The countdown is on – 34 days until the end of 2016!
Today, I wanted to offer you 3 quick tips to help you maximize your fundraising opportunities in December to meet or exceed your goals.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but I have a lot of data from emails I’ve sent this year and last year to back me up. The life-cycle of an email is typically 24 hours. After that, you’ll see very little activity from that email in terms of opens or responses. But, not everyone saw the email or took action. In the case of an email that performed well, this is your low hanging fruit. What you want to do is resend the exact same email (same subject line, copy, same everything) to people who did not open the email. This will kick the email back to the top of their inbox and likely help you bring in some more donations.
The logic behind this is that if you’ve put in the effort to write a great email and it performed well, why not get some extra mileage from it?
A/B testing is a function that allows you to test two different variables in an email and then send the “winner” to the rest of your list. You could test subject lines, calls to action, sender names, etc. If you use an email service provider like MailChimp (which you should!), they will facilitate the test automatically for you.
The benefit of A/B testing is that you can try to get some smaller wins that add up throughout the month.
One thing I will say is that this tip works best if you have a list of at least 5000, but you can also try A/B testing for smaller lists.
Several years ago, I worked at an organization where we conducted a big experiment during year-end fundraising. We decided that we were going to see if a thank you phone call within 2 days made a difference for new donor retention. Spoiler alert: it majorly did! We saw 36% of those new donors we called made a second gift before the end of January. This added up to thousands of additional dollars that we would not have received had we not said thank you.
How can you do this? Organized volunteers, staff, and board members to be regularly making thank you phone calls during the month of December. It might be once a week or several times a week if you can swing it.
What other tips for you have for December fundraising? Leave a comment below and share your ideas.