To run integrated campaigns, we need to communicate across channels and break down silos.
These are increasingly common requests we hear from fundraisers across the sector. They’re also the right objectives to pursue! Donors today are communicating with people, companies, charities, and even government officials in every channel imaginable. If you’re going to build a meaningful relationship with your donor audience and secure a gift, you need to reach them in the channel (or channels) of their choosing.
Managing a multi-channel campaign is a great way to reach your audience. But this type of campaign also brings about new challenges. To help you in your next ambitious, integrated, multi-channel campaign, I’ve written down 4 tips to ensure it goes off without a hitch!
1. Make a Clear Plan
The very first thing is to put together a plan for the whole campaign. Most importantly, this plan needs to be written down and shared with everyone involved in the campaign. Multi-channel campaigns by their very nature involve lots of different people, both in-house and from the vendor side of the table. A written plan keeps everyone in the loop of what they need to do.
The plan should first capture the campaign’s overarching goal. Every channel and activity of your integrated plan should play a role in achieving this campaign goal. Individual channels may have their own channel-specific goals, too. But if a planned activity is not supporting the campaign’s overall goal, consider revising the plan.
Your plan will lay out every channel and activity involved in the campaign. For each channel, establish the audiences involved, timing of the activity, assets required, and any other considerations that may come into effect.
2. State Every Channel’s Goals and Hypotheses
While writing your campaign plan, it is vital to explicitly state the goals of each channel. If you’re utilizing a new channel or testing an element of an existing channel (such as an OE test on a direct mail package), be sure to state your hypotheses for these test elements in the plan.
You may be wondering, “Ronen, why have you made this its own tip? Surely this is covered by having a clear plan!” The reason for that lies inside our mind.
Our brains have a truly remarkable ability to create false memories. It’s stunning how effectively our minds can trick us into believing a false reality. Without explicitly stating every test or hypothesis in your plan, your mind will fit the eventual results to fit a narrative of its choosing. But by stating it clearly, you will be able to assess these aspects of your integrated campaign once the data starts pouring in.
3. Keep It Consistent
With the plan in place and everyone on-board, it’s time to begin utilizing the different channels selected to reach your audience.
When developing the creative for the various elements of your campaign, keep the message consistent. Your donors will be seeing these messages across different channels and platforms. It is essential that they receive a similar message in each channel, so that the campaigns work together cohesively.
4. Choose an Appropriate Call to Action
While the messaging will need to be consistent, their call to actions could be different. This will depend on the specific target audience, timing, and channel involved.
For instance, your campaign may feature a direct mail package, two emails, and a telephone call. However, few of them are going to feature the same call to action. Of the emails, one is scheduled to deploy before the letter and the other after. In that case, the first email would need to serve a priming function, while the second would have a direct ask for a donation. Meanwhile, your telephone campaign could be contacting a select group of donors and asking for a monthly gift.
These considerations should also all be taken into account and detailed in your plan. When identifying the appropriate call to action for that activity, always bring it back to the question “how does this serve the campaign’s overarching goal?”
And there you go! I hope these four tips help you in planning and integrating your next multi-channel campaign. If you want to chat more about integration, give us a call!
This post was written by Ronen Tal, former Philanthropic Counsel at Good Works.