Make Text Messaging Supporters Your New Year’s Resolution
WRITTEN BY LINDSEY HIMPHILL
As the year comes to a close, now is the best time to start thinking about the goals your organization is setting for the new year. Whether you have already been texting your supporters or if you have never sent a text, perfecting this channel of communication can help your organization build closer relationships with your supporters.
Why should your organization consider texting?
Text messaging is a great way to make sure you are communicating directly with your supporters. Text messages have an average open rate of 98%, and 97% of text messages are opened within the first 3 minutes. In comparison, an average email open rate is typically around 22%. So by sending text messages, your organization is increasing the likelihood of your supporters seeing your messages, and seeing them quickly.
When should I text?
With the holiday season and year-end just behind us, now is the perfect time to start (or continue) to use text messaging. If you didn’t use text for your year-end fundraising, use this as an opportunity to thank your donors. If you did use it for your year-end campaigns, you’ll want to continue that communication into the new year.
As a best practice, it is recommended that your organization send at least 3 cultivation text messages to your audience that do not contain a direct donation ask before any monetary call-to-action. These text messages will help supporters feel more comfortable and more inclined to make a donation at a later time.
Your nonprofit can begin now to develop a plan for the text messages you’ll send in 2020. For example, if you start in January, you can send one message per month starting for the next 3 months. By the time you reach Spring, you can send a call-to-action for any fundraising events or campaigns you may have approaching!
Would you like to connect with supporters and donors via the device they look at 58 times per day?
What should my text messages say?
Your text messages can contain all different types of content. Initial text messages should be friendly, informative, and contain content your audience is eager to hear. Some ideas for these messages include sharing recent success stories, impact metrics of previous or current campaigns, or messages expressing gratitude or updates directly from your staff, board or volunteers.
As you start off the new year, it’s important to thank donors for any support they’ve given recently, update them on the great work your organization is doing, and spend some time focusing on building the relationship between your organization and your supporters. Ultimately, this will prepare your donors for when you are ready to introduce a fundraising campaign or event later in the year.
Another idea to start off 2020 is to send your supporters a donor survey via text. You can create a survey through MobileCause to send to them and gain some insight about what they like to hear about from your organization. That way you can more carefully craft and send content that aligns with their interests.
Who should I text?
While your younger audience may seem like the most obvious choice, supporters of all generations use text, so don’t be afraid to text everyone! You can upload a list of all the phone numbers you have in your donor database into MobileCause to see which are mobile and ready to accept text messages.
Don’t have many phone numbers yet? You can use MobileCause subscription keywords to easily build your database and start collecting more phone numbers from your audience. Anytime someone texts in your keywords, you collect their phone number which you can use to continue that line of communication. Subscription keywords remove the donation element so supporters can feel more comfortable texting in to receive information and you can build your database and your relationships.
Implementing text messaging is a great way to add an extra layer to a multichannel approach and ensure that your supporters are receiving your information quickly. Make a plan to implement text messaging as part of your organization’s New Year’s resolution to strengthen the relationship between your organization and your supporters!
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