Salsa Blog

50 Things About Salsa Part 3

By Jason Zanon, Salsa
(With a little help from Amanda Foster and Beth Johnson)

We’re continuing with our 50 things about Salsa that you need to know list (here’s the first post, if you missed it). Today’s focus is on supporters.

Supporter Section

The “Supporter” tab is your window into the many (hopefully!) folks who subscribe to and support your organization. Here you'll find a bevy of options to sort and study this important species.

7. Use % wild card for list-sorting and queries

You already know that Salsa's Query tool is the quickest way to pull up a list segment. Although you can use it to find a supporter with a specific email address, like, a text-string query (see below) can also accept the % sign as a wild-card. The trick is to use it with the query operator like, rather than the operator is. So to search for everyone with a gmail address, query on:

Supporter Fields >> Email >> Like >>

The % sign also works in the headquarters search box, and in custom reports.

8. Schedule query exports

After running a query, the results can be exported to a data file. That's not news. But did you know that you can queue queries up to run automatically on a recurring schedule? On step 2 of the query process, find the "Advanced Export Options" link. Then ...

  1. Under "Export to a File, or schedule an export," click "Export Options".
  2. Set the "Run and Export this Report" field to "On a Schedule".
  3. Select a start time for the first report to run.
  4. Select the run frequency from the "Run the Report" menu.
  5. Select one or more (comma-delimited) email addresses to receive the reports.

Schedule a report in Salsa

9. Scoring

Scoring helps you identify your most active supporters by assigning point values to different types of activities, optionally weighted by recency. It's a powerful way to segment your list and build communications strategies for different sections of your audience, from the casual to the committed. Best of all, this hidden gem has an additional price tag to you of $0.00.

To get started, just contact Salsa support to request access to the package.

10. Auto-tags imports and signups for easy retrieval

Salsa actually does this one for you right out of the box -- no setup needed! Every supporter who uses a signup page receives a system-generated tag of signup:page1234 where 1234 is the page's unique KEY number. (That's in addition to any or your own tags that you might choose to apply to the page.) This makes it a snap to grab a list of everybody who used that page.

Salsa does the same thing, and for the same reason, with imports. Every row in your import (let's say, import KEY number 56789) will be tagged as eitherimport:created56789 (if the supporter was created anew by this import) or import:updated56789 (if the supporter already existed in your database but was matched to a row in the import).

All of these automatic tags are at the ready in your query builder for segmentation, targeting and so forth.

11. Smart groups

Salsa's Groups can be made into automatic, self-compiling segments. Let's say you want a group that always contains current residents of California. You start by building and saving a query like:

Supporter >> State >> Is >> CA

Then, create a "Californians" group. In the last tab of your group setup to access these Smart Group options, and set it as a smart group, using the Californians query.

Regular "Smart Groups" run every night, automatically grabbing any supporters who meet the query criteria, and automatically removing folks who no longer fit the query criteria. (For example, if Joe California moves to Oregon, he'll be out of your group within 24 hours.)

"Greedy Smart Groups" also run every night, but -- in contrast to regular "Smart Groups" -- never relinquish anyone who has ever been a member of the group. (Joe California will remain in your Californians group even after his address changes.)

Salsa Smart Group

12. SYBUNT and LYBUNT lapsed donor targeting

Salsa's Query tool has grown to incorporate a number of donor-query options. When building a new query that uses donation history, a picklist lets you query for donors in many different ways. Notice the options in the lower half of this list.

These tools should let your development team identify by name and/or target for email important segments of high- or lower-performing donors. For instance, you can immediately identify everybody who has made a certain number of contributions, or a contribution above a certain dollar amount, during a specific date range.

One great way to put this to use is to combine query terms including both counts of donations in previous years and "counts" of zero donations in the current year.

Salsa Query off Donation History

Using this sort of query, you can do some slick donor targeting, such as:

  • · LYBUNT: Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year. These are folks who care about your mission enough to contribute, and did so very recently, but they haven't (yet) repeated the gift this year. LYBUNT donors are definitely worth special outreach and messaging to induce a renewal gift.
  • · SYBUNT: Some Year But Unfortunately Not This Year. Similar to LYBUNT, but incorporates people who have made any previous gift, not just those who gave last year.

But you can go beyond that. Consider the possibilities for custom-tailoring messages, follow-up or just internal reporting around folks such as:

  • · Donors who gave two years ago, but neither this nor last year.
  • · Donors whose gift amounts have significantly grown or fallen during a particular period of time.
  • · First-time donors (those with a gift this year but never in previous years), especially those who might have been on your list for some time before making a gift.
  • · High-engagement supporters (perhaps defined by Salsa Scoring) who aren't donors.

Read Part 4.

Topics: Supporter Management