Five Strategies to Boost Donor Retention Using Email Marketing
Understanding the Importance of Donor Retention Is Equivalent to Ensuring That the Retention Program Is Constantly Expanding
Contributing to a noble cause adds value to corporate identity of any business. It aids in supporting welfare and promoting goodwill initiatives. Email marketing is an important medium of communication in maintaining a good relationship with nonprofit donors. It is the point of contact which must be utilized whenever necessary, especially since the power of communication is marked as high importance here.
Donor Retention involves varied fundraising methods across regular, monthly and yearly donors since they lend help to nonprofits over prolonged durations of time. Donor Retention is incredibly necessary for nonprofits since a loss of donors would mean a loss of funds and a definite lag in progressing towards the cause.
What Is the Importance of Donor Retention for Nonprofits?
Donor Retention is of significant importance since the acquisition of first-time donors is time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, building relationships which matter with donors that stand for the same cause as you are incredibly important. Cultivating these relationships to be more of permanence than a one-time effect will be valuable for the nonprofit in terms of funds, bridging divides and creating a community of well-wishers.
What Is the Impact of a Strong Donor Retention Program?
Focusing your efforts on a strong retention program would mean
- Spend Less, Get more
It is decidedly cheaper to obtain a second donation from a prospect who has already donated earlier. On the other hand, it is tricky to convince a person who is new to this concept. In the nonprofit world, spending less to get more is a tactic organizations must enforce since the income increases and the expenses would decrease.
- Sustainable Funding
Building sustainable funding for your nonprofit can be done by keeping in place a donor retention strategy. This strategy must be aimed at stimulating all current donors to stay involved with the organization and beliefs of its practices, thus improving the quality of work performance in general.
Understanding the importance of donor retention is equivalent to ensuring that the retention program is constantly expanding, thus improving work balance and the stream of funds flowing in. A strong retention program in place would mean an increase in productivity and a cemented brand image.
How Can You Create an Effective Donor Retention Strategy?
According to Erik Daubert from Growth in Giving Initiative “An intentional donor retention and stewardship plan can keep donors coming back and even giving more from one year to the next! A well-designed strategy can retain and grow your major donors while investing in the current and future value of smaller donors. In this way, you deepen your relationships with current major donors, while building relationships with your major donor prospects (current smaller donors) of the future.”
Retaining donors is a grave concern with nonprofits. A recent study by the 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report shows that only 46% of donors have donated to the same organization for two years in a row. This leaves a wide margin of potential waiting to be reaped.
From social media outreach to active fundraising campaigns, there are umpteen ways of maximizing the potential to achieve high productivity in donor retention.
One of the best ways to boost retention is with the concept of email marketing. Email marketing helps connect your brand with the right audience by increasing sales and generating revenue. Effective email marketing converts prospective leads to active customers and is one of the most direct yet effective methods.
Five Strategies of Email Marketing for a Successful Donor Retention Strategy
Making email marketing campaigns which can channelize a direct communication platform for your donors and the organization is important and extremely beneficial. By following the guidelines for an effective email strategy, the donor retention program can be successfully used to target one-time donors and nurture leads to full-time prospects.
- Importance of Subject Lines:
Apart from the main body of the email, focusing on subject lines is a critical aim to determine how a recipient will engage with the message delivered. Opening an email is largely bent upon the subject line and the gist of what it conveys. This is especially true since the average consumer today is bombarded with irrelevant advertising emails on a daily basis. An effective email subject line will require the content to be concise (maximum five words), precise (the prospect needs to gauge the outline), personalized and focused.
Select recipients may also be more likely to open emails that have the nonprofit organization’s name since they’ve been engaged with the business before. Having an email list of old and new donors would be of preference here. Never neglect a subject line since it could mean losing an important donor in retaliation.
- Utilizing Donor Retention Tools:
Using email marketing software is a great method for personalizing emails and taking a step ahead in the donor retention strategy. Organizations can further take the game of personalization ahead by using CRM software or other digital donation tools.
CRM software can aid in donor retention and conversion since it can hold innumerable accounts of information of your donors, their contact information and even their personal preferences. Putting a CRM to use by email segmentation will deliver relevant emails to each recipient. Organizations can gain a better knowledge of which emails lead to donations and event registrations by behavioral tracking and click-through rate per email.
Digital donation tools can deepen direct engagement, increase donor impact and encourage new types of engagement. Point to note here is that any new email marketing strategy or donation tool must be open to retaining and converting donors.
- Personalizing Emails:
The old-school rule of email marketing personalization applies for donor retention strategies too. Personalizing emails involves mentioning the donor’s name in the body of the email or in the text of your donation appeal. Donor segmentation is necessary for fundraising and marketing, thus being a core feature for retention strategies. Segmenting donors on the basis of key groups such as Past Donors, Recurring Donors, Newsletter Recipients, Members, Volunteers etcetera will be useful in curating an email personalization strategy. Each group must receive emails associated to their identity within said nonprofit.
- Incorporation of Digital Media:
Simple text-printed fliers and pamphlets are obsolete now. The digital era involves exciting mediums that deliver fresh content on every platform inclusive of mobile apps, social networking sites, blogs and video streaming sites. The best way of personalizing email marketing to boost donor retention strategies can now include visually-appealing digital multimedia. Benefits of including digital content in an email will eliminate the need to fill in huge blocks of text which may bore the reader and seem repetitive.
Creatively tackling email campaigns with multimedia content can include:
- Photos of current staff, volunteering activities, work environments or anything which can add interest to the big picture of the donor campaign
- Interactive elements of campaigning and events related to the non-profit
- Infographic charts
- Fundraising scales which can show donors the efforts put into the organization’s cause
- Short videos which can be embedded in the email to fit the cause and appeal
- Relevant updates for further engagement:
After a donor makes a contribution, an auto-email response is generated thanking them for their support and efforts. Don’t let the engagement end there. Always make sure to fill in (not spam!) their inboxes with relevant insights based on upcoming events, the current scenario as well as future planning.
Provide a way to count in further engagement by incorporating membership programs, special tickets to fundraising events, rewards for volunteering among other benefits to encourage donors to believe in your cause.
How to Manage Fundraising Campaigns?
Managing fundraising campaigns of large or medium-sized focus groups are not tasks that can be optimized to its full capability manually. This is when Donor Management Solution Software has stepped in. These donor management solution platforms are excellent means of organizing, reporting and handling data of numerous accounts across varied profiles. The database of the software can hold data starting from A-Z and is by far more efficient, less disorganized and highly opted for by nonprofits to suit their needs.
Some of the top Donor Management Solutions software include:
- Raiser’s Edge NXT
- Planning Center
- NetSuite for Nonprofits
- Salsa CRM
The purpose of a nonprofit organization should include messages that engage with your recipients in the most genuine path of interaction. Boosting donor retention need not be a struggle anymore since the email marketing strategies above are a definite guide to promote business and aid nonprofits in meeting their targets.