1 HOUR 1 MIN
How to Communicate with Supporters Before, During, and After a Fundraising Event
Learn how email can help you stay in contact with your supporters when it matters most related to your next fundraising event.
Categories: Expert Webcast, How To
How to Communicate with Supporters Before, During, and After a Fundraising Event TranscriptPrint Transcript
starts with DonorPerfect. Very excited, very happy to be here today for our expert webcast, how to communicate with supporters before, during and after a fundraising event. Before we get started and dive into the introductions, I just want to go over a couple of housekeeping items for how you Read More
starts with DonorPerfect. Very excited, very happy to be here today for our expert webcast, how to communicate with supporters before, during and after a fundraising event. Before we get started and dive into the introductions, I just want to go over a couple of housekeeping items for how you can participate today. First, the webinar is being recorded, we will send out the recording and the presentation slides in the next day or two once we get those all set up, so keep an eye out for that. And I also want to let you know about the question box on your GoToWebinar panel. If you have any questions throughout the webinar, feel free to submit them there. We’ll do our best to either answer them as they come in or try and address them at the end, we’ve left some time for questions. Next, we have the Raise Your Hand panel. So assuming you can hear me, please click the raise your hand button just to let you know that the audio is all coming through well, and good if you could. Alright, so we look like we’re all set there. Next, as far as if you’re having any technical trouble with GoToMeeting, you can always contact Citrix at the help number there. And also, if you’re having any audio or visual trouble with that, you can also submit that in the question box too, and I’ll do my best to address any questions that I can help out with. And then last our webinar schedule, we have another couple minutes, I just want to introduce myself DonorPerfect Constant Contact our partner and our presenter, John Hayden. And then John will jump into the presentation. And we have about 10 minutes at the end to go over questions. So moving forward. So as we said, this is how to communicate with your supporters before, during and after a fundraising event. Today, your hosts are myself as I said, I’m Sam Stuart’s with DonorPerfect. And I’m being joined by Ryan Tartaglia with constant contact. We partnered with constant contact and Ryan and then our presenter, John, to bring you this presentation. And we’re really excited for it. This webinar actually broke the record, the DonorPerfect record for most registrants, we have over 1500 people who signed up. So clearly this topic hits home for a lot of you. And, you know, we’re we’re excited that to give this to you. So first to go over a little bit about DonorPerfect. So donor, perfect fundraising growth platform. Basically, we are a nonprofit donor management system. complete solution for donor management, completely customizable to the needs of almost every nonprofit organization. And it’s built to manage your donor data as well as help you raise more money for your mission. We’re a complete donor management platform. So we handle your events management, online donation forms, any communications you have with donors, as well as all the fundraising analytics and reporting that may come with it. We manage that all in one spot. So you know, you can really focus on what’s important for your mission. And, of course, one of our most popular features is our tight integration with constant contact. So you can take advantage of the best in class email as a core element of your donor engagement strategy. So with that, I’m going to hand it over to our other hosts today, Ryan Tartaglia from constant contact to tell you a little bit more about them. Thanks, Sam.
Sam mentioned, I’m rancher tackling. I’ve worked at constant contact for three years and I’ve actually been worked closely with the DonorPerfect partnership for that duration, DonorPerfect and Constant Contact though I’ve actually been partners for 14 years. And as Sam mentioned, what makes this partnership special is DonorPerfect enhanced integration with constant contact so that way, you’re able to manage communications more efficiently and automatically by providing a seamless list, management and sync of campaign results within your DonorPerfect platform. So before I get to our special guest speaker John Hayden, I want to tell you a little bit more about who Constant Contact is. Let me get a show of hands to see if everyone is familiar with constant contact. Let’s get a show of hands just to see who is and who isn’t familiar with constant contact. Great a lot of you do but for those of you who don’t know Constant Contact is a powerful email marketing tool made easy. Along with our world class support and education. We really wrote the book on email marketing, and we’re known for being trustworthy and reputable. We’re fully compliant with all email laws including can spam, which is one reason why we can ensure your email gets delivered to your inbox and to your your constituents. inboxes. Constant Contact has the highest deliverability rate at 98%, which means the emails you send will be seen and will help you make sure they’re open and read by your audience. So, bottom line, we’ve really developed a number one ranked email marketing tool and nonprofits support and staff that is outstanding because we believe our success is your success. So with that, I’m very excited to bring in our special guest speaker John Hayden. John Hayden is an incredible digital marketing expert exclusively for Nonprofits and Charities. He has helped hundreds of nonprofits realizing their best marketing and fundraising results. John helps nonprofits, charities and Community Foundation’s get more from their digital investments with strategic coaching, consulting, and training, plus a little fun fact. He is the author of Facebook marketing for dummies and Facebook marketing all in one. So with that, I’ll pass it on to John. Good afternoon, John.
