It's raining texts, hallelujah! Text-to-give is having a moment, friends, and we predict more and more nonprofits will start recognizing the tremendous value a text-to-give solution will have on their fundraising efforts when integrated into their existing multi-channel fundraising strategy.
With Funraise's new Text Engagement tool, that value is amplified with seamless integration into your nonprofits' donor CRM. But you know what they say—with great power comes great responsibility. That's why understanding and adopting best practices in your Text Engagement strategy is oh-so-important. Don't get caught out in the rain without your handy-dandy best practices umbrella—here are the do's and don'ts of text-to-give.
Getting permission from your contacts before sending any type of communication is the rule these days. Also, it's the law now if you do any type of work outside of the U.S. Before you start sending your supporter's texts asking to support your newest peer-to-peer campaign, make sure they've opted in.
Just because you've collected a phone number from a contact form doesn't mean a person wants to receive texts from you. Once you send that text, always make sure to include an obvious “opt out” option in case they want to stop hearing from you (it's a bummer, but it happens).
Strike a balance
Sure, raking in the donations and ultimately realizing your organization's vision is endgame, but too much of any one thing can wear out even the most enthusiastic supporters. Make sure to balance your urgent donation asks with other relationship-building content so supporters feel engaged and appreciated, even when they're not giving you all the buckaroos. Try informing your supporters about a specific project that you completed or a success story about someone who's been impacted greatly by your work. Keep it clever, engaging, and concise, and watch those relationships blossom.
Set the tone
No one likes a pushy-pants, or a snooty-pants, and especially not a meany-pants. Make sure when you're writing your text messages, you have your audience in mind and you're writing your appeal to them. Build personas so you know exactly who your audience is and you'll hit the mark more often than not.
Short and sweet
When sending text messages to your supporters, it's best to keep them short and sweet. The standard text message contains a maximum of 160 characters; take note of that limit and write all your communications within those parameters. Otherwise, you risk your messages getting cut off or split into two, resulting in misordered messages causing complete chaos (or at a minimum, opt-out of future communications).
Timing is everything
Everyone has that one friend—you know the one—who sends wayyyy too many text messages when a simple phone call would suffice. Or the one who sends texts at the most inappropriate hours of the day—early morning, late at night, during cosplay yoga. Don't be that friend.
Matt Scott, CEO of CauseMic, suggests respecting timezones and sleep patterns reigns as the most obvious thing to consider when texting supporters, but you should also consider things like rush hour, holidays, and whether the text is urgent enough to need an immediate response. With Text Engagement, you can send texts at any time, so your message is always on time.
The golden rule for all marketing campaigns also stands true for text-to-give campaigns—tracking your links so you can measure engagement. Use your friendly analytics tools to create tracking links in your text messages: when you can track donors landing on your mobile-friendly donation pages, you'll know how well your campaign is performing.
Once your campaign ends, you'll have valuable data, including open rates, click-through-rates, and the number of donations. This is data that'll help guide your future text-to-give campaigns so you can maximize your communications.
Congratulations! Now that you've learned all the do's and don't's of text-to-give, you're ready to try it out in the real world. We know it can be scary navigating through the world of online and mobile fundraising, but Funraise has your back.