that ignites the donor’s imagination to what’s possible. Once your donors read a story that inspires them, they engage. Once they engage, you’re able to listen to what’s important and then offer the appropriate type of gift that would allow your donors to achieve their legacy goals.
That means you can continue with planned giving marketing during coronavirus–as long as you stick to a message that inspires.
Marketing is part science and part art. And marketing a planned gift comes with unique challenges. But that doesn’t mean you violate the most fundamental rules of marketing.
What makes marketing a planned gift so challenging is that first, it’s a delicate subject. Second, making a planned gift is not a transactional decision, like an annual or major gift is. It’s more complex, it’s a decision that’s considered over time, and decided as “life happens.” People think of legacy gifts in life-changing moments, such as when someone passes, a marriage or divorce takes place, or a child is born.
What difference does that make?
That means your marketing has to be frequent and consistent so that your messages about what’s possible with a planned gift lands in your donor’s mailbox or email during these life-changing moments.
Right now, during Covid 19, “life” is happening to all of us, all at once. And that means this is exactly when you should be inspiring your donors through planned giving marketing that spreads hopeful, timeless messages. Unfortunately, a lot of marketing companies are realizing their planned giving messages that educate donors about gift types are completely inappropriate during Covid 19. They don’t translate well in the middle of a crisis.
I’m going to be 100% frank: these messages have never translated well with donors. And there’s a scientific reason for that. It goes back to neuroscience. Donors need to feel before they decide. In this case, they need to feel hopeful and inspired. This is why “education marketing” never worked. It tries to connect to the intellect of the donor with dry facts rather than with possibility and inspiration.
Put another way: education marketing jumps to the “how” of a planned gift before showing donors the “why.” This has always been the differentiator between Planned Giving Marketing and our competitors. Our marketing messages focus on the WHY—why stories that connect donors to your mission—the why!
The messages inspire donors imagine what’s possible—so donors see themselves within the story of your organization!
Clients who have trusted our marketing strategy have continued communicating with their donors about planned gifts without interruption during the Covid crisis. What a relief to know the organization remained top of mind when donors were having important conversations with their families about their will and legacy.
Now marketing companies are telling fundraisers the same thing we’ve been saying for yours. “Gift type messaging doesn’t work! Change how you talk to your donors.”
This seems unreasonable to me. From my perspective, it’s the obligation of the marketing company to craft these messages about planned gifts for their clients.
I suspect this will be a wake-up call for planned giving marketing companies who have been focused on education and “gift-type” marketing. But that doesn’t help you right now while you’re struggling to find a way to connect with your donors during Covid.
So, we’re offering a free template of “mission marketing” so you have a planned giving marketing message you can use immediately–even in the middle of a crisis.
Click the link, then download, personalize, and send them to your donors.
I hope these will be helpful, but a far more customized solution would work even better because your donors will recognize the organization’s voice and make a deeper connection faster.
If you want us to write those customized ones for you, schedule a call with us so we can show you digital marketing solution you can put in place immediately. It’s called “KEEP CALM and Stay Connected”–and don’t worry, we know budgets are tight right now, so we created options that start as low as $495 so you have a way to get through the next few months successfully. (Pricing available until June 30th)
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