Text messaging used to be foreign territory for nonprofit marketing campaigns. In fact, only 15% of nonprofit organizations currently send text messages to donors and supporters, making it an untapped avenue that can help your organization get ahead.
From connecting with supporters to text-to-donate fundraising, the benefits of SMS marketing for nonprofits are many. SMS marketing can seem complicated and confusing, but don’t let that hold you back from adding it to your current marketing efforts.
If an increase of over 500% on your return on investment doesn’t convince you to make the jump to SMS and MMS, this article should do the trick. Setting up a campaign isn’t as difficult as you think, and with Tatango’s team of experts, it’s downright easy.
Why Use SMS Marketing for Fundraising
SMS marketing reaches thousands or even millions of customers at once and is the perfect channel for marketers who want to share time-sensitive promotions or information. More than 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, making text messaging a powerful tool for reaching subscribers.
There has never been a more direct and effective line of communication for marketing than SMS text messaging. With 78% of consumers saying SMS is the fastest way to reach them, you’d be wise to maximize the effectiveness of your message and put every character to work.
Some traditional forms of marketing, such as print ads and commercials, don’t provide the luxury of immediate feedback you can use to adjust your strategy, but that’s possible with text messaging marketing. The up-to-date metrics for each message sent provide timely feedback to help you iterate on your campaign strategy and methods on the fly—with little or no additional costs—until you reach your fundraising goals.
There’s so much competition that now, more than ever, using the most effective and efficient tools available to reach subscribers is critical. Mobile marketing campaigns are among the most effective fundraising methods compared to traditional marketing efforts, such as sweepstakes, events, and auctions. For every dollar invested in building and operating a texting program, we found that Tatango clients net at least $5 in donations on average.
Follow These 6 Simple Nonprofit SMS Steps
You may think there’s a lot involved in getting started with SMS marketing. It can feel overwhelming, but if you follow these six steps, you’ll be a pro in no time.
1. Choose an SMS marketing platform that specializes in advocacy organizations.
When evaluating SMS software providers to find the right one for your nonprofit, look for one that understands your needs, understands how nonprofits work, and is an expert in the fundraising space. Also be sure the SMS software provider you partner that plays well with others—Tatango’s software integrates seamlessly with all major fundraising tools.
2. Select an SMS phone number.
An SMS short code is a five- or six-digit phone number brands and organizations use to run their text message marketing campaigns. It’s crucial because it’s one way your supporters will remember your campaign and, more importantly, remember your organization.
When you register your SMS short code, there’s a waiting period of four to six weeks. But don’t worry, Tatango handles the entire short code provisioning process for you. You can alternatively use a 10-digit phone number (10DLC), but Tatango can walk you through your options and the best solution for your goals.
SMS short codes and keywords are essential elements of a text messaging campaign. Tatango will help you figure out the perfect combination to support the growth of your subscriber list and increase engagement for each message you send.
3. Grow your subscriber list.
Subscribers are essential to your campaign’s success. Without subscribers, you have no audience for your messages. Nonprofits that focus on growing their subscriber list are often the most successful. So, growing your list of opted-in subscribers is a priority.
Whether you already have a large list to import into the Tatango text messaging platform, or you need to build a list from scratch, there are many ways to quickly and easily grow your subscriber list. It just requires adding a little snippet of code from Tatango wherever you’re already collecting phone numbers and other information from your supporters.
4. Send engaging messages frequently.
A key to successful SMS campaigns is sending messages regularly, but the ideal frequency depends on your target audience. An SMS software provider like Tatango can help determine your SMS nonprofit campaign’s ideal messaging frequency to maximize engagement and donations.
Sending messages within the Tatango campaign is easy. The Tatango Design Studio is a free service available to our clients that designs compelling media content 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 based on your campaign’s goals.
Once you’ve got the hang of things, building out your SMS or MMS marketing messages is easy with Tatango’s advanced functionality. You’ll be able to customize and target your messages, all within a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor, similar to Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
5. Measure your KPIs and optimize accordingly.
Your SMS nonprofit campaign will be successful if you track and measure results and adjust frequently according to the metrics in real time for optimal results. Tatango offers subscriber and messaging analytics features that are easy to use and apply to your campaign. See how many donations every text message brings in for your organization.
6. Get support from nonprofit industry experts.
The right partner is paramount to a successful SMS nonprofit campaign. We developed the Tatango platform to help you meet and overcome challenges, reach supporters, and raise more donations. While other platforms focus on e-commerce, we’re experts in SMS fundraising. We’re obsessed with helping your organization bring in record-breaking donations to advance your mission in the world.
Add Tatango to Your Fundraising Strategy
If you’re ready to gain more supporters and raise record donations, SMS and MMS text message marketing are essential. And remember, it’s not as difficult as you think. To learn how Tatango can help your SMS campaign reach more people and raise more money, contact our text message marketing experts today.