The NonProfit Times recently published an article about how important it is to test the way you communicate with membership. The title of the article automatically caught my eye, “Envelope Change Boosted Fundraising Results 10%.” The article explains how and why it’s so important for organization’s to continually test direct mail designs. I think the sentiment applies to testing communication and engagement strategies with members as well . We have some ideas for testing that are easy enough to implement and measure results.
Redesign your materials
The article that sparked our interest for this post was about how a simple redesign of an envelope prompted a 10% increase in fundraising efforts. While the result of that redesign test certainly proved to be fruitful – other benefits can include discovering a more cost-effective print package. For example, we’ve introduced a lot of our partners to self-mailers. Self-mailers eliminate the need for both an outgoing envelope and return envelope essentially reducing the production costs by half.
Rethink your message
Be honest. If you think your message is slightly stale or you’re constantly recycling the same material, your members are probably sick of hearing it too. Ask yourself, are you always using the same subject line, introductory information, or formal tone in your messages to members or your audience? Try shaking things up a bit. We’ve found that posing your members or audience with a question is a terrific way to spark a conversation. Give it a shot next time you’re hoping to elicit a response from your audience.
Our online election management system gives our partners access to a full-range of reports that we save year-over-year. These reports provide you with the information you need to test and find what’s working or not working (subject lines, how time of message send correlates to open rates, etc.).
Reconnect through new mediums
When considering levels of engagement, do you think your messages are getting the response rate they deserve? If not, you may want to consider the mediums you use to communicate with your audience. If you haven’t already already added an online voting option to your election, it’s something you may want to consider. When you give your members more options, turnout and engagement is sure to increase. Also, you may be surprised by how many prospects or members are using Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date with news and current events. Try to engage members and prospects through social media. Election-America can incorporate social media into your election with “I Voted” Stickers.
About the Author:
Donna Emanuele is the Social Engagement Advocate for Election-America. Seasoned in in community engagement and participation, working in the field of elections seemed a natural fit for Donna. Donna can be reached directly at (866) 514-2995 x111 or DEmanuele@Election-America.com.