As a nonprofit organization, texting can be a powerful communications channel for engaging with donors and raising awareness for your cause. But, there are a number of mistakes that nonprofits can make when using texting as part of their omni-channel digital marketing strategy. In this blog post, we will cover five common mistakes that nonprofits make and how your organization can avoid making those same mistakes in the last half of 2023. And if you’re looking for strategies that you can begin right now for a successful end-of-year giving season, check out this blog post.
Having helped organizations raise over $400 million in text fundraising, nonprofits have a unique opportunity to engage with their donors and constituents on a direct and regular basis. Learn from these examples and don’t make these mistakes in your texting strategy.
Text Mistake 1: Not Obtaining Consent
One common mistake that nonprofit organizations make when using text marketing is not obtaining consent from their supporters before sending them text messages. It’s important to follow all cellphone carrier compliance laws and regulations when it comes to text messaging. This includes obtaining consent from constituents before sending them messages.
Nonprofits have specific compliance rules and regulations that are different from other for-profit-based organizations, so be sure to work with a texting platform that is well-versed in cell phone carrier compliance, especially for nonprofits. Failing to follow the particular compliance regulations can result in negative consequences including legal action, heavy fines, or damage to your organization’s reputation.
Text Mistake 2: Not Personalizing Messages
Another mistake that nonprofits can make when using text marketing and fundraising is not personalizing their messages. By sending generic, impersonal messages to your donors, you risk losing their attention and interest. Additionally, sending only donation-ask messages can turn off donors and supporters. Instead, try to personalize your messages by using the donor’s name, referencing their past donations or actions, and tailoring or segmenting the message to their specific interests and needs.
Text Mistake 3: Sending Too Many Messages
While it’s important to stay in touch with your donors, finding a cadence that works for your constituents is key. Sending too many text messages can be construed as overwhelming, intrusive, or annoying. It’s important to strike the right balance and send messages that are timely and relevant, rather than overwhelming your supporters with too much information. By sending more targeted and personalized messages on the cadence that works for your organization, you can increase the chances of getting a response and building stronger relationships with your supporters.
Text Mistake 4: Not Testing Messages
Another mistake that organizations can make when using text marketing and fundraising is not testing their messages before sending them. Testing your messages is key to ensuring that your texts are compelling, succinct, and effective. Testing messages could involve sending test messages to a small group of people (segmentation) and gathering feedback, or using A/B testing to compare different versions of a text message to see which performs better. You could also test your text messages by analyzing the data, unsubscribes and other key metrics. By testing your messages, you can improve their effectiveness, and increase engagement with your supporters.
Not tracking and analyzing
It’s difficult to value the power of text messaging as a communications channel if you are not tracking and analyzing the data. Partnering with a platform that offers comprehensive and robust reporting is key to a successful text messaging strategy. Being able to provide the necessary facts and figures regarding ROI, engagement, essential changes for future communications, and other key performance indicators is integral to the success of text fundraising.
Text messaging has become a powerful and innovative communication channel for nonprofits, and its effectiveness extends far beyond end-of-month or end-of-quarter donation pushes and other unique giving days. As we move into the second half of the year, nonprofits can utilize the power of text messages to engage their audience, inspire action, and achieve their fundraising goals.
Whether it’s promoting upcoming events, sharing success stories, launching fundraising campaigns, or providing important updates, texting enables nonprofits to connect with their supporters directly and in real time. With strategic and well-crafted messages, nonprofits can cultivate a sense of community, deepen relationships with donors and volunteers, and ultimately make a greater difference for their cause. As you plan your communication strategies for the rest of the year, embrace the power of texting, and let it propel your nonprofit toward even greater success in the months to come.