Good afternoon, Ryan, thank you so much. And thank you, Sam, as well for having the most successful DonorPerfect webinar in terms of registering. So that’s great, congratulations. And most importantly, thank you to everyone who’s attending right now, you know, you’re working at a nonprofit, you’re doing really great hard work at doing good work, changing the world in really meaningful ways. And you’re taking time out of your schedule today to participate. So I’m going to make it worth your time. Today, we’re going to talk about crafting a compelling pitch for your fundraising campaign. And again, the whole goal of this is to figure out, you know, how are we going to communicate with supporters before, during and after a fundraising campaign, we have to get their attention, keep them interested and encourage them to take action. So that’s this all starts with crafting and compelling pitch, we’re going to also talk about identifying and segmenting your audience was absolutely critical. And then driving fundraising event registration, identifying the best times to send donation emails, and then how to retain more donors with email, actually, if you know if you’re familiar with the nonprofit sector, which I’m sure you are, because you’re working in nonprofit, but retention is really the biggest struggle for nonprofits. And, you know, so retention, in my experience is actually what organizations have to focus on is once you get that donor, how do you keep them coming back? So let’s jump right in. The first topic is crafting a compelling pitch for your organization or for your event or for your fundraising campaign. And the reason why I always like to start here is because most nonprofit communicators, you know, you who’s listening right now, you’re what is often called an accidental marketer, you know, you’re kind of in this profession, you’re in this job, by way of some other career path, a kind of a winding career path. And your experience may not have a lot of kind of marketing, or sales kind of background, my background. I’ve been working with nonprofits since 2009. And my background previous to that was mostly working for profit, software companies, healthcare companies, media companies, print companies, and doing either sales or marketing. So my entire career, most of it is actually working pretty heavily in for profit, which is where you have the strongest marketers, in my opinion. So your pitches got to cut through the noise? That’s what you have to do. You have several things to deal with today. And we could look at this background picture here, we see people all looking after cell phones, right? If you’ve seen the movie wall E, it’s the same idea, right? Everybody’s always connected. So you have to deal with noise, lots of distraction, and just gunk in the Facebook newsfeed and it’s just you know, it’s distractions, there’s lack of attention as well. So human being officially now has a shorter attention span than the goldfish. Okay, goldfish has an attention span of eight seconds, which seems like an eternity compared to what the human being is now capable of. And not Not to mention that but we now have competition. So there are other organizations that are competing for your donors, dollars. Okay, for the same people not only direct quote unquote competitors, you know, similar nonprofit space but all So for profits, you know, retailers and so forth, that are also competing for the same dollars. Alright, so that’s why we have to craft a pitch that’s really going to get people’s attention and get them to take action. Okay? Now, this all starts with finding out what’s important to your supporters. Right? And here’s one of my favorite ways of figuring this out is simply to ask, you know, ask your donors, what’s important to them? There are several ways to do this. One is with social media, using Facebook, using Twitter, finding out what people are talking about your email metrics. Of course, if you use Constant Contact, you know that you can go into your reporting, and you could look at which emails are people reading? Which articles in our email newsletter? Are they clicking on what’s getting the most traction, right? So you can learn about your supporters in a number of different ways. One of my favorite ways is of course with a survey. Now, this is a survey example from Sandy Hook Promise, which is actually located in Newton, and Newtown, Connecticut. And we’re all familiar with the story of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. So there’s this organization, Sandy Hook Promise, right? They ask the most important survey question that all nonprofits should ask their donors. And that is, What first got you involved in Sandy Hook Promise. Right? So in other words, you want to ask your donor, what made you decide to make that first gift? What was it that made you decide to give that first donation? Okay? And they can tell they’re, they’re going to tell you, Okay, I was moved by the family. I liked that Sandy Hook Promise doesn’t just focus on the gun. But the reason someone might pick up a gun, or a friend told me about Sandy Hook Promise, so we’re learning about our audience. The other thing they ask is, which areas of Sandy Hook Promise? are you most interested in? Helping parents promoting mental health training people to recognize and respond to warning signs about violence, right, so now, with their follow up, campaigns, they can target their messages much more precisely. So they can send out an email that says, hey, we know you’re interested in helping parents and community members create change where they live, here’s how you can do that. It’s going to speak much more directly to that person’s interest. So learning about our supporters is absolutely key.
