Seven is the magic number – in general, but it is really special when it comes to lapsed donors. Rob Reger, senior vice president of Epsilon’s data solutions, moderated a panel at the Bridge To Integrated Marketing Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., where Glen Beasley, director of director marketing at the Arbor Day Foundation; Sonia Alvarez, vice president, database marketing series and analysis, AARP; and Nancy Eiring, director of acquisition, The Nature Conservancy, shared their stories about how they employed seven secrets to reactivate lapsed donors:
- Find out who are your lapsed donors. Use data to find out as much as you can about them. The information will provide you with valuable knowledge in moving closer to winning them back.
- Find out why they left. Survey lapsed donors specifically about why they stopped giving.
- Customize your message. Now you know why your donor stopped giving, address those reasons in your messages.
- Understand channel preference. Connect with donors the way they liked to be engaged. Find out why they are transacting in that channel – is more comfortable or more convenient that day?
- Convert to sustainers. Target donors most likely to give on a regular basis. Consider lifetime value of your donor to make the most of your campaign.
- Remember how you got them in the first place. Think about when they first donated. What was the original way you got them? Maybe emulate that in the future. What was the original campaign they came in on?
- Don’t ever treat them like a new donor. Show them the value of their past donations and the effect their donation has had for your organization.
Of lapsed donors, Beasley said: “Talk to them like they never left; don’t ever treat them like a new donors.” Even if they lapsed, donors and/or members don’t think of themselves as “lapsed,” he said.