Businesses are constantly fighting to be noticed in a busy world. People are being inundated with information online through their own searches and time on social media. This makes it difficult for nonprofit organizations to stick out from the crowd. And, for an organization that depends on donors in order to continue operating, that can be a worrisome situation. However, nonprofit organizations can find success through a text message marketing plan.
SMS is a Good Instrument for Reaching Donors
You have probably heard the statistic before that it only takes three minutes for 90 percent of text messages to be read. Those numbers show you the power that text message marketing can have. If you want to get your information in front of people you should send it in a text. Text messages are convenient for your donors, and people love convenience.
Pew Reseach conducted a study that found 77 percent of adults owned and used a smartphone. Of those people, 46% said they couldn’t live without it. The majority of Americans are walking around with a tool in their pocket or purse that would allow you to get your message across. And, you can even provide them with a way to donate right from their phones.
Before you start sending out messages it is important that you understand the best way to develop an SMS plan to reach your donors. Here are some easy to implement tips to get you started.
Why It’s a Good Idea for a Nonprofit to Use Text Messaging
The ultimate reason that a text message campaign is good for your company is the fact that it is good for your donor. It is easier for them to access then emails or direct mail. It is more affordable to send a message out to multiple people on a list than to have volunteers or staff call each person individually.
Text messages also receive a higher click-through rate. While email shows only 6-7%, SMS messages have a rate that is nearly 36 percent.
Grow your list
Before you start texting out marketing messages you need to get permission first. There are a few easy ways to accomplish this. First, ask for numbers and permission on your website or social media. Let your readers and donors understand what kind of messages they can anticipate receiving. You can also collect numbers for your text campaign during fundraising events.
Grow your list by offering something in exchange for a number. Take advantage of the opportunity when you are hosting an event. Encourage attendees to text your organization in order to take advantage of some other free offer. This could be having them participate in a game, enter a drawing, or simply show their support. Have an auto message ready to be sent back to them as a response.
How to start a text-to-give campaign
Nonprofits are finding big success with fundraising campaigns through text. In 2016, $700,000 was raised to help young people with cancer by a text-to-give campaign run by the Young and Brave Foundation.
If you are looking for success like this you need to spread the word about your campaign. Announce the campaign. Share it on social media, put signs up around your organization, and include it in your donor newsletter. The more people that know the better, so don’t be afraid to put it in multiple places.
To start bringing in donations set a keyword that you encourage donors to text to your specified number. This simple plan starts the process by sending them the link to how they can donate right from their phone.
Write the perfect message
When you are ready to start sending messages to your donors you need to have a strategic plan, otherwise, you will not get positive results. You need to include four key elements in your message. The first is to communicate the need while being short and straight to the point. Next, you need to tell the donors how they can be part of the solution and what value it provides. Lastly, include a visual that will pull them in while supporting your message.
Create a banner that will display your message, and put it up on your website, distribute it on your event locations and any place where potential donors can see it.
Build a lasting donor relationship
It was found that 73 percent of donors only make a single donation. As a nonprofit organization relying on those donations, your goal is to build relationships with the donors. You want them to donate on a recurring basis. Here is how to cultivate that relationship.
- Send a thank you note. Tell them how much you appreciate it and show them an example of the difference that they made.
- Don’t push it. No one likes to be hit up for money constantly. Limit the number of times you ask for the donation to only once a month.
- Invite them to your events. Putting a face or two with the name of your organization will help donors connect further.
- Send notifications. Text your donors if you had to change information about an event they were going to be attending or simply want to remind them of it. Make sure you give them plenty of advanced notice if you are changing their plans.
- Share general information. To keep donors involved include them in the current news of your nonprofit. Let them know about the new solutions your organization is working on and how they can be a part of it.
- Ask for their opinions. Show your donors that you care about what they think and want to hear their opinions. Their donations are keeping your doors open, so allow them a role of importance. Without their donation, your organization will not continue.
Keep your donor in mind when establishing your text message marketing campaign. Think about how you can mutually help each other. You need to show the value that is behind their donation. Keep it simple and don’t overthink your plan. Follow the rules above and you will be well on your way to increasing your donors and growing your donations.
Anastasia Sviridenko is responsible for content creation and promotion at TextMagic – a mass text messaging service. When she’s not working on a new piece of content, you can find her buying the latest science-fiction novel at the nearest bookstore.