1. Multichannel Marketing
Imagine if you could be in more than one place at one time. Think about the possibilities. How much more could you get done during the day?
That’s the idea with multichannel marketing. This approach allows you to get your message out in front of more people at the same time, increasing the chances that it will be heard.
Here are some of the main benefits that can be seen by using multichannel marketing to push alumni donations:
Improved Customer Perception
Most people tend to associate consistent messaging across platforms with credibility and trust. For example, if you see an ad on Facebook and then get a direct mail postcard from that same company in the mail, you’re much more likely to take this brand seriously.
Credibility and trust are particularly important when asking for donations. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there. If your messaging is consistent across all platforms, potential donors will feel at ease and will be more likely to contribute to your cause.
More Engagement Points
In a lot of ways, marketing can be compared to money management. For example, you’ve probably heard that having multiple streams of income is a key ingredient for building long-term wealth.
Each successive revenue source is like a garden hose filling up an outdoor pool. The more hoses you have, the faster the pool will fill.
If you’re using more marketing channels to raise awareness for your cause, the faster your message will resonate with your audience, and the more donations you’ll bring in.
Another way marketing is like money management is because of diversification. Let’s go back to the example of garden hoses filling up a backyard pool.
If there’s only one hose filling up the pool, what happens if it starts to leak? The flow of water slows down and eventually stops.
However, if you have multiple hoses feeding into the pool, if one stops, it’s not that big of a deal – the others will pick up the slack.
If you put all your faith in one marketing strategy, you risk having your efforts decimated as soon as a new strategy emerges and the one you’re currently using becomes outdated or irrelevant. That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends.
As long as you take steps to ensure the proper management of your multichannel marketing campaign, overtime you’ll be able to improve the efficiency of your efforts and decrease your cost-per-donation.
The first campaign is usually used to establish a baseline. During this time, you’ll be able to test new things and see what works and what doesn’t. In the next campaign, you’ll weed out the things that didn’t work and double down on those that did.
This process is repeated until you have an automated marketing strategy that runs like a machine operating at peak efficiency!
Any multichannel marketing campaign emphasizes the collection and use of data. After you launch your campaign, you’ll be able to see who is interacting with your messaging the most. For example, which age group of alumni have made the most donations to your school? What is their current profession?
Once you start answering questions such as these, you can begin to create messaging targeted directly at those most likely to engage with your cause. Which brings us to the next point…
Once you have collected enough data from your prospective donors, it becomes easy to create personalized messages. According to Forbes, 74% of website visitors get frustrated when website content isn’t personalized. And beyond that, 72% of people only engage with personalized content.
This means the days of spray and pray marketing are over. You can’t simply send out a mass message and hope it lands in front of the right people.
Today it’s far more effective to create fewer, highly relevant personalized campaigns.
So these are some of the main benefits of using a multichannel approach to increase alumni donations. But how does this type of strategy actually look when implemented?
To give you a real-life example, here’s a look at how Rosemont College, a Liberal Arts College in Philadelphia, used multichannel marketing to increase donations from alumni.
Improve overall participation of alumni in their fund drive
Grow the stewardship program
Convert more non-donors into donors
Increase online donations
The Multichannel Strategy
To kick off their multichannel campaign, Rosemont College took advantage of the following channels:
Direct mail – they created varied direct mail pieces based on giving status, level of previous gift, time of previous gift, relationship to the College (alumni, campaign prospect, etc.) and age.
Email – emails were designed to correspond with direct mail pieces.
Personalized landing pages – custom URL’s were created to help capture data to be used for future campaigns.
Social media – Facebook was used to promote online donations.
Video content – versioned campaign-related annual fund videos synchronized to versioned direct mail pieces and emails that pushed online donations.
- Non-solicitation emails – used to engage non-responders and showcase Rosemont’s campus/goodwill within the community.
Overall alumni participation increased by 9.6%
Traditional undergraduate alumni participation increased by 66%
Non-traditional alumni participation increased by 30%
31% of Rosemont’s donors increased their gift amount and 56% gave what they had given the previous year.
Non-donor participation increased by 59%
Lapsed donor participation increased by 275%
Last year donor participation increased by 91%
To learn more about how to use multichannel marketing to your school’s advantage, see this blog post:
Multichannel Marketing in Higher Education – Why it Works and Three Examples