Text to shorten message, boost response

October 20, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

“Darling, I just wanted to tell you that …”

Having a moment like that interrupted by an incoming text or, worse, a sudden urge to send one, can be the stuff of comedy sketches or real-life frustration and resentment. But, texts are here to stay and they can be helpful in fundraising.

During the 2015 National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) Conference and Exposition, representatives of MobileCause promoted the idea of using texts for fundraising. For example, texts have a 99 percent open rate, and 90 percent of them are read within three minutes, according to MobileCause. Further, a mobile number is the most accurate field in an organization’s database, considering that the landline abandon rate is 40 percent since 2014 and 14 percent of Americans change their mailing address each year.

Fundraisers can easily verify mobile numbers, and they have a special TCPA permission to text message constituents. MobileCause did suggest the following keys to success:

  • Schedule/send text blasts to mobile subscribers to increase response rates;
  • Ask for “mobile” on all forms and sue keywords for in-person subscriptions;
  • Follow the 3-1 rule when asking for donations. Three pieces of engaging content between each fundraising ask; and,
  • Use shortlinks (like bit.ly) to track the click through rate on messages.
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