Online + Offline = Integration | npENGAGE

Online + Offline = Integration

By on May 6, 2011 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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Guest blog alert: The following post was contributed by Donna Wilkins of Charity Dynamics, a Convio Solution Provider. Thanks for contributing Donna!

When Cheryl and I first started talking about topics for this post we discussed that there’s a lot of interest in integrated marketing. As I was starting to write and gather my thoughts, I realized this is a topic of interest and discussion for years. However, it’s really interesting how integrated online and offline marketing has evolved into in 2011.

Ten years ago online/offline integration meant sending similar messages at similar times to a direct mail list, complimenting with a single email and maybe a landing page and special donation form.

But, generally they were going to two distinctly different audiences. The direct mail campaign typically went to donors or acquisition targets with known profiles and expected results. There may have been a link to direct these donors to a web page or a request to include their email address with their check. That more or less covered it. The email campaign was mostly a shot in the dark to a list of email addresses that had been collected. Often the list was not qualified as donors or acquisition, and if it was acquisition there was not a clear profile of interests and expected results. Results were typically assessed by how much money came in through direct mail and how much came in online.

Fast forward to 2011, the age of smartphones, social media and 3D television. Now integrated marketing means a complimenting campaign of direct mail, email, landing pages, donation forms, PSAs, texts, social media and more. Oh, and don’t forget many prospects will be reading the email on a mobile device! Leading organizations are now very sophisticated about segmenting their email audiences. They know the interests of these email constituents, what brought them to the organization and started the online relationship, giving history, and have benchmarked results. Results are assessed based on impact of all channels as well as where the donation occurred.

If you’re not there yet, how do you get there?

When we’re working with clients on a campaign plan we create a matrix that identifies audiences and channels against a timeline. We then identify key messages before we start any of the copy writing. We’re always looking for how copy and graphics can be reused to give donors a consistent experience, but adjust the copy based on the audience and channel style. (And not only does this provide a consistent user experience, but it can lessen the load in terms of content creation.) We also consider conditionals and personalization, looking for where they have the most impact and we’re get the highest return on investment.

One of the most important steps in moving ahead is to do an analysis of your results. Whether you’ve had a clear plan on your integration strategy or you’re developing a strategy, analyze the data you have and continuing to analyze with each campaign. This is the number one activity that I see really make the difference for the organizations who are seeing significant growth in fundraising. Your results are not just the dollars and cents, but what you’re learning that you can apply to the next campaign.

You should be analyzing the impact of each channel, the total results for each audience, and the source of each donation. For example if I know $10,000 came in online from a campaign, that’s great. But what’s really interesting is who are these donors and how  can we find more like them. How many of those donors receive messaging in direct mail, email, social media or all three? Were they past donors or new donors? What was the median and average gift and are they large one-time gifts or smaller, reoccurring gifts? What was the source of those donations, which email message, social media, was it on a mobile device or desktop?

You’re likely to find you know more than you think you do! We find that most organizations are sitting on a gold mine of data and a little analysis goes a long way to increasing results of your next campaign. See what I mean later this month when I tell you how one organization used these techniques to start a very happy new year.

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From time to time, a guest blogger will appear on npENGAGE. Guest bloggers are industry experts contributing useful, relevant content to the conversation on npENGAGE. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, contact the editor.

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