Stay In Touch


Do you only talk to your donors when you want them to make an additional gift?  If so, consider extending the conversation.  Donors are more loyal when they feel that you care about the relationship, not just the bottom line.  Here are three ways to keep the conversation going.

Offer tips and tricks.  Take a tip from your realtor.  If you've continue to receive postcards even after you've purchase a home, it's not an oversight.  It's part of a growing trend of long-term customer retention that other market verticals can learn from.  

Realtors often send postcards every few months or at the change of seasons.  They might offer suggestions for improving the curb appeal of your home, tricks for spring decluttering, or ideas for winterizing your garage.

What does this have to do with home sales/  Everything.  Fully half of 18-to 24-year-olds still live at home, and at some point, will move out on their own.  Young couples expand their families and upgrade to larger homes.  People retire, change jobs, and experience other life changes.  A realtor can have a relationship with an individual, couple, or family over a lifetime.

Then there are referrals.  At some point, friends, family, and neighbors will be looking for a realtor.  When asked how they found their real estate agent, 43% of all buyers and 41% of all sellers said they were referred by a friend, neighbor, or relative (National Association of Realtors).  Realtors want to maintain that relationship so you will recommend them. 

The real estate vertical is on to something.  Are you?

Following up with declining engagement.  By using simple data mining techniques, you can determine which of your donors are engaged and reach out to those who are not.  This gives you the opportunity to re-engage lagging relationships before it's too late.

Look at the fitness club industry.  Gym owners know that is members aren't regularly attending, they are more likely to cancel their membership.  For this reason, may follow the "21-Day Rule."  If someone doesn't attend within 21 days, the gym reaches out by direct mail, email, or personal follow-up.  Others will follow up after 30 or 60 days of nonactivity.

This is a lesson all marketers should take to heart.  Once a pattern of non-engagement becomes entrenched, it's much harder to change.  Dix it before it's too late.

Send greetings at critical anniversaries.  Don't be afraid to say hello. Send personalized notes and postcards at critical anniversaries, such as birthdays or the data someone first became a donor.  Some organizations do this by email, but personalized cards and letters have more power.  There is something more touching about a beautiful personalized message that arrives in a printed envelope than "Happy Birthday!" in an 8-pt. electronic subject line.

Everyone wants to be noticed and cared about, and your donors are no different.  Love your donors beyond their monetary gift and they will love you back.  


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