Monday, 20 January 2014

More on mobile - one charity's experience to date.

Following on from the absolutely refreshing post last week from Paul de Gregorio from Open Fundraising about mobile - I wanted to add my two pence worth.  We've been offering Regular Giving via mobile for just over a year now at Sense via Cymba, so still early days, but I wanted to echo and add a couple of other points from my experience to date. I stress this is just one experience of one charity.
  • Yes, Mobile Regular Givers will give more if asked by way of another one off gift - and that response varies quite considerably depending on how they joined your organisation
  • Previous Mobile Regular Givers who have 'lapsed' are also quite generous if asked for a one-off gift via their phone - again this varies depending on how they were recruited to your cause in the first place
  • Retention rates on mobile recruitment are not a million miles away from what you would expect for direct debit recruitment. So attrition for RG by mobile recruited on the street is much higher than those converted from PSMS via the telephone for example.  No surprise really. 
  • One of the barriers to click through on content is people feeling they are going to see more information that could upset or make them feel guilty - so being clear, and upbeat on what people will see when they click through has helped increase engagement or so it would appear.
  • As does not holding the link to content to ransom.  When we first started we would send the link to a new update to those that successfully made a payment that month - now we send it anyway, and people can choose to make the payment or not after they have had the chance to view.  We are still reviewing the figures but that to me is the better thing to do.
  • Regular Gift via your mobile is a great drop ask, there are genuinely people who don't want another direct debit and this does appeal to people who would not have other wise converted. I personally would not advocate a direct to Regular Giving via mobile campaign again for now for Sense - though many charities are having success I am sure. It's just not right for us for now.
This is just a year's worth of experience, and one charity example - so please take from it what you will and however many pinches of salt as well.  With anything, the best thing to do is test for yourself obviously - but I thought I would share one experience, albeit a limited one of mobile giving.  There's much more to test and much more to learn but so far it is has been a positive experience.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.

Monday, 13 January 2014

How not to do Thank You letters, unless you are Steve Martin

I, like many I am sure, read this wonderful book over Christmas, and I did laugh at this letter from Steve Martin.

Steve Martin wrote this 'highly personalised' letter in response to the fan mail he received. Simple, entertaining, personal... well kind of, just what you would expect from Steve Martin.  But he could get away with it, as I dare say he was being 'funny' and the overt token and random personalisation probably made the letter for the people receiving them.  Many of the them were probably framed!

However, beware of a generic thank you letter. Those that are punctuated with a few merged fields - it is something we, as an industry do quite badly in my opinion.

The worst letters are the ones crafted to be in response to 'ad hoc' gifts where they are not identified as being in response to a particular appeal or campaign but just seen as a general unprompted gift.

These are the letters that are a 'catch all'.  The ones quite often written as an after thought, rarely updated with new and exciting information and frequently full of rhetoric about reaching xxx people and helping charity do x,y,z vaguely.  And when you read them, they look and feel as though little effort went into them.

As much as thanking and asking are about good manners and politeness - the 'thank you' as much as the 'please' needs to be heartfelt and genuine.  I am not saying we can physically write each and every letter on our PCs for our kind and lovely donors, but we can work much, much harder in making it look and feel as though we do and that starts from valuing every donation, whatever the channel and motivation and ensuring we are set up to do so with warmth and gratitude.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.