In my book, Donoricity, I talk about one of the easiest strategies for connecting with donors is to use specifics. I make the case that donors respond to and appreciate it when you give them clear specific validation and when you are specific about your ask of them.
We steadily test these strategies in our work with clients. We want to learn exactly how specific donor groups, specific segments respond to. . .well, “specifics.” And we want to know how these strategies work in various channels.
Anyway, here’s a test we just reported to a client. In a direct mail impact we tested two kinds of “asks” (what were we asking the donor to do?).
One group (Group A) received a calculated ask based on their recent giving. This meant they received something that looked like:
Group A: $11.00 to help elephants.
Group B: $15.33 to help 3 elephants.
(Of course it wasn’t $11 and it wasn’t about elephants. If you’ve read the book you know how much I love using elephants in examples.)
The difference between Group A and B? Group A was asked to help generally. Group B was asked to help a specific number of elephants at a specifically calculated dollar amount.
The ROI from Group B’s giving was 36% greater than Group A. That was the only change. And for the doubters, this was a well-designed test. Stratified data. All the elements were the same in the two groups except for the ask and ask calculations.
The difference was specifying how many they would help with their gift.
36% isn’t world changing but if you improve your funding income by 36% without spending more, what would that do to your bottomline?
The Board and your Boss would carry you around the office on their shoulders (well. . . maybe they’d just say you did a great job).
Anyway. 36% ROI improvement. Be specific.
What do you think? How have you seen specifics connect with donors?
Of course your mileage may vary. Your actual relationship with your donors will ultimately drive results. How effective your fundraising strategies are and other factors will additionally impact your actual results. But. It works. And your donors will appreciate it. And respond.
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