How to create a successful non-profit year-end appeal
Maximize annual giving goals with your year-end appeal
Design a direct mail campaign
Direct mail campaigns meet your target audience where they are. There are four main steps to creating a direct mail campaign.
- Create your ‘Call To Action’
You’re ‘Call To Action’ or CTA is what you ask of the audience. Did you know 40% of your year end appeal campaign’s success depends on this element? Think to yourself, “What sets me apart from all the other year-end appeals out there?” Tell the story and mission at the heart of your organization and tailor it to your various recipients. You’re not going to make the same CTA to a lapsed donor as you would a major donor.
- Find Your Audience
Building audience lists is handled by who you hire to do your direct mailing campaign. The professionals have the access to data for expertly targeting the right end-user and identifies new leads. They will help you determine the correct size of mailing list you will need for every CTA, clean and optimize the lists year over year, segment the lists for ongoing campaign use, and have optional digital marketing strategies.
- Gather Your Creative
Audience and message is 80% of your work, but creative is the last 20% that seals the deal. Words and images trigger emotions. Color palette, size, and quality affects impressions. Use A/B variability to mirror your individual CTAs like having upscaled content sent to larger donors. With modern technology and digital printing, you can make unlimited versions in a single run.
- Add Digital Support
Get boosted year end appeal donation results by adding digital marketing like Direct Mail Booster. Pick a list of add-ons from QR codes to social matching, geo-targeting, and Informed Delivery. All add touchpoints to your audience and allow you to track engagement, scans, conversion rates, and more. This will push end-users directly to your donation links for a successful year end appeal.
Design an email marketing campaign
Email marketing campaigns can have multiple opportunities for touchpoints with desired end-users. There are four main components to creating an email marketing campaign.
- Timing Is Everything
Build trust with by soft-launching without a CTA. Ramp up sends around high giving dates. Create automated follow-ups triggered by end-user actions. Always end with a message of appreciation.
- Subject Lines That Work
A strong subject line is your ticket to a higher open rate. Afterall, an email is no good if the end-user doesn’t open it. Keep it short & sweet, but enticing.
- The Right Language
Write stirring messaging that evokes a willingness of action out of end-users. Make your language personal and use collective pronouns like ‘we’ and ‘our’ to make them feel a part of your mission.
- Layouts That Work
Make a simple layout that is quick to skim. Make links to donation pages and CTAs at the top of your email for higher click rates. Don’t hide important objectives at the bottom of an email.
Design a social media campaign
Social Media marketing campaigns are great for reaching new leads because of platforms’ innate purpose of shareability. There are three main components to creating an email marketing campaign.
- Platform Strategy
Each social media platform tends to attract different audiences. Consider this when developing your strategy of what to post where and who you’re trying to target with your message.
- Ads That Work
Ads are a great way to introduce new leads to your non-profit, its mission, and your CTAs. You can boost and promote your posts with A/B testing to see which end-user is taking actions and bringing you higher engagement rates.
- Tricky Algorithms
Social media algorithms are constantly changing. They value a balance between quality and frequency. Actions that end-users take will strengthen your engagement rate differently.
Cash in on important dates
- Giving Tuesday
Depending on your year end appeal campaign, you may want to launch some soft touch points leading up to #GivingTuesday or have your campaign land directly on #GivingTuesday.
- Important Holidays
The Holidays get everyone in the gifting spirit. Depending upon your nonprofit’s mission and target audience, you may want to target different end-of-year Holidays. In the United States, Thanksgiving is a popular Holiday for promoting year-end appeals. If your non-profit benefits children, you may be interested in targeting ‘World Children’s Day’ in November or if your non-profit fights for human rights, you may be interested in targeting ‘International Human Rights Day’ in December. International Volunteer Day lands in early December and we could all say ‘thank you’ to the volunteers that keep non-profits running.
The start of a new year brings resolutions and the willingness to take more action and responsibility. This is a great time to entice your target audience to make a difference and become a monthly donor. It can also signal the end of your year-end appeal and be a good opportunity for a final touchpoint with your campaigns. A lot of ‘Obligation Mailing’ takes place with the closure of campaigns sending out a final CTA.
Send thank you messages
Follow up with a ‘Thank You’ message to all of your year end appeal donors digitally via email and/or physically via mail. Email appreciation messages can include personalized information through variable data stored in email CRM software for a personalized touch tailored to each individual donor. Mailed appreciation messages can do the same and come in the form of a postcard, larger envelope with additional messaging, or in a branded box filled with gifts or promotional items for top tier donors.
Measuring the performance of your year end appeal campaign is important because it can shed light on missed opportunities for next year. Direct Mail campaigns can only be measured through digital marketing add-ons, so it’s important to include those in your campaign. Email & Social Media campaigns can be measured through the platform that was used and may pull different data depending on what you had implemented in your campaign. You want to improve year-over-year, so start measuring today to set a benchmark you hope to beat next year!
Start your Year-End Appeal
Contact Strategic Factory today for all your year end appeal needs. We have the experts to help from direct mail campaigns to email marketing, social media marketing, copywriting, graphic design, drop shipping, performance tracking, and more.
Reach out to our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443.548.3500 to get started on your year-end appeal.