John Thompson, Chief Creative Officer: Jen, what does a multichannel donor look like?
Jennifer Miller, Creative Director: I spoke to a donor recently who got all of our multi-channel touch points. She was a direct mail sustaining donor, so she was high-value and had been for several years. Despite all of the different ways that she got touch points about the organization and with certain offers, she still preferred to give via check through direct mail. That was her preferred channel. Just because a donor gives or shows a preference for giving in one specific channel doesn't mean you should ignore all the other channels. Because they're getting the message. You're engaging your donors, and all ships rise when that happens.
John: Jason, could you speak to our recent test on the impact of social on direct mail donors?
Jason Wood, Vice President Digital Business Development: We served Facebook and Instagram ads to our clients’ donors that we had emails for, utilizing Facebook's customer matching platform. It’s interesting to see the customers who are interacting. They’re reacting with the frowny face or the happy face, depending on what the ad is, but they're also sharing that post and commenting.
For one of our clients, their social media ad had close to a hundred unique interactions. 80% of those unique interactions were all from direct mail donors. Going back to Jen’s point from earlier in this series, this is reinforcing the branding, the offer, and the affirmation with the donors and really ties that emotional connection together. Ultimately, the gift is still coming in through direct mail, and that’s okay. When considering budget allocation, it’s important to consider both conversion channels versus interaction channel.
Samantha Jasnos, Digital Strategist: What’s great about your direct mail donors is that they are commenting on those Facebook ads. The more they comment on, share, and like that content, the more Facebook is going see it as valuable, which means it will show up in more newsfeeds. The more people interact, the better it is for your social media credibility.
John: Jason, can you speak a moment to attribution: what is it and why is it important to the strategies that we drive in fundraising?
Jason: Attribution seeks to understand how much money is allocated to digital, direct mail, phone, face-to-face, or events, and then how much of the total revenue coming in is attributed back to those channels. When organizations tackle direct response program from a siloed approach, everybody is fighting for their budget independently as opposed to striving for a cohesive budget, which is the best way to reach an organization’s fundraising goals.
John: Can we solve for attribution?
Jason: Facebook allows organizations to bring their direct mail donor list into the social media platform. This enables charities to discover how many donors were interacting with an ad and then made a donation within a 14-day time period. This knowledge begins to show what we can achieve with attribution. Every organization would be a little surprised at the sheer number of direct mail donors who are interacting with social media, which starts to directionally point us with regards to budget allocations.
Once attribution is part of the conversation, planning for an annual fund campaign might look like this: Every time I do a direct mail campaign, I need to spend some money in media costs for Facebook. I need to invest so much money in digital, so much money in my mailing, and so much money on phone. I'm not really worried at the moment about who gets credit for what. I'm more worried about reaching the bottom line.
John: Thanks, Jason. A few final questions need to be a part of our discussion on creative, direct mail, and digital. Natasha, can you explain a little bit for us what retargeting tactics are all about?
Natasha Cygnarowicz, Vice President Digital Marketing: Retargeting is the way to boost digital conversions from a missed opportunity. There are three types: search retargeting, site retargeting, and Facebook retargeting.
Search retargeting is when someone’s doing a search query on a search engine (Google, Yahoo!, or Bing) and, for whatever reason, they don’t go to your website. They don’t go to your donation form. It’s a missed opportunity. There’s a way to retarget them and show them display ads on the website and publisher networks that they visit shortly after that search query.
The same happens with site retargeting, as well: a visitor comes to your website and the missed opportunity of the conversion happens. For whatever reason, the form isn’t completed or you don’t get the “submit” button pressed there. The website that the user goes to shortly after that visit can be used to display advertising, as well. This will appeal back to them to pull them back and remind them of whatever it was that they initially had come to your website for. And, hopefully, it will gain that conversion at a later date.
Facebook retargeting really does work the same as site retargeting. The only difference with Facebook is that you can serve up content that’s a little bit different. For instance, the ads can also come through the form of articles. It’s not as direct as a display ad. It’s a little bit more engaging and authentic, which can pull potential donors in and hopefully gain your missed conversion.
John: Final question. Steve, increasingly, we’re seeing an awful lot of video incorporated into fundraising campaigns. Can you speak a moment about video tactics? When and where is it best used, and how could it be incorporated across various nonprofit programs as it relates to fundraising?
Steve Farrar, Digital Creative Director: I think video for social media is obviously a no-brainer. You really need to have video. I recommend that all nonprofits maintain a YouTube channel and use it as often as they can. One of the best tactics for video is just to actually get the content and then evaluate it later. Another important platform to use is Facebook Live. The realtime affirmation of your mission to donors is a huge plus, and it is such a simple thing to do. You don’t have to get on TV anymore, you have it right there with your Facebook Live and your cell phone.
This is the third of a three-part installment of our conversation around integrating creative fundraising strategy across digital and direct mail.