Nonprofit SMS Marketing

How to Do Nonprofit SMS Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

How to Do Nonprofit SMS Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

So, you want to add SMS text message marketing to your advertising efforts—smart move! Text message marketing is one of the most effective ways today’s top nonprofit organizations reach out to their supporters. With help from Tatango’s team of experts, it’s not complicated and can deliver returns of $5 for every dollar invested in SMS fundraising. We’ve made SMS text message marketing as easy as 1-2-3.


Why Your Nonprofit Should Use SMS and MMS Text Messaging

Text message marketing, a relatively new form of nonprofit fundraising and marketing, differs from traditional communication and promotion methods. The average open rate for email newsletters is only 22.71%, and the average click-through rate is only 2.91%. SMS and MMS text messages boast far more impressive numbers. For example, 78% of consumers say SMS is the fastest way to reach them and more than 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received.

Technology and innovation have allowed for more flexibility, efficiency, and effectiveness. You can now do more (and raise more money) in less time without sacrificing the quality of your message. Text message marketing can effectively reach thousands or even millions of supporters at once and is the perfect channel for nonprofits who need to share time-sensitive information, making it a powerful communication and fundraising tool.

SMS marketing and MMS marketing have the added benefit of fostering a personal connection between nonprofits and their supporters. Unlike social media, where everyone sees the same message, sending a text message directly connects your organization with each recipient. Segmentation allows you to create individual lists for specific subscribers, such as volunteers, donors, and supporters. Use these customized lists to message people based on details like their location, interests, or past donations. Text messaging helps nonprofits communicate quickly and directly, so they can focus on time-sensitive issues while raising funds to advance their cause.


SMS Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

If you’re planning to add SMS text message marketing to your nonprofit’s advertising efforts, here are three easy steps to help you get started.


1. Select Your Short Code and Keyword

An SMS short code is a key component of a text message marketing campaign because it’s one of the ways your supporters will remember your nonprofit. But what is an SMS short code? In simplest terms, a short code is a five- or six-digit identifier phone number from which all your text messages are sent. Supporters can opt in to receive your messages whenever they fill out a form on your website, or by texting an SMS keyword to your short code. A keyword is a short word or phrase your subscribers will use to interact with your organization.

For example, “Text VOLUNTEER to 54321 to sign up!”

In this example, “VOLUNTEER” is the keyword, and “54321” is the short code.

Once you register your SMS short code, there’s a waiting period of four to six weeks. But don’t worry, Tatango handles the short code provisioning process for you. While you wait for your short code to be activated, there will be plenty to do on your SMS and MMS text message marketing campaign.

Some organizations are even opting to use long codes, which are 10-digit phone numbers, similar to the ones you would use to text friends and family. The approval process for long codes can be much briefer than with short codes. Tatango can help you choose the type of number that’s right for you based on your goals.


2. Grow Your Subscriber List

Developing a strategy for growing your subscriber base is one of the best things you can do while waiting for your short code approval. Nonprofits that focus on growing their subscriber list are often the most successful. 

To grow your subscriber list quickly and easily, simply integrate a little snippet of code from Tatango wherever you’re already collecting phone numbers and other information from your supporters. Doing so makes it easy for people to subscribe to your campaign.

You can also promote your short code and keywords across all your other promotional materials, such as billboards, flyers, TV and radio spots, and social media. By the time you update your website and get your materials back from the print shop, you’ll be ready to start using your short code. 

How to Do Nonprofit SMS Marketing in 3 Easy Steps


3. Send Your Message

The Tatango Design Studio is a free service available to our clients. Our design experts create compelling imagery for organizations to include in their text messages—GIFs, videos, images, and even audio files. Work with the Tatango Design Studio to enhance your text messages with eye-catching media that supports your campaign’s goals.

Once you’ve got the hang of things, building out your SMS or MMS marketing messages is easy with our advanced functionality. You’ll be able to customize and target your messages within a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor.


Take the Next Step with Tatango

There’s no need to fear SMS and MMS text message marketing if you’re working with Tatango. We’re excited to support you on this journey. Contact our text message marketing experts today to learn more about how you can add Tatango to your marketing and fundraising strategies.

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