Heritage Action is an established non-profit with a high profile and a high level of trust among its supporters. We were using aggressive acquisition strategies to grow their massive grassroots base. But as their audience expanded, we needed to ensure we converted those new subscribers to donors.
We decided to riff on an existing donor program they had offline that’s also a proven digital fundraising tactic: a membership card. And we had a plan to make it stand out from the crowd.
How we did it
Long before we asked our subscribers to buy in, we demonstrated the value of Heritage Action. From issue briefings to strategy memos and congressional scorecards, we delivered relevant and valuable content to their inbox regularly. And when Heritage Action took action, we showed them how their donations went to work in support of their values, from door knocking campaigns to television ads.
And before we pitched the membership card, we heavily segmented our lists to ensure we targeted our asks at the right times. We had separate lists for every kind of donor: high-dollar, recurring, occasional, and highly engaged supporters who hadn’t donated yet. We calibrated how many asks went to which group and ensured we asked donors to give in the style and frequency they had shown us they preferred.
Once we knew our supporters already felt like members, we launched our membership card ask. After a steady stream of content showing the value of membership, we offered them a chance to get their own laser-cut membership card with a donation.
And it worked: By tailoring our communications to each audience, we increased the number of monthly donors by 70% YOY.
WE GOT RESULTS
Our top-performing membership email raised $80,000 over two months.
Words for the wise
Invest in your donors before you ask them to invest in you. When you segment your list, you send to a smaller number of people but make a larger impact. If you want to raise money with a membership card, make sure membership actually means something to your donors.