The Obama Effect, Part II: 20 Takeaways for Multichannel Fundraisers
15. Invest in Integrated Data Systems
To support a multichannel appeal, fundraisers will need to invest in data systems integrating mail, e-mail, and other channels and systems. Taggart says PETA continues to work toward an integrated data system to help deliver more timely and relevant donor communications across all channels. "If we have someone sign up online to do a fur-free pledge, then we can follow up with those people whether it's in the mail, or online, or both, and say, ‘Thanks for pledging to go fur-free. Here's some extra resources that can help you. And by the way, we're launching a campaign against Armani, and could you help with a $15 contribution today?'" she describes.
Taggart also encourages fundraisers to invest in data systems now to take advantage of the explosion of behavioral data becoming available online. "There's so many bits that you can collect about what a person is doing or not doing online, which you can then put into a more traditional direct marketing model or a predictive analysis or ranking," she says.
16. Be Flexible With Online Asks
One advantage online fundraising affords over direct mail is a new way to test and develop asks. "I don't think the science of asking strings is nearly as fully developed online as it is in the mail ... I think there's a lot more room for experimentation online," Taggart says.
For example, you can vary your asks for particular appeals or ask for a higher amount on your first attempt, then a slightly lower amount the second time around. According to Taggart, by looking at giving history across channels, you can assure that you are not downgrading donors in follow-up asks. "If I have a donor who gave $200 to the online Dog House campaign and then in the mail only donated a $35 renewal gift, I don't want to then go back online and just ask them for $35," Taggart advises.