Nonprofits have gone mobile—and, no, we don’t mean they’re packing it up and hitting the open road. Organizations such as PETA, the Humane Society, and Conservation International have recently turned to SMS text messages for their marketing efforts, finding new ways to connect with their audiences directly.
It’s 2021, and just about everyone has a phone within arm’s reach these days—heck, you might even be reading this very article on yours! Undoubtedly, mobile integration is a must for nonprofit organizations. With the constantly evolving mobile landscape, opportunities abound for creating effortless ways to fundraise, spread the word about upcoming events, and collect signatures on critical petitions through text message marketing.
Benefits of Text Message Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations
Unlike the quickly aging email newsletters or even more archaic snail mail, text message communication offers many benefits. Since almost everyone has their phone with them (we’d venture to guess almost all the time), they’re more likely to open and read text messages than the typical email. Text messages have an open rate of about 99 percent compared to only 20 percent for emails—and that statistic only applies to emails that make it to an individual’s inbox. Many emails end up trapped in the dreaded spam folder and will never be seen. Such a missed opportunity for any marketing efforts.
Text messages, on the other hand? Without a spam filter, your audience will see every message you send them, often within minutes of receiving it on their device. (Note: as of publication of this article, some mobile carriers are implementing a text feature that resembles spam. However, these texts aren’t hidden the way most email services might hide certain messages.)
With these distinct features in mind, nonprofits have a lot to benefit from integrating mobile marketing into their outreach strategies. Many have already begun implementing these efforts for their organizations. Let’s take a look at a few examples of these nonprofit organizations below.
Nonprofit Text Message Examples: Peta
Well-known nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with a focus on animal rights and advocacy, has succeeded in garnering support from their audience by sending quick text message bursts including their message, a phone number, or hyperlink call to action, and even an adorable, relevant animal emoji—🐶🐱! Within minutes, recipients can support PETA by making a quick donation or signing their latest petition.
Through text messages like the ones shown above, supporters are one tap away from making a difference in the lives of animals. In comparison, soliciting the same kind of support via email, an organization runs the risk that supporters won’t read their message right away (or, in some cases, won’t read it all) and won’t take action. These risks are often mitigated by using text messages instead. The easier an organization or company can make a call to action, the more inclined the recipient will be to participate. Being able to tap the screen and immediately see their impact caters to the desire for instant gratification that entices many of us.
Nonprofit Text Message Examples: Humane Society
Similarly, the Humane Society of the United States, which also fights to end animal suffering, has used text messaging in many of the same ways, including a quick and easy way for supporters to make a life-changing donation. It’s easy to integrate texting with one of the many payment processors many people already use (such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App). This makes accepting donations a breeze for nonprofits since it requires no additional sign-up or extra steps. You’ll notice the main theme and appeal of text message integration is its ease of use. Technology exists to make our lives easier, and that’s exactly what text message marketing does for nonprofit organizations and their supporters. A text message can pair with a library of different apps, which creates many more opportunities for future participation.
Offering a direct call to action is beneficial to the supporters as well as the Humane Society. Text messages eliminate many of the traditional barriers that often stand between a supporter and the organization, making it easier, more efficient, and more effective as a medium for gathering initial and repeat donations. A majority of people—76 percent of supporters—appreciate receiving an organization’s reminders and text message updates, and they’re more likely to be repeat donors. When a goal is to have ongoing interaction with supporters, sending occasional reminders or updates can ensure frequent and far more effective participation.
Nonprofit Text Message Examples: Conservation International
Lastly, Conservation International is an environmental nonprofit focusing on protecting nature by providing food, fresh water, and livelihoods, and working to create a stable climate. In addition to the 160 characters allowed in the text message, Conservation International includes striking visual imagery to strengthen their message and catch the supporter’s eye. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. When there’s a 160-character limit, it’s important to make as big an impact as possible. Images can convey a message in even just a passing glance.
All three organizations highlighted in this blog post use text messages to spread the message of their mission far and wide to existing and new supporters. SMS text messaging is great for sending quick bites of information. Text messages are easily digestible and are likely to move the recipient to action. A message could include a link to a donation page, a petition signing page, simply a page where supporters can learn about a new cause that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. It costs a user nothing more than a few seconds of their time but can make a world of difference for a nonprofit organization. We’re living in a time in which information is always at our fingertips, and making a difference in the lives of others can be effortless—all it takes is one tap on our screen.
Partner With Tatango for Text Message Marketing
Tatango has been partnering with nonprofit organizations for over 13 years. We work closely with each advocacy organization to help them translate their communications strategy into an SMS message campaign that’s sure to grow their supporter base, build relationships, and enhance fundraising.
We’d love to learn more about your organization and share how our technology can help you achieve your mission. Schedule time to talk with an SMS marketing expert.