Lots of people engage with charitable organisations digitally but not all of them are looking to take that relationship further. Fundraising specialist, Ewald Verhoog provides some tips on how to measure the warmth of supporter relationships and work out who is most engaged.
Do you know that feeling when you send someone a Whatsapp message, and they don’t reply. Or at least not immediately?
If you’re like me (or the 61% of the population that sometimes feels lonely) you can’t help looking at whether the other person has seen the message or when they last used their phone.
The blue Whatsapp ticks measure the warmth of the relationship. You know that there is something wrong with the relationship if your friends stop opening and replying to your messages. But you also know that the other person is still into you if your messages immediately get blue ticks 24/7.
Digital fundraisers also have such a thermometer to measure the warmth of the relationship. It is called the Engagement Score.
The Engagement Score will ultimately be calculated as the weighted average of elements like the number of website visits, the number of logins to apps or a customer environment, the number of downloads or petitions signed, and a customer’s individual answer to the Nett Promotor Score-question. As explained in the step by step blueprint in my book, it will take a vast amount of time to build up this kind of information.
Luckily, there is a very simple way to get started with Engagement Scoring. Just look whether your email recipients open and click your emails. Most email tools provide this information ‘out of the box’. You can even find it in the free version of Mailchimp.
The fun starts when you use this kind of information in your follow up activities.
The Quick Fix
First split your email audience into a low engagement group and a high engagement group. This should not take you more than 10 minutes.
Then, send an e-appeal to both groups. Obviously, the low engagement group will give less response to your e-appeals (Duh!).
Then see if you have the telephone numbers (and telephone opt-ins) of some of the constituents in each group, and call them. You will see the same pattern here. The low engagement group will have a low response (a terrible ROI), whereas the highly engaged will show good conversion percentages.
It will make things very clear: Don’t ask low engaged constituents for money. The low engagement group should only be nurtured. The high engagement group on the other hand will be very responsive to your appeals. So you’d better spend your telemarketing budget on them.
You can take this one step further by combining the Engagement Score with the Donor Pyramid. This way, you can build up 25 segments. In the matrix below, the engagement score is plotted on the vertical axis. The Donor Pyramid, built up from visitors, leads, single/incidental givers, multiple incidental givers and recurring givers is plotted on the horizontal axis. The grey ‘stairway’ is the ideal path.
You can now create different strategies for each group of segments. In some segments (under the grey line) you should only nurture. But in the grey segments and above, you can alternate your nurturing activities with donation asks.
You can now further substantiate the telemarketing outcomes mentioned above. You’ll have conversion rates of over 20% amongst the incidental givers with high engagement (segment D3 and D4). But your business case amongst the leads with low engagement will not be very profitable, with less than 10% conversion.
It is like the Whatsapp examples.
You don’t propose the next step in a relationship if your new friend has stopped reading your messages. So why would you propose to become a donor to someone who doesn’t like you (yet)?
About Ewald Verhoog
Ewald Verhoog is the author of The [almost] Definitive Book about DIGITAL FUNDRAISING, available via www.Fundraising.Love. A fundraising specialist obsessed with helping organisations grow their individual giving income, over the past 15 years, he has worked for hundreds of social good organisations in The Netherlands. In recent years, this has included international charities such as United Bible Societies and Four Paws.
Main feature picture (top) by Pixabay
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