Let’s go to the next slide. So another one, you know, another important survey question, you know, how likely are you to remember recommend Sandy Hook Promise to a friend, family member or colleague? Right? So how satisfied how much of a fan are you? Right? And then the question that you never want to ask in a survey is, have you ever given us money? How much have you donated? When have you donated? Never asked this question, it will get you in some pretty serious trouble, which is, which is kind of obvious. You should know this information should not be asking your donors this. Okay. Very dangerous question ask. So what makes a compelling pitch once we understand our audience, and there’s obviously a lot more that goes into that, but I’ve covered kind of social media, email and doing surveys. But what makes a pitch compelling? What makes it stand out? There are really four elements of a compelling pitch that you’re going to craft for your upcoming fundraising event or your upcoming walkathon. There’s the story. There’s contrast, differentiating our, our mess message from others. And then there’s answering what’s in it for me. There’s also urgency, which is critical. So the story is the probably the most important thing. And again, I’ve worked with hundreds of nonprofits, I have to say that the main differentiator, the thing that really makes things work really well, if for any campaign is the story. Nonprofits as a whole, not I shouldn’t say as a whole, but they struggle with this, you know, if you’re if you’re like most nonprofits, you do, you know, some kind of common mistakes, a common mistake is to put yourself your organization as the hero, you know, that’s a very big mistake. So, in other words, the narrative is like this, give money to us. And we the great nonprofit who’s been around for 100 years, and we’re so awesome. We will change the world on your behalf. That is a story that really takes the wind out of the sail. It just doesn’t work. A better narrative is this. You are the person that’s going to change the situation. So a story fundamentally, every single story on the planet has three elements. Person, the hook. For example, this woman on the right, right this is story about her. And she’s really struggling, she has dreams and goals. She’s just like you. But now we introduce a problem. You know, she had dreams for the future until her community was devastated by, you know, poverty, whatever kind of situation she’s dealing with, right. So as soon as a donor sees that, that is a problem, they want to solve the problem, they want to be the hero. So this is a great example, actually, from my outreach, they very clearly explains that, you want to connect the donor with the impact, you don’t want to say, donor give us money, the organization. In other words, remove your organization from the narrative, right? So I am changing this person’s life, I’m making this impact. This is ultimately why people give, they want to feel like they’re having a direct impact. They’re not interested in, you know, being generous, you know, they don’t give because they’re generous, they don’t give because they think your nonprofit is awesome. They give because they think they are awesome. And they want to fulfill that the role that they want to aspire to as a hero in the story, okay. So be really clear about that. You know, the other thing about a story is that you only need a story of one person. That’s the really the best kind of story is about one person, not a family, not a community, not a country, and certainly not statistics. If you lead with statistics, you are going to bump people out, people do not respond to statistics, but they do respond to a little girl who’s hungry, and you can help this little girl. That’s much more of a motivator than there are 3 million hungry children in this African country. You know, do you want to give 10 bucks? No, I don’t want to give 10 bucks, because it’s kind of impossible. I’m not going to be able to solve this problem. It’s way too big for me, but I’m going to help this girl. Okay, so that’s the story. The second element is contrast. So I’m going to tell you a quick little story here. I was working with an organization that le fund. And during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is actually a couple of years ago, there was also a fundraising contest, you know, different organizations competing with each other to see who could raise the most money and also get the most new donors, right. And so this organization said, Hey, we want to enter this contest. They’re relatively new, small organization, and have very little experience in terms of fundraising or marketing. And so I sat down with them, and I say, great, sounds sounds great. The prize money, by the way for the contest was I believe, about $20,000. And so I sat down and I said, Hey, you know, what do you what’s, what’s your pitch? You know, what’s the what’s the story here that we’re going to go with? And they said, Oh, well, you know, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and X percent of women have breast cancer, and, you know, course, so important, right? And, you know, and, and I said, Well, it’s not so interesting to me, and I’m sorry. And then they said, well, well, how about this, we, if we when we get $20,000, and that will help all of our great work that we’re doing. And I said, Well, I hate to, I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re not going to win this fundraising contest. Okay, you can’t lead with that. People are not going to give you money based on some remote chance that you’re actually going to win this contest. Because, you know, let’s face it, you’re just starting out, you’re new this chances are, you’re not going to win. But I want to be a downer, but you know, it’s not gonna happen. And then so we brainstormed a little bit, and I said, we got to talk about something that’s really nobody else is talking about. It’s really different. It’s going to hook people and get their attention. And so we came up with this idea. Let’s talk about the unsung heroes in breast cancer, which are the kids, the kids that have to step up their game, do more chores, cook more meals, and have a happy face, and really have courage to deal with their mom who’s now struggling with breast cancer, right? So these are the unsung heroes. So we actually collected, you know, two or three different stories of children. This is a picture of some twins that were on video talking about the things that they do to help mom out. And this really cut through the noise so much that they actually came in third place in this fundraising contest. It was pretty remarkable. It got so much attention. They got so many fans, and it was precise, so many fans, so many donations, new donors and so forth. And it was precisely because we took a different angle it was contrast, all the other breast cancer organizations are talking about statistics, pink ribbons and women who had breast cancer. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to talk about the kids the unsung heroes. Alright, so contrast is a side Have differentiating yourself from what everyone else is saying. If you want if you’re a breast cancer organization, and you want to be invisible, during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what you don’t want to be invisible, the best way to be invisible is to say, we got a pink ribbon. Everybody’s got a pink ribbon. Okay, everybody’s got the pink bagels, you know, come on, you’ve got to come up with some sort of contrast that’s really going to get people’s attention and differentiate you. The third element of a compelling pitch is what’s in it for me, ultimately, you have to answer the real questions behind why someone is going to participate in your events. And the answers are a little surprising sometimes. But it’s always about me, okay. So people give and they support causes, so that they can feel good about themselves. And so that they can have some sort of sense of meaning I’m living a meaningful life. That’s why people give and that’s, that’s basically the essence of it. And but you also want to think about like, Well, hey, our audience, other younger people, you know, maybe we can promote some kind of angle about like, well, you’re going to meet other cool people just like you at this event, you are going to look like a hero by coming to this event. And that, you know, again, that’s why people support nonprofits, they want to be the hero they want to be. They want to look a certain way to their friends. I hate to say it, so I kind of straightforward, but this is the truth. You know, people want to look a certain way. I’m generous. I care about animals. Yes, they do. But they certainly want to, they want to make sure that their friends know about that. Let me tell you that right now. Right. So always think what’s in it for me? Right. The last part is a sense of urgency for your campaign. And the reason why is because you can have an incredible story that’s so moving, you can have contrast, and you can even answer what’s in it for me. But if you don’t answer why now, then, you know, you’ve got a problem. So a couple of ways to deal with the urgency issue. One is to have a matching gift that’s limited, you know, we have a matching, an anonymous donor came forward and they have a matching gift, they’re going to match your donation dollar for dollar. But for a limited time, don’t wait, do this, now you will have a greater impact, your impact will be doubled. If you do it now. But don’t wait. Okay, that’s the matching gift type of pitch. Another one is if you’re doing a walkathon or some kind of physical event, rather than telling people what they’re going to get, if they go to the event, you want to tout you want to stress instead of emphasizing what they’re going to get the benefits of going to this event or participating. You want to stress what they’re going to miss if they don’t go to this event. And this triggers a loss aversion which all human beings have, we are hardwired to avoid loss, more so than we are hardwired to seek gain and pleasure and benefit. So always talk about Don’t miss out, register. Now. There are limited seats, you know, grab your spot, right, this sense of urgency. And you can even use the word now. Right? So in other words, it let’s say your your pitch is you know, feed hungry children or give clean water. That’s your call to action. You know, that’s great, but why not say feed hungry children? Now, these kids can’t wait. Don’t let them wait. That sense of urgency is going to be really critical in your in your pitch. Okay.
