When it comes to fundraising, December really matters. The last three months of the year account for 46% of all the yearly donations processed via Salsa donation pages! As we head into the height of fundraising season, take a moment to review some SUPER tools that can help you maximize your donation asks in Salsa.
Send emails to the right people
Clean your list
One of the top priorities of email service providers like Gmail and Yahoo is protecting their clients from spam - and there’s a lot of it. To accomplish this they carefully analyze a lot of data to decide what happens to the email blasts you send. If you’re emailing people who are never opening your emails, email service providers are smart enough to realize these people don’t really want to receive emails from you - and one of the following things happening to your email blasts:
- They’re going into a spam folder.
- They’re going into an alternate folder like Gmail’s “Promotions” folder.
- They’re not getting delivered at all.
Beginning on slide 25 of this ‘Improving List Hygiene’ presentation, we walk you through exactly how to isolate the inactive supporters on your list so you can stop sending them emails and start to improving your inbox placement.
Send customized emails based on known behavior and interests
Remember this very important rule - your audience’s interests and wishes trump your own. You want to share a lot more information than they actually want to read and they will stop reading your emails if you send them a lot of information they don’t want.
Pay attention to your supporter’s behavior (To which campaigns do they donate? Which advocacy campaigns prompt them to take action?) and modify the message accordingly. Once you have customized your message, you’ll need to target your email blasts so that you’re sending these customized messages to the right people. List segmentation is a supporter management best practice and it’s worth the time investment.
Standard Email Blasts
It’s great if your supporters are coming to your website on their own looking for your donation page, but we often have to send donors emails asking them to donate. Here are some tools you can use to make those email requests more effective.
Salsa’s QuickFill tool allows your donors to store their payment information so they can click on a link in an email blast and make a one-click donation. Fewer clicks equal more donations. It’s as simple as that.
Email Template Generator
If the look and feel of your email blasts could use a little freshening, try Salsa’s new email template generator. You can use this friendly tool to create mobile-optimized email templates which are customized with your organization’s branding and social media links.
Supporters can’t make a donation if they never open the email which asks them to do so. You can use Salsa’s A/B Testing tool to test two different versions of your subject line.
- Write your fundraising email.
- Create two distinct subject lines for the same email.
- Send the version with subject line A to 5% of your donor list.
- Send the version with subject line B to another 5% of your donor list.
- Wait a few days and see which version performed better (or aim for at least 8-12 hours if you’re really pressed for time.)
- Send the version with the better performing subject line to the remaining 90% of your donor list.
You can do the same thing with the size or color of donation buttons, or any other variable you think might affect your fundraising results. Just remember to test only one variable at a time so your test results are reliable.
Donation Dynamic Content
Use Salsa’s dynamic content feature to request a donation amount which is based upon a particular donor’s last donation amount. As an example, you can tell Salsa to look at the last donation made by the donor and insert a specific donation request that is $10 more. If Mary Smith donated $20 in the last campaign, this new email will ask her to donate $30 - inching her up just enough that it’s still a comfortable amount for her to donate.
Drip campaigns after a donation is made
After a supporter receives your donation email and makes a donation, it’s a good idea to follow up with them. You can add Salsa’s autoresponses and streaming emails to a donation page in order to send automated (but customized) emails set to go out over time.
Send a donation receipt
After someone makes a donation, they should receive a donation receipt right away. You can use an email autoresponse with some basic merge fields to automatically send a donor a receipt which will include a summary of their donation including the amount they donated and the date on which the donation was made. But don’t feel like you need to just keep it transactional - use it as another great opportunity to say ‘thank you’.
Ask them why they donated
About a week after someone makes a donation, it might be nice to send them an email asking them why they donated. You can use whatever information you gather for further list segmentation and at the same time, engage your donor further. To employ this strategy:
- Attach a streaming email with a timed trigger to your donation page.
- The streaming email should contain a link to a sign-up page or questionnaire
- Tell donors how their money was spent
Donors like to receive stories about the good that came from their donation. Attach another streaming email with an even later timed trigger to your original donation page. The content of this email should be a feel-good story with lots of pictures, as well as some statistics that prove the effectiveness of the program the donor supported.