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Digital Donor Acquisition Begins With Acquiring Emails

Posted: 6/4/2021

Click here to read on Philanthropy Daily.

By ERIC STREIFF

It is important we don't make direct comparisons between direct mail and digital donor acquisition tactics. They are as different as they are similar. The big hurdle for many people to overcome is that unlike direct mail, where you often get a new donor on the first mailing, digital acquisition typically involves multiple steps across a greater period of time. It is not a one-and-done scenario.

There are many ways to acquire advocates and donors through digital outreach. Let's take a look at one of the most common methods.

  1. Develop a compelling offer that will be attractive, meaningful, and relatable to your target audience. This offer could be something as simple as asking the person to provide their email address in exchange for an eBook or some other downloadable product that has some value to the prospect.
  2. Develop a dedicated landing page that you direct the target audience to. This landing page is dedicated to explaining the offer further, providing some additional information about your organization, and enticing the person to offer their email address (and perhaps other information) to receive the eBook.
  3. You will drive the targeted audience to the landing page via social media, paid advertising, organic reach, and Google Ad words, among other tactics. The key to success is identifying the audience and serving up a compelling enough advertisement or call to action to encourage them to visit the landing page. The offer and link to the landing page is promoted and shared widely across all platforms.
  4. Once the person submits the form with their email address, and other information you may request, they have officially become an opt-in subscriber. At this point, you will acknowledge the transaction in two ways. A pop-up modal box on the landing page thanking them, followed by an immediate confirmation email with a link to download the eBook.
  5. At this stage you place the new subscriber into a pre-determined drip-style campaign. This sequence of communication has one primary purpose: to engage the subscriber more deeply with the organization and ultimately encourage them to donate. The sequence, message, and content of each outreach could include any of the following examples: a welcome message, an informative video, a compelling story, a survey, and a donation request.
  6. During the drip campaign the results are monitored and analyzed. Reviewing the actual results of the outreach are critical to success. You'll want to adjust the ads and calls to action and perhaps even the message or the eBook offer itself. In fact, the ideal approach is to test many approaches to the advertisements, the message, the content offered, and even timing of the posts and ads. Adjusting and making incremental improvements will ensure success.

This outline touches on the key aspects of a digital acquisition program with a drip-style campaign sequence. There is much more to be considered if you want to take this approach—and feel free to be in touch to learn more—but these six steps are a great start to building a digital acquisition program.

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