So let’s shift gears a little bit, and we’re going to talk about your email subject line. Okay, your subject line has one job and that job, of course, is to have people open the email, a common mistake I see with email subject lines, is that nonprofits, you know, feel like they have to, you know, include all the important information in the subject line, including the date of the fundraiser, or maybe even the location of the event where it’s going to be right. That information is not really going to help people open the email, it will help them decide that they can delete the email because they’re not available on that date. But we want them to open email. So we want to create some sort of curiosity, you know. So some factors that influence open rates. These are the major factors. One is recency to offline interaction. recency to online interaction is another one, but offline interaction. So I always tell my clients every time you have an event, a physical event, always send an email the day after, with the subject line. Mine, by the way, here’s a good subject line pictures from last night. Right, who doesn’t want to see a picture of themselves, they’re going to open that email. And of course, in that email, you’re going to tell them to the great stuff that happened. And, you know, check out your pictures. And most importantly, here’s what’s here’s what’s happening next, you know, stay connected, sign up, register for next event, find out how you can help out as a volunteer recency, the online interaction as well, if someone’s recently visited your website, or recently made a donation recently signed up as a volunteer, the email that you send them after that, with their thank you for donating thank you for volunteering, those sorts of emails are going to have a huge open rate compared to your email newsletter, for example, okay, recognition of the sender. So, in, in, you know, we can always change the sender name in an email, it could be the name of your organization, which might work for, say a newsletter. But for a fundraising ask, you can, you know, experiment with that a little bit, and maybe have the email come from the executive director, you’re just simply changing the sender name, the email is the same, the email address is the same, but you’re changing the recognition or the sender. So people tend to open emails from people that they like, know and trust. So if you have an executive director, Development Director, or even a spokesperson who’s pretty popular, you can switch over those sender names, I listened to WBUR, a local radio station, nonprofit radio station, and they’re always switching up, you know, their sender names with these popular well known, you know, radio hosts, you know, Debra beaming beer, you know, and Tom Ashbrook, and all these other people are sending me emails, I love Tom, I love the show, I’m gonna open his email, the subject line is also important. And then relevance, you know, how relevant is the message to the person, okay? Now the message, once you get the message open, the email message has one job. And that is again, to click and visit the website. Okay? So for your fun, if you want people to register for your event, if you want them to visit your website, if you want them to make that online donation, you want them to, you have to ask them, okay, so I always like to think about the perfect email message in terms of a fundraising email, there are really three elements in an email message. And I’m talking specifically about a fundraising email, or a fundraising event or registering for an event, there’s the people or the person problem and the payoff, okay. So the first thing is, you know, you get people you hook them in to that person, oh, there’s a story about a family or a father and their, and his family. And but, you know, the problem is that they have struggled, they have a struggle in their life, you know, by you, Mr. or Mrs. donor, you can be the hero and change this situation, you can change their life, you can give twice the hope. That’s the payoff, the payoff is what the donor wants, I want to solve this problem, okay. And there’s actually a lot of research around this. There’s a chemical process that happens in the brain, when someone is presented with a person, a cute little girl who wants to be an astronaut, and she’s so happy and has all these dreams and goals. But she is struggling in school, because she’s hungry, she can’t eat, she does not have enough to eat and our family is very poor. That’s a problem, right? As soon as we are hooked in with that person, and we’re introduced with a problem. We are hardwired to want to solve that problem and the two chemicals oxytocin and cortisol kick in empathy, and a feeling of focused attention. I want to solve this problem. And I care about this little girl these feelings, encourage giving, these are called I call them fundraising chemicals. Now with your story, your pitch, you want to make sure that you’re you’re telling your story across all of your channels, not just Facebook, not just email, not just direct mail, but all of your channels, and you’re telling the story across all channels, right.
