Sharpe Group has been studying donor communications strategies for over 50 years. We know that a multi-channel marketing approach is necessary to effectively communicate with distinct age groups who may have different ways of getting information. We also know that more “touches” with a wider variety of communications mediums can improve overall engagement and is the best way to nurture a diverse donor base. The most successful donor marketing strategies speak to the right groups at the right times and with the right tools. Digital marketing is important when connecting with younger donors, but it should not be the only source of outreach. Here are three ways that digital marketing is best suited in a planned giving program.
1. Planned giving websites
A planned giving website is one way to connect with your donors and advisors. Your site can be a valuable donor communication tool with carefully researched articles and interactive tools to help your donors make gift planning decisions. Your planned giving website should be integrated with your overall gift planning program in ways that maximize cross-marketing opportunities. Your website should be easy to navigate, and your contact information should be easily accessible. The main purpose of your planned giving site is to inspire others to connect with your mission, become familiar with planned giving opportunities and encourage them to contact you with any questions.
eNewsletters are a great way to see more engagement on your gift planning website. While we know that print provides a clear advantage when communicating with older donors, eNewsletters will take your vital news and messaging into a digital platform that can reach more of your donor base and reduce overall mailing costs. Potential donors looking for more information can follow their interest onto your planned giving website. Your marketing campaigns will foster more engagement if you speak to your donors through the platforms they are comfortable with and provide ongoing inbound traffic to your planned giving website.
3. Digital booklets
Digital booklets that include a variety of gift planning topics, such as wills and bequests, charitable gift annuities, retirement plans, trusts and gifts of life insurance and real estate will help donors understand up-to-date information on gift structures that may encourage them to give more. Digital booklets can reach a wide variety of donors. Sending out these informational pieces will help younger donors learn about the different options of giving in the future.
It is important to keep all donors in mind when you are considering your marketing strategy, but make sure your marketing efforts are being used to the best of their ability by focusing on age. Studies show that the best way to reach older donors who are 70+ is through printed materials, but we cannot forget about the younger donors between the ages of 45 to 65 who may prefer digital over printed. It is essential to research and gather demographic data such as age, gender, marital status and wealth in order to maximize the results of your marketing efforts.
By Jana Lawyer, Senior Consultant
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