I know, I know—it’s only July, but my digital team and I are already prepping for year end. We’ve found that early planning and preparation ensures everything goes smoothly when it’s time to execute the most critical fundraising campaign of the year.
So this summer, while you’ve got some time to plan, I suggest doing the following:
- Build your list—via petitions, through advocacy actions, with email appends … Don’t forget to take a cold, hard look at your website; is it obvious how to sign up?
- Re-engage your list—do you have lurkers on your list? That’s what I call the fence-sitters who haven’t unsubscribed but aren’t super engaged, either (i.e., not doing a lot of opening, clicking, taking action, and/or donating). Send a re-engagement series to these folks to reacquaint them with your mission and show them what they’ve been missing. Better yet, automate a series like this to catch people before they get too inactive.
- Test now so you can create the most compelling and successful year-end campaign ever. Test elements like ask strings and subject lines. Or test new tactics—for example, advertising to trigger traffic, sign ups, or donations, or complementary mobile messages to drive year-end giving.
- Prepare campaign elements early so you’re ready to go—this includes lightboxes, mobile-friendly templates, and streamlined donation forms.
- Get on the Giving Tuesday bandwagon—this year, Giving Tuesday is December 1. I’m all for taking advantage of the hoopla, but make sure you have a strong case for support beyond, “Give because it’s Giving Tuesday!” Start thinking about those reasons to give now.
- Schedule end-of-month sends early to get in line—many email systems get very busy, and you want to be sure your emails go out on time, especially on December 31, when that midnight deadline looms.
These are just a few thoughts to consider while you have a little time to plan. Do it now and the busy year-end fundraising season will be less hectic—and you’ll have more time then to develop your January appeal!
Photo: © Warrengoldswain | Dreamstime.com – Christmas In July Photo