So just a pitch about you know, multi channel marketing. So let’s talk about identifying and segmenting your audience. The first question, sometimes I get is, you know, we have an email lists we have a list of donors. But why should we segment our list? Why is that important? And the reason why is because you have many different types of people that are connected to your organization. In this situation, we can say that our nonprofit is like a restaurant, right? You have people that are regulars, they show up all the time, people that came to the restaurant because their friend invited them, and so forth. So in your own database, you have different sort of people that support you different relationships, the better we can identify their relationship, the more likely and and follow up with corresponding relevant communication, the more likely we’re going to keep them interested, get them to take actions, we have donors, volunteers, advocates, marginal interests, that’s one of my favorites. Oh, I’m on your email list, because a friend made me attend one of your events. And I went because they’re my friend, but honestly, I’m not so interested in the cause. Thank you very much. So you have marginal interest, okay? Newsletter, subscribers, and so forth. All right. Now to take this a step further, all donors are not equal. Okay, first time donors, great. You get that first time gift. But if you get a second donation from that same person, sometimes it feels like a miracle. Wow, they came back again, they give us money a second time. It’s amazing, right? So that second person who gives a second gift is very different from first time donor. My favorite example is disaster type of fundraising. Right? We have a massive tsunami wipes out a big village. And of course, we see all the ads and emails and text messages from Red Cross, saying you can help now, right? And of course, they get lots of new donors, right. But how many of those people come back again, and give a second gift to the Red Cross? Very few. Right? So that’s, you know, first time donors, great. Second time donor has crossed a critical threshold. And monthly donor is absolutely important. major donors are different, obviously, you know, they’re more interested in the longer term success, the bigger commitment to the organization and the cause. People gave over a year ago, they kind of fell off the map and so forth, right? So all donors are not equal. And this is precisely what I’m going to segment both in your database, your donor database like DonorPerfect or Constant Contact while at preferably both right? And you can segment you don’t want to segment A common mistake I see is that people sometimes think, Oh, we’re going to segment based on who they’re in the zip code, that means that they’re the rich people in this zip code. I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a town a few miles away, well, Newton, Newton, Newton, Massachusetts, you know, Wellesley, you know, lots of rich people, right? Oh, they live in Wellesley, they must have money. Now, the best way to segment people is based on their own interests, their own participation, their own actions. So that first time donor, we want to, we want to segment them that returning donor, this is a person who gave twice, we’re going to treat them different monthly donors major donor, and so forth. Now one of my favorite, there’s several different ways to segment actually an email marketing tools. But one of my favorite ways is, is tagging. So rather than putting people on a separate lists, like a whole list of first time donors, a list of returning donors, and a list of monthly donors, and so forth. You know, the problem with that is you might have some kind of overlap, maybe, well, let’s use an example of a volunteer and a donor, you know, they’ve been a volunteer and a donor, why should they be on two email lists, we don’t want to kind of double our efforts or send them, you know, two messages by mistake, okay? So tagging is a little bit better, because then you can assign multiple tags to an individual contact, and more, you know, send the right message to the right person at the right time, you know, be a little bit more wise about who you’re targeting. And then let your supporters choose to that’s another way to segment your audience is let them choose how often they want to receive emails, let them choose what types of emails they want to receive, and also what topics they’re interested in, you know, that survey question earlier from Sandy Hook Promise, you know, what aspect of our cause you interested in, you know, parents, you know, and or these other issues, right. So that’s the topic that they’re interested in. Of course, we’re going to follow up with them, stressing or emphasizing those topics over others. You also want to target highly relevant subscribers with timely marketing campaigns. And this is really the kind of the brilliance of segmentation is that now by segmenting, we’re able to identify by people and also deliver a very kind of personalized information to them. And this is really I think the the real cornerstone and power of email marketing. So here’s an email I get from Donors Choose, it says, we need you in Allston, Massachusetts. Wow, that’s like right around the corner from my house. Okay, great. Hi, John, first name. And then there’s a local classroom that needs your help, there’s a picture of it. And here’s the city, right, so you’ve got my attention, because this message is very, very relevant to who I am, where I live, and what I’m interested in. Okay, so that’s really the value of segmenting, okay. And then you want to use automated messages to communicate in a timely manner. So basically, when someone does take action, like registering for an event, you want to follow up immediately. With, you know, an email, you could call this a trigger, it’s often referred to as a trigger someone registers for an event, and then automatically, they’re going to start receiving a few emails that are related to that event. Okay. So just to take this a step further, this is just an example. Day one, a message goes out automatically. And you could do this with Constant Contact, by the way, brilliant solution. Day one, message one, thank you for registering for our event. Invite your friends, okay? Sure, we want people who registered immediately, we want them to share it with their friends, we have to strike while the iron is hot. The the iron is hot. Day three. You know, two days later, here’s some event news, some new stuff that’s happening about this event. You know, we didn’t tell you this before, but it’s brand new, of new addition, NEW SPEAKER new information about this event. Please share, we want to emphasize sharing this event. In other words, in this campaign, the goal is to turn event registrants into spokespeople, right? And there might be another message a couple of days later. Here’s some other ways you can help us out at the event, right? Or learn more and share more sharing about that event. And as I said before, the day after the event, send an email, following up immediately after the event and say, hey, you know, again, check out the pictures. But also, here’s what’s happening. Next, you know, if you’re not following us on Facebook, connect with us there so you can find out about future stuff, join our newsletter, if you’re not on our newsletter, and so forth. Right. So let’s talk about driving fundraising event registrants, you know, getting them to actually go to your fundraising page, and register for that event. Okay.
