Fundraisers work incredibly hard to recruit fresh supporters.
But with research showing it costs five times as much to attract a new supporter as it does to keep one, an equal – if not greater – amount of effort also needs to go into their retention.
And it needs to start from day one of that relationship, from the very moment they sign up.
Supporter expectations are ¬¬high. In the retail world, where communications are often automated and instant, and transactions tracked in real time, every step is smoothed to give a frictionless customer experience.
As a result, whether they’re shopping or supporting a charity – people expect the experience to be easy, with a prompt response at every touchpoint and joined up communications across all channels. And of course, on top of this, they also expect to be kept updated with information, order tracking, offers, and engaging material that make them feel valued and involved.
First steps to boosting retention – our Top Three Tips
For retailers and charities alike, it’s meeting these expectations that has the biggest impact on retention and loyalty, and this is where having the right technology in place pays dividends. Using customer relationship management (CRM) tools makes it much easier to plan exactly how you are going to communicate with the supporter at every stage of their journey with you. Crucially it also enables you to benchmark and record what works and what doesn’t so that you can work out a winning formula.
For powerful supporter communications that drive loyalty from the outset, here are our top three tips:
- The starting point of every supporter’s journey is a speedy acknowledgement of their donation, with a thank you following as quickly as possible via email, post or SMS. It’s also a great opportunity to reinforce their awareness of your brand and mission.
- Personalising communications with the supporter’s personal details will make them more engaging. A supporter should feel acknowledged and know immediately that their specific gift is appreciated and valued by the charity. Your comms messaging should ensure this.
- Try putting yourself in your supporters’ shoes and ask yourself what you would want to know at every touchpoint. Provide clear information on how their donation will be spent, how it will make a difference to the cause and include guidance on how a supporter can continue to make a difference by donating again, and or volunteering, purchasing, participating, etc. It’s important to help them understand clearly how they can support in other ways as well as donating if they want to, after all multiple engagements help to build further commitment.
It's a journey of course that continues far past the first few weeks and months after initial signup. But putting these first key steps in place will make new supporters feel valued and cared for from the outset. It’s this that will boost the enthusiasm and engagement with your cause, the very cause that prompted them to sign up in the first place, helping to build a sense of loyalty and increase that all-important engagement and retention.
For more information on how we can help support you to achieve this, contact your dedicated account manager or contact us here.