Your phone is your wallet, camera, calculator, map, entertainment and even our vaccination passport. It connects you with friends, family, work and pretty much every transaction you make.
It’s no wonder you can’t go anywhere without it. It’s also no surprise that the average person checks their phone roughly 110 times a day!
With such a powerful communication tool sitting in almost every Australian’s hands, you’d be silly not to consider SMS marketing as part of your overall fundraising strategy.
The Benefits of SMS
1. Simple and Seamless For Your Donor
2. Easy For You
All you need to do is:
- 1Compose your message
- 2Decide on your send time and date
- 3Decide if you wish to send from a number OR your charity name
- 4Send us the above details as well as your contact data
- 1Upload your customer data
- 2Set your message, adding in any personalisation
- 3Add in the required opt out e.g. ‘Reply STOP to Opt-Out’
- 5Schedule your message
3. Instant & Urgent
4. Personalisation, Personalisation, Personalisation
Personalisation can reduce opt-outs, increase donations as well as boost supporter loyalty and advocacy. To find out why you should be using personalisation read our article ‘How Personalisation Can Increase Donations, Supporter Loyalty and Advocacy’.
5. High Open Rates
More importantly they will read it. With a 125 character limit (or 300 if you want to pay for two SMS’) people are much more likely to read your text message as you are forced to keep it short and sweet. Unlike email, where you can go on and on as much as you like, for your SMS you will need to carefully consider your message – taking into account how many characters your opt out, call to action and personalisation (how long someone’s name is) will take up.
6. It’s Affordable with a High ROI
In saying that, SMS is still affordable and cost effective as it’s rare not to make your money back in SMS. Rather, it’s more common to see 400% + ROI.
We don’t tout the ‘magic bullet’ effect too often, but SMS used well is an incredibly strong tool in any fundraisers toolbox.
Want to Know more about SMS & MMS Fundraising?
If you are interested in SMS fundraising and how it works with GiveEasy read more about our SMS & MMS offering.
Myth Debunked: High Opt-outs and Frustrated Donors
Here are a few recommendations to help keep opt-outs low:
1. Make Sure Your Text is Meaningful, or Helpful, or Both!
Make sure SMS’ are timed to support your donor. If you have a donor who always gives at tax time, a short to the point SMS and easy donation page in June will be very well received.
And don’t forget to mix it up! If all you ever do with SMS is ask for money, donors will quickly get the hint. Like any other platform or tool, mix up your SMS with personalised video messages, thank you texts and bite sized updates showing how their donation made an impact.
2. Don’t SMS too Frequently
For many, texting your donors more than once a fortnight can be heading towards being too frequent. Obviously, there are exceptions to this with giving days and leading up to fundraising events where it is relevant and meaningful to SMS several times in a day or week.
3. Watch Those Timezones!
Unless it’s a specific campaign or a telethon, keep your SMS’ to business hours and be sure to split your donors by postcode to allow for each states timezones or send at a time that’s respectable for most people.
SMS in the Headlines: Scam SMS’ and What You Can Do
Unfortunately for everyone there isn’t much users can do about it – smartphone SMS security just hasn’t advanced like email spam filters.
For now, the scams seem mostly limited to postal services and online shopping, but no one is immune. The good news is that there are some things you can do to reduce the risk and increase trust amongst your supporters.
So what can you do as a charity?
1. Send a MMS Video from the Founder or Key Member of the Organisation
2. Use a Consistent Number and Send Multiple Texts
3. Gamify Your Marketing Communication Across All Channels, Linking Them Together with Code Words or Elements
61% of businesses are expected to increase their SMS marketing budgets due to the pandemic.
With online payment details now being stored in your phone, and personalisation technology allowing forms to be pre-filled, SMS is the final piece of the puzzle in making your donation process quick and painless. Getting your message in front of your supporters instantly and driving them to make on-the-go decisions to donate.
Laws and Australian Legislation
In saying that, it’s still best practice to follow the SPAM act as much as possible. This means adding an opt-out option as well as a sender name. This makes it easier for donors to identify you as the sender as well as have the option to stop receiving texts if they would prefer to not have this form of communication.
In the end, what’s most important is that you listen to your donors, and follow their wishes.
For further information and advice, we recommend the following authorities:
Want to Know more about SMS Fundraising?
If you are interested in SMS & MMS fundraising and how it works with GiveEasy get in touch. We would love to answer any questions you may have.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
At the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre we have seen a trend towards online giving, particularly via email and increasingly SMS. Donors want a quick and easy way to make a donation and sending an SMS that clicks through to a pre-populated donation form has delivered great results for us both during our Telethon and EOFY appeals.