So what motivates people to attend fundraising events? What you want to do is rather than, you know, again, a common mistake I see is, oh, we want to reach people and promote our fundraising events. So let’s see, wow, there are what 1.9 billion people on Facebook who, man if only point oh, 1% of those people register for our event, we’re going to be great, you know. So in other words, like the thinking is, let’s, let’s, let’s try and convince total strangers to register for our event. But what I say is no, you want to preach to the choir, you want to really target people that already, like know and trust you, if they like, know and trust you, you’ve covered a lot of ground with them already, you have a lot of credibility, and they are going to be highly likely to register for that event. Of course, they love the cause. They love the community, they might love the activity. So we kind of have to figure out what aspect of our event are they interested in, they might love the sponsor, I love the sponsor who’s promoting this event. them I love this cause I’m so passionate. I love the people and love to meet these people, right? So finding out that angle, right. But I always say you know, when you want to launch your fundraising event, or your campaign or walkathon or whatever it is, well we start with the people in your database, we want to have them register first. So that now we’re turning them into spokespeople. As I said before, that’s the core audience, we always want to treat those people with, with the most, you know, the most love, so to speak. Now, here’s, here’s a little chart actually, you can print this out, put it on your cubicle wall. And these are literally the things you can do before, during and after an event. So I’m not going to read all of this here for the purpose of time. But you know, three months before your event, you want to set up your mobile friendly event page. You want to start crafting that story that’s really going to get people’s attention that story about one person and that problem that they encountered and how the donor is going to solve that problem. You want to start writing your email drip campaigns, your messages, your automatic, your auto responders, so that when someone does register, they’re going to receive a series of emails, ambassadors, you want to start getting those people together, obviously want to set up Google Analytics as well. So you can track everything going forward. And then about a month before the event, you want to drive traffic, start promoting this, okay, with direct mail with email, you want to start engaging the community with stories. And then the week before you want to remind people, you know, again, if these times, you can say two weeks before, remind people, you know, the point is that, you know, to have a phase where you’re setting things up, you’re promoting it or announcing your big event, you’re reminding people maybe a few times, and by the way, reminding isn’t just saying, Hey, we have an event, we have an event, we have an event and just repeating yourself over and over again. No, you have to be creative and think, What can we share this interesting. So for example, let’s say you have a silent auction at your big fundraising event. And as part of your silent auction, you have some really strange things that people have donated, for example, a lava lamp, why not take a picture of the lava lamp? Share it on your Facebook page and say, Hey, who’s ever seen one of these things? What you know, can you guess what it is? By the way, it’s in our silent auction, if you haven’t registered yet, click this link and register, right. So basically, you’re coming up with creative excuses, that are about the supporter, what’s in it for me, that keeps them engaged, reminding them about the event. And then of course, on the big day, you want to really focus on the people that attend that event, and really give them an incredible experience. The day after, thank you send out event pictures, send out that email blasts, thank people by phone, and postcard. In fact, in the interest of donor retention, I’m just going to say that, and this doesn’t apply to a fundraising event. But if you call a person who makes a donation, you pick up the phone, and you call them and say thank you so much for your gift, it really means a lot and you’re really changing some lives, we just want to say thank you very quickly. And thank you for your time click, that’s it, that actually increases the lifetime value and more than doubles the lifetime value of the donor, and also doubles the likelihood that they’ll give again, right? So this is just kind of money in the bank waiting to be cashed in it, so to speak. And then also, you always want to tell people, what’s next, whatever’s going on, you want to tell them what’s next. Because as I said before, if you use a cliche, you want to strike while the iron is hot, that you’re undermined for a very limited time, for a very limited time. So you want to follow up and say, you know, hey, here’s what’s next. Don’t forget, sign up for this. You know, here’s what’s happening. And here’s what you can do next. Okay? Because people will want to know, the problem that I see as a lot of organizations, they stop at Inspire, you know, the big day happens, and the big day is done. And there’s total radio silence. people that attended the event, are wondering what happened with the pictures. I don’t know, it was fun, but more What’s up now, you know, you’re kind of left hanging, don’t leave people hanging, always follow up the day after and always say thank you. The two most important words in fundraising. The first one is u y o u. The second one is Thank you. Those are the two most important words in fundraising. Now, along with this actually, subtext is very powerful. In fact, Ryan and Sam and I were talking before this webinar, and I don’t know if you guys follow I subscribed to Human Rights Campaign, Red Cross and a few others by text messaging. And whenever I get a text message, I definitely look at it and it’s always interesting. I often take action on it. And you know, if you have I have a 13 year old, always texting 90% of texts are read within the first three minutes of a receipt of receiving it. Text messages have a 98% open rate not surprising at all. That’s obviously a lot higher than email. And all most adults use text. Okay, so how can we use texting as well to promote your event before, during or after? So you can send out a teaser, obviously, kind of reminding people announcing our big