Individualised experiences are no longer exclusive to e-commerce and entertainment giants. Relevant content which resonates with the individual is becoming an expectation, and is a way for charities to improve donor relationships and retention with supporter personas.
It’s no surprise that donor-centric messaging is so effective. In a survey by Salesforce, it was found that 84% of respondents say being treated like an individual, not a statistic, has a crucial influence on our choice to support a brand.
We want to feel understood, to the extent that, according to Accenture, 83% of us are willing to share our data for more personalised experiences.
So, how do you get to know your donors? What exactly are personas? How do you make donors feel directly addressed? Where should you begin? Read on to find out...
We know this all too well in the third sector: supporters are wide-ranging in age, background and gifting behaviours. There’s lots of ways to classify supporters, a few common groups are Gen Z, swing donors, core supporters, baby boomers, and high net worth individuals.
As an example, we have a blog which specifically talks about the range of supporters who play a charity raffle!
After you’ve analysed your supporter base and established your target groups, we suggest you think about the individuals within them.
Try to get acquainted with who they are, what makes them tick, their hopes, fears, and needs, their values and aspirations.
You could work with specialist agencies to support with this, or simply ask your donors by survey – you might be surprised at the response. People feel valued when asked their opinion!
This is how you can start to establish your supporter “personas.”
Fictional personas are often created by marketing departments to help everyone in the organisation understand and empathise with the different types of donors.
Chloë Amstein at the IoF 2020 Convention talked about “Stop seeing donors, start seeing people.” It’s the person you’re writing to, or addressing, when creating your individual giving plan.
Once you’ve whittled down your supporter personas, you can start honing communications that make your supporters feel seen and appreciated. You can tap into their emotions directly, rather than releasing broad hit-and-miss content.
For example, say you’re an animal welfare charity, you’ve found that some of your supporters are motivated by the recovery of mistreated animals and are interested in their story, others are passionate about lobbying for animal rights and others are interested in rescue stories.
The way you talk to these supporter groups would be different based on their interests (see the above table). You can then overlay their recency, frequency and value to determine ask and frequency strategies.
Value exchange is critical because it strengthens supporter retention. In fact, a whopping 70% of people according to Salesforce say a company’s understanding of our unique needs shapes our sense of loyalty.
Now you’ve identified your supporter personas, you can begin mapping out how you will engage them at each touchpoint in their charity supporter journey.
Save the Children, for example, “don’t have a fundraising strategy, they have a supporter engagement strategy” explains Peter Ashcroft, Director of Change, Save the Children at the IoF 2020 Convention.
From the initial point of engagement right through to response a pre-planned, segmented strategy helps ensure you deliver compelling, relevant messaging.
By taking advantage of the incredible technology that is thankfully now available for both print and digital, you can address your different personas with the right messaging at the right time.
Direct mail continues to sway demographics of all age groups, as we discussed in this recent post. It makes for a great partner with digital, where segmented email marketing with variable content blocks, targeted social media campaigns and personalised advertising can be used.
Once you have your supporter engagement strategy in place, you can consider A/B testing to make messaging as persuasive as possible. Tailor your approach, monitor the results, then tailor it some more!
Customisation sits at the core of Woods Valldata’s print and response handling services. We enable you to create personalised communications without multiple letter set-ups.
We will also help you collect supporter preference data quickly and easily with hierarchical linked tick boxes as standard in our system.
Our unique platform is flexible and configurable to most campaign requirements meaning you can make each stage in the supporter journey feel personal. Options include the following:
What’s more, to get the best out of your campaigns our on-demand printing enables quick testing of different wording and calls to action. That means you can see which response works best before you roll out the rest (LOL – that rhymes!)
Visit our dedicated Repsonse Handling service page or get in touch with our team today. We’d be delighted to hear from you!