A policy-oriented advocacy organization came to us with an established email fundraising program. They had already invested in building a substantial list – but they knew they could be getting even better results.
This organization needed us to dial up the urgency to increase engagement and grow their donations. But policy victories are hard-won, long-term goals – they don’t move at the speed of the campaign trail. So they asked us to bring some of the campaign-side tactics and approach to their organization.
How we did it
We dug right into the data they had collected over the years and got to work.
Our first step was to segment, segment, segment. Leads received different messaging than established donors. Based on user behavior, issue interest, and more, each user received tailored messaging to prime them for donating. But we didn't just work with existing data - we identified and built new segments, such as a branded club for recurring donors.
Our next step was to establish a cadence of deadlines. We translated long-term policy goals into immediate monthly fundraising goals. Each month had a set goal, a narrative arc, and an extra punch of momentum leading into the deadline.
And, of course, we focused on continued audience growth. The list was significant - but not all of it bore fruit. We pruned the list, and learned from what we pruned. Just acquiring as many new emails as possible wasn't enough to grow the program. We needed quality leads. When we went back in the field for acquisition, we focused on the highest-value prospects to maintain list health and a solid ROI.
We increased the number of donors by over 500% and monthly recurring donations by over 70%.
Words for the wise
The more finely you align your audience segments with your content, the closer to the target it hits for each subscriber. To reach a long-term goal, you need a series of shorter sprints. And never settle for your current performance - even a great program can get better.