event is just Around the corner, keep an eye out for your registration email. In fact, in the text, you can even have a link that says register now, reminders, can’t wait to see you tomorrow night. Don’t forget that sort of thing before the event. During the event, you can encourage people to text to donate during the event. And yes, they will do it. The thing I love about events, a physical event is that, in a sense, you have a captured audience. There are two things one is they signed up for the event, they’ve actually said, they’ve given you what 3456 hours of their time to be at your event, time is worth a lot more than money. If they physically show up at your event, it’s a huge statement, they are seriously interested. And they want you to tell them what to do. So you tell them at the event, here’s what we’re going to do guys, donate. Now, you can coordinate with the speakers appeal, actually, and I’ve seen this done so many ways. So great, especially if you have someone sharing someone who benefits from the work, right? Maybe someone who was formerly homeless, maybe someone who overcame cancer, and they’re speaking, they are one of the big speakers. And during that you can send out a call, you know, donate now, another one silent auction is closing in 10 minutes, don’t miss a chance to get that lava lamp. And then after an event, collecting feedback, you know, what did you think about this event, sharing photos through a link to an online photo gallery, which of course, is going to be on Facebook as a photo album. So sending people there, building up that engagement, getting them to tell their friends about you, of course on Facebook is always really important. Right? So before, during, and after an event. Don’t forget about taxes absolutely critical. Right. So now next topic, how to identify the best times to send donation emails, this is a question I get all the time. And you’re going to be very disappointed in my answer, because you’re probably expecting me to say something like Thursday at two o’clock, and then you can run back to your office Thursday to send an email Thursday to but unfortunately, it’s not going to work that way. Okay. So here’s here’s why most nonprofits are doing blasting Robert familiar, the term email blast, okay, we just blast the list. Okay? The good news about this is that it’s easy to send, it’s a great way to quickly reach all people promote an event, it lets you measure engagement in a sense. So for example, with a newsletter, you can send out that newsletter blast to all your newsletter subscribers, and then look at well, are they opening it? Are they clicking on it? You know, to stay top of mind, it also lets you segment subscribers, you know, the the openers versus the people who are unsubscribing, or not opening your emails. So it’s a good way to kind of segment as well. So that’s great, right? But they unfortunately, the bad part of blasting your list is that it is really an interruption. You are sending this email on during at a time when it’s works for you and your organization. But it’s often an interruption to people, you’re essentially kind of you’re expecting to kind of have them Oh, okay, I need to think about this. Now, I need to open this email. engagement rates are often low. You know, so for example, email newsletter, open rates might be say, 15 25%. I don’t know what the industry standards are, you know, you can there’s a blog post out there, there probably hundreds of blog posts, you know about what’s a good email newsletter open rate is generally between, you know, 15 25%. And you can also it’s also competing calls to action, if you’re sending out email blasts, right? Because you might not have lists that actually segmented really well. So you’re sending an email that says, Hey, can you just give us $10 We’re trying to reach our goal. And unfortunately, that’s received by a major donor who says, Hey, I’m happy to give you 10 bucks. It’ll save me the effort of writing out this $1,000 Check. And I could just give you $10 online, that’s great. Okay. So what I’m really talking about here is basically setting up triggered emails. This is really the gold part of email. Triggered emails have a much higher open rate. So for example, someone registers for your event, they receive an email that says the subject line is event registration receipt, something like that. Wow, that’s an important email. I’ve got to save it. I’ve got to look at it. I’ve gotta at least open it. Those are going to have a higher Open Rate, a much higher open rate and an email newsletter. When they donate, they’re going to, you should immediately send an email, you automatically send them that says, Thank you. You just did something amazing. Thank you so much. That’s the email. Okay. So the benefits of these triggered emails that I’m talking about is that they are, they’re timely, you know, you’re striking when the iron is hot, they’re irrelevant. I just made a donation I’m being thanked for to my donation in and it also invites more action, you’re repeatedly asking them to take action, the example I shared earlier, register for the event, you know, thank you for registering. Second email has some really cool stuff, share with your friends, and a third email, you know, share this event with your friends, there’s this automated way, kind of set it and forget it of sending an email, people get it, they react to it. And we’re touching them more often than not, because they have initiated this process. That’s the real key with triggered email so that they, the subscriber or the donor, the volunteer have initiated the contact. So that’s why they’re going to open these emails, they’re going to read them, they’re going to click on them, the engagement rates are going to be a lot higher. Some types of series, basically, donor onboarding emails, you know, brand new donor, here’s who here’s what we’re about. Thank you, and so forth a follow up series, following up an event. Action Triggers. So sign this petition, we have to end the dog meat trade, sign this petition, an email is automatically sent. And you know, you could say, thanks for signing a petition. You can also support with a small donation right now, that email is going to get a lot of donations guaranteed, because they’ve automatically it’s on their timeline. It’s on their interest. And they’ve basically self they’ve segmented they’ve said, hey, I’m interested in this issue, I signed a petition. So yes, you can definitely ask me for money, and then a retention series as well retaining donors.
