This is no secret: Siloed direct mail and digital fundraising to retain donors isn’t going to cut it. You need more ways to keep your donors connecting to your organization.
There is, however, an emerging way to bolster your retention: digital media.
Regardless of the channels you have in place now—the next frontier for multichannel renewal is tied to digital media. Digital media will maximize your marketing efforts and allow you to target your donor segments with as much or as little sophistication as you can stomach.
How This Works
Digital media boosts retention by helping keep your mission top of mind for donors through targeted impressions. With an effective media campaign, you’ll connect with donors on the websites and social media platforms that they are visiting. This adds surround sound to your mission and, when timed appropriately, helps lift awareness of your offline and online campaigns.
Using a mix of paid search, paid social, display, video, and native advertising, RKD Group works with our clients to layer digital media channels alongside key integrated direct marketing campaigns. This gives both digital and direct mail recipients another reminder to engage through the channel they prefer. It’s smart impressions, which breed familiarity. And familiarity breeds renewals.
Must Target with Data
Digital media strategy must be precise; it involves more than tossing out ads on a wing and a prayer and hoping the right donor sees it. Efficient multichannel media renewal efforts leverage data analytics to identify potential audiences. Further, efficient digital media is personalized according to what you know about your donors: location, interests, giving method preferences, etc.
Just like running water takes a minute to get hot, so does digital media. Keeping your message in market consistently will encourage overall engagement with your mission (not to mention your website, landing and donation pages) and, in our experience, assist gains in direct mail. Even though your digital media cost-to-acquire might fluctuate, this multichannel renewal approach will boost all channels for greater annual gains.
If you’re using digital media as a renewal tactic—you cannot just ‘set and forget.’ Effective media placement requires ongoing optimization in audience and creative. Is your media performance doing more than fluctuating? Look carefully and make changes accordingly. For example, seasonality can be a factor in performance. Consider lowering the budget on a specific ad and wait until a time of year deemed more fruitful.
Look: acquisition can be tough, and it’s getting tougher. With shrinking pools of lists and more complex data available, we must be smart on the most effective ways to retain donors we’ve worked hard to acquire.
Digital media might just be the secret for you, too. Just don’t tell anyone we told you.
Article originally published in the DMFA Forum Newsletter