Building affinity with supporters is always important but especially if your organization wants to do it via text message.
During a session titled “Can You Really Raise Money Through Text Messages?” (#18NTCtextmethemoney) at NTEN’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference held this spring in New Orleans, charities that have dipped their toe into the text messaging pool offered their insights.
Among the panelists were Luz Hernandez, online campaign manager for Food & Water Watch; Ellen Pascale, manager, mobile marketing, at Humane Society of the United States, and Meredith Begin, mobile strategist at Upland Mobile Messaging, formerly Mobile Commons.
To build supporter engagement and cultivation by text, Hernandez stressed that most messages sent be signed by the same person and be consistent and align with the organization’s other channels. And for crying out loud, text like a human and not like a bot. Respond promptly to replies, ideally within 24 hours.
Text messaging is just like any channel in that segmentation and testing are vital. For instance, send sustainers fewer messages generally and especially avoid sending them one-time asks. Be sure to remove people who don’t accept MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) when sending photos or GIFs. And, if your organization uses peer-to-peer texting, lists can overlap.
- Among other tips the panelists offered when it comes to text messaging with supporters were to:
- Include a donate link in the initial text
- Create trackable links
- Use source codes
- Keep broadcast texts to one text message
- Always introduce your organization
- Make websites and all web forms mobile friendly