So let’s switch gears a little bit. And we’re going to talk about lowering unsubscribes using opt out messaging, okay. So what I often recommend, especially with a newsletter, is that we get people’s permission to send them email. So we’ve all seen this sort of message. You know, hey, thanks for joining our list, please confirm that you are a real human being please confirm your subscription to our church, by clicking on the link below. All this does is this confirms that the person joining your list is the same person that the person that wants to join your list is the same person that entered the email. This is very different from a kind of bad practice that I often see which is, well, let’s just add all of our friends to our email list without even telling them or that well intended, you know, the, the the Aunt Martha with a great intention, who loves the animal shelter. And Aunt Martha is just adding all of her extended relatives to the email list. You know, if we do that, and we’re accepting that we’re going to have an email list that’s very, very bad quality, we always want to get people’s permission. This is more so with email newsletters, okay. So tips for reducing opt outs, definitely send that confirmation in terms of joining your email message. Here’s an example from me, I send an email in the subject line, this is your super boring confirmation email, John, here, you’re receiving this email because you’ve entered your email address on my website. Before I can send you stuff, I need you to click the link below to confirm that you’re a real human being. I mean, people understand that. And I’m building up a list of quality email subscribers with this approach. Okay. And again, timing is everything terms of lowering unsubscribes always make sure you’re sending the right message to the right people at the right time. That’s really the key. And then speak to people, people’s interests, people interested in events, people who downloaded a resource, people who joined the campaign, you know, make sure that you’re speaking to people based on what they have initiated, what they’re interested in. And always, in your mind, say, you know, ask yourself, How can we add value? How can we empower them? How can we connect them with other people with the impact how can we bring them closer to the impact how could we be useful? Right. Now we’re going to finish up with a retention series that I often recommend to my clients. And actually, I think more wish more nonprofits would do this. There’s a great book that everybody should buy. If your nonprofit, you know, you want to, you know, deal with retention retention rates are abysmal, I should say. And there’s a great book retention fundraising by Roger Craver. He’s literally the expert on retention fundraising. If you’re not familiar with him, check out this book. But there’s seven factors that influence donor retentions. DonorPerfect, obviously knows about these as well. The donor has to feel important that they’re appreciated that they get the donor wants to get updates about their impact. They donor wants to have opportunities to make their views known, ie surveys, the donor knows what to expect with each interaction, there’s a sense of consistency, the donor receives a timely thank you messages. There’s a study that shows that, you know, 19% of donors will not give a second gift if they don’t receive a thank you. You know, that’s why donors, they don’t come back because you don’t say thank you. And then the donor feels that your organization is effective, and if achieving its mission, right, so the donor wants to be, wants to have all these things. And the brilliant thing about email specifically and social media, you can share impact stories on social media, lots of things you can do there. But with email, I often recommend that you create a an onboarding series, this will actually help your retention rates, it will keep your donors coming back. The first email says thanks, this email goes out right away. Okay. So thank you so much, you just made a really great choice, you are changing the lives of animals, you’re saving animals, you are doing this, you know, we can remove your organization from the narrative. And this email from PETA, I think we’re all pretty clear, you know who the organization is, we don’t have to hammer that home, in the body of the email, okay, onboarding email number to report back about the gift within the first 30 days, after someone gives a gift, go send another email and say thank you, again, for your gift, you are so awesome. We want to give you an update about what you’ve done. You know, to date, we’ve been able to save X number of animals because of people like you. And also tell them what’s next, you know, here’s what else has happened. And here’s what’s next. You could also say you can have an even greater impact, thank you so much, but you can have a greater impact if you join our monthly donor program. Okay. And then number three, inviting donors to give again, right? So this one, you want to send this email, I would say within the first 60 days, if you can, you want to ask donors to give again. Most of what causes people to give donors is actually being asked, right? So if you, you know, donors give because they love the cause and all that but what actually makes them give in large part is just asking, you know, asking, and you want to ask, you know a lot, but you also want to thank you want to thank more than you ask. But with an automated series like this, you have a couple of opportunities to ask, you know, and if the research shows that if you ask them within the first 90 days, you will have a great, great a much greater chance of retaining that person to a donor. Alright. So just in summary, number one craft a compelling pitch, which includes a story creating contrasts sense of urgency, segmenting your database, your donors, your email subscribers based on their interests, and the actions that they take drive registrations by really going to your community, people that already know about you, they’re in your database, promote those people first. And then the idea about triggered emails, sending emails when you’re when it’s good for your subscribers, when or donors when they sign up as a volunteer. They receive that confirmation email. That’s that’s a relevant and timely email. And then retention, thanking them, reminding them about their impact, appreciating them and asking them to give again. Alright, so that’s our summary. And I’m sure we have lots of questions. So I’ll let Sam take it away. Ryan, take it away.
All right, John, thank you very much. Yes, we did have a number of questions come in, but unfortunately, we are right up against the two o’clock barrier. So what we can do is we can take those questions offline and and try and answer them there. And then we can send emails out to the individuals who ask them. Uh, one thing I did want to include, we had a number of questions come in about the texting service. And if you could, you know, if there was one that we could recommend, I’m going to send out a link to give B is a texting service actually integrates with DonorPerfect. So a lot of you who are doing perfect users, this is perfect for you. So I just sent that out in the chat with a link to get more information there. But yes, as I said, so we’re up against it. I want to again, thank John, that was a fantastic presentation. I think we, you know, got a lot of information out of that. And, again, thanks to Ryan and constant contact as well for agreeing to partner with us. And yes, this this did break the record for our most attended webinars. So that’s some good news there. Yeah, so we’re gonna wrap up now again, John Ryan. Thank you, guys.
Thank you. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Yeah. And again, thanks to everyone for attending attending today and have a good rest of your afternoon.
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