Just a few decades ago, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups had limited reach with existing and potential supporters. Marketing efforts included expensive TV ads, billboards, radio spots, and piles of direct mail. Although these methods are often still part of an effective marketing strategy, text messaging has made it much easier to reach supporters. Additionally, partnering with a nonprofit text message platform like Tatango makes text messaging much more effective than traditional marketing channels.
Data shows SMS messaging has a 99% open rate, far better than the 28% open rate for email marketing. Additionally, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes, making nonprofit text messaging the most efficient, direct, and cost-effective fundraising and communication tool available.
In this blog post, learn how to create your first SMS nonprofit campaign in six simple steps.
What Is Text Message Marketing?
Text message marketing, sometimes referred to as SMS marketing or mobile messaging marketing, uses text messages to share an organization’s or brand’s services and products while building loyalty. Text message marketing (similar to email marketing except via text message) is great for sending coupons, promotions, updates, events, and other information that organizations want to share with their customers or supporters.
SMS messages can contain up to 160 characters, consisting of text, emojis, and links, whereas MMS messages can include media content such as images, GIFs, videos, QR codes, and audio files. Additionally, with Tatango’s platform, MMS messages can include up to 5,000 characters and a subject line.
For over 14 years, Tatango has been the industry leader helping nonprofit organizations reach their audiences through effective text message marketing campaigns.
Six Steps to Creating Your First SMS Nonprofit Campaign
Creating your first SMS nonprofit campaign can feel overwhelming, but partnering with the right provider makes the whole process easier. Follow these six steps, and you’ll be on your way to running a successful SMS nonprofit campaign in the U.S.
1. Choose an SMS Marketing Platform Specializing in Advocacy Organizations
The first step to creating and running a text message campaign is to partner with an SMS software provider. Ideally, your SMS software provider specializes in text message fundraising so they can help you design a creative and effective strategy for your organization.
When analyzing the SMS software providers available, look for one that understands your needs, knows how nonprofits work, and is an expert in the fundraising space. Tatango is the industry leader for advocacy and nonprofit organizations, helping our clients generate $5 in donations for every $1 invested in text message marketing.
2. Select an SMS Keyword and Short Code
Once you’ve partnered with the right SMS software provider, you’ll work with them to select and set up a short code and an SMS keyword for your campaign.
A short code is the five- or six-digit phone number you’ll use to send text messages to your subscribers. Short codes require no work for our clients other than adding a simple piece of code. Short codes help grow your subscribers quickly and easily, get more donations at a higher rate with more frequency, and integrate easily with your website or donation pages.
To run a campaign, you’ll also need an SMS keyword—a word or phrase supporters can text to your SMS short code from their mobile phones to join your SMS subscriber list. Your SMS keyword can be a word like “donate,” “join,” “nonprofit,” or another word relevant to your organization. Choosing the right keyword for an SMS campaign can impact an organization’s reach and the number of subscribers who join the campaign. SMS marketing experts at Tatango recommend selecting a keyword relevant to your nonprofit or your SMS campaign.
3. Grow Your List
In order to grow your subscriber list, all you have to do is add a small piece of code to your website’s donation page, checkout page, or webpage that already has a mobile number opt-in integrated. This syncs the mobile subscriber’s phone number with the text messaging system, enabling you to quickly grow your subscriber list and raise more donations more quickly.
4. Send Engaging Messages Frequently
Once people have opted in to your subscriber list, it’s time to start sending text messages. The key to a successful SMS campaign is sending messages regularly. The ideal frequency depends on your target audience. An SMS software provider like Tatango can help determine your SMS nonprofit campaign’s ideal frequency.
5. Measure Your KPIs and Optimize Accordingly
Your SMS nonprofit campaign will be successful if you track and measure results and optimize as frequently as needed. Tatango offers easy-to-use subscriber and messaging analytics features. Use these tools to analyze trends and modify your campaign to increase your engagement and open rates.
6. Get Support from Nonprofit Industry Experts
The right partner is key to successfully creating your SMS nonprofit campaign. Tatango has been an industry leader for over 14 years—almost from the very beginning of this technology! We’ve seen and understand the challenges of running a nonprofit. We developed the Tatango platform to help you meet and overcome those challenges, reach supporters, and raise more donations.
Some of those common challenges include crafting text messages and designing media content. Many nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups don’t have the knowledge, budget, or time. To help our clients with these tasks, we launched the Tatango Design Studio, where our in-house designers and SMS marketing experts work side-by-side with our clients at no extra cost. Tatango clients have unlimited access to this valuable resource.
Let’s Launch Your First SMS Nonprofit Campaign Together
Tatango’s experience in nonprofit text messaging offers everything you need to launch successful SMS marketing campaigns and achieve your goals. From adding fun emojis and videos to shortening links, SMS marketing has evolved over the years and has become more accessible for nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups.