Maximizing Your Targeted Marketing by Optimizing Your Email List

This article focuses on ways you can optimize your email list by making use of social media platforms and email list segmentation. By personalizing your messaging, you make your product or service more relatable and show how it can be beneficial to a particular subset of clients. 

Email marketing probably isn’t a new term if you spend time creating a marketing plan for your organization. It is important to understand how to make the most out of your email list. There are around 3.9 billion active email addresses in the world, which means there is a lot of potential when it comes to using email marketing to reach your target audience. 

Given all the time and resources spent cultivating your email list, maximizing the effectiveness of your list is crucial to your success. By going beyond a traditional email campaign strategy to use this information in other ways, you can increase your return on investment (ROI) and your target audience reach. You can also pick up new leads and look-a-like audiences.

On average, email campaigns generate $38 ROI for every $1 spent making it one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing. While simply focusing on creating email newsletters and placing your message in your client’s inbox is important, there are ways to expand the use of your email list. 

Email preference graphic

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Direct Email Campaigns

The simplest way to start using your email list is to begin a direct email campaign. 87% of B2B marketers say email is one of their top free organic distribution channels. Getting your message into your target audience’s inbox is one of the easiest ways to reach out to prospective and current donors. 

While it is possible to send an email blast to your entire target audience, by being intentional with your messaging, your campaigns will be even more successful. Email segmentation is crucial to increasing your conversation rates and engagement with your message.

By dividing your email list into segmented audiences, you will be able to reach your target audience with personalized calls-to-action that will encourage engagement from the recipient based on their lifestyle, interests, and donation ability.

WealthEngine’s platform digs deep into the preferences of your target audience to help you get a better idea of which messages will resonate in their inboxes. By analyzing wealth profiles, WealthEngine helps you prioritize the perspective and current donors who should be receiving your emails.

When segmenting your audience, it is important to remember appropriate messaging for each group. Segmentation is a great strategy, but it needs to be implemented correctly to work. Use the information provided by WealthEngine to see which type of call-to-action each group will be most likely to engage with. 

Facebook and Instagram Custom Audiences

Mixing social media ads with email marketing helps you target your audience on other platforms enabling you to share your messaging using different types of content. Facebook allows you to build custom audiences by uploading identifiers like email addresses, so you can target your email list with Facebook ads. 

By using this feature, your email list goes a step beyond the inbox and helps you expand your target audience by matching Facebook profiles from your list with similar profiles, known as a look-a-like audience. Maximizing your Facebook ad reach by using your existing email list will help you increase your ROI and expand your target audience to new prospects. 

Instagram acts as the visual partner to Facebook, and its platform uses the same settings to create custom audiences for targeted messaging. By marketing to your email list through these platforms, you can create quality campaigns that encourage traffic and put eyes on your message, increasing your conversion rates. 

Twitter Audiences

Twitter has a different format compared to Facebook and Instagram, but its ad strategy is similar. Twitter is another social media platform that can enable optimization of your email list. Like Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, Twitter allows you to tailor your messaging to certain segments of your email list. 

Rather than focusing on ads, Twitter ultimately focuses on messaging. This social media platform allows you to promote your profile to your chosen audience or sponsor tweets to raise awareness about your message. Like Facebook, Twitter can use the email addresses you upload to create look-a-like models to extend the reach of your message to potential new users. 

Google Customer Match

Google Ads is a huge tool for digital marketers, and the Customer Match feature allows you to use your email list to customize your message to specific audiences as needed. Since Google works as a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service, conversion rates are crucial for gaining the ROI needed for your campaigns.

Customer Match allows you to upload your email list and segment the audience as needed for your message. When using this feature, you can choose which segment of your email list sees a particular ad. You can also choose to exclude your email list altogether, allowing you to target only cold leads and prospects.

Google Customer Match can also create a similar or look-a-like audience based on the email list you upload. Better yet, the feature will retain the data of those who interact with your advertisements, so you can add these similar audience members to your email database.

CRM Marketing and Retargeting 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool that allows you to get the most out of your email lists when used with segmentation and retargeting tactics. Working with CRM marketing to retarget your email list can help you nurture your leads and cultivate them into donors. 

Retargeting, in simple terms, works when a user is targeted by other ad campaigns after engaging with your email. This is efficient because it keeps your message at the top of the recipient’s mind and continues to nurture the lead from your email list. 

WealthEngine’s platform integrates well with CRM systems, so you can have access to wealth intelligence technology that helps you better understand your audience. This is important for retargeting because you will be able to segment your retargeting emails to continue the cultivation of leads in the most efficient way possible. 

 

Grow Your Organization by Incorporating Disruption and Personalization

Data Driven Personalization

Disruption and personalization aren’t limited to retail industries. Nonprofits, higher education, and other organizations can reach more people with their mission by incorporating disruption and personalization into their fundraising models, too.

The key to making these traditionally consumer-based business techniques work for other organizations is to use them in conjunction with the right software. This guide discusses the types of business disruptions, how to build experiences using data driven personalization, the three essential elements of one-to-one personalization, and the software that makes it all work at scale. 

This guide is based on a presentation given by Bob Ghafouri, the Founder and Senior Managing Director at Accenture Bloom, a group that helps companies turn their existing assets into new revenue streams.

How Personalization Has Caused Disruption Across All Industries

Before the era of online shopping, an individual’s interaction with a brand was limited to the time they spent in a brick and mortar store or perusing a printed catalog. Advertisements on TV, radio, or in magazines were intended to appeal to a wide audience. Potential customers were exposed to few if any personalized experiences that could have increased the likelihood of a sale.

Online shopping and advertising have completely revolutionized this process. Now, companies can infer what products are the best fit for potential customers and present relevant advertisements to those prospects on any platform. Marketing is tailormade to the individual using curated merchandise choices based on their preferences and behaviors. 

On top of this, companies have revolutionized the ways they do business. These disruptive elements combined with personalization techniques allow relative newcomers to overtake entire industries and leave long-established businesses in the dust. 

3 Elements of Disruptive Businesses

There are three primary ways to disrupt an industry: through experience disruption, business model disruption, or technology innovation. Companies that have successfully disrupted their industry have mastered at least one of these elements.

    • Experience Disruption

Experience disruption occurs when you create a unique customer experience that causes consumers to pivot because the platform is so frictionless. 

AirBnB is a prime example of this type of disruption. With AirBnB’s website or app, you can instantly find a one-of-a-kind place to stay anywhere in the world. 

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Not only that, but AirBnB can help customers find curated experiences or monthly stays, all in a simple and pain-free platform. Customers have no need to supplement their travel experience with any other company. 

    • Business Model Disruption

New pricing models, product delivery methods, and different ways of allocating capital are all types of business model disruption.

Dollar Shave Club is well known for having a disruptive business model. Part of what made the company so disruptive was the simplicity of their idea. 

Dollar Shave Club's Disruptive Business Model

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They sidestepped traditional retailers and rethought pricing. Instead, customers pay a monthly subscription to have Dollar Shave Club razors and cream delivered to their door. 

    • Technology Innovation

Data and technology have reached new levels of democratization. That means you no longer need massive amounts of capital to get a product off the ground, rather, you can make use of technology ecosystems that are already there. 

“It makes it a lot easier for disruptors to get into an existing business or industry and quickly consume the most profitable elements of the profit pool,” Ghafouri noted during his presentation.

For instance, you could start a kombucha company today that could compete with Nestlé by building a business on top of Amazon’s Redshift platform. You could market through Instagram and Facebook, then source and create the product through on-demand manufacturers. 

Incorporating Disruptive Business Elements Into Fundraising

What do these disruptive business elements mean for nonprofits or organizations who are trying to raise funds? It basically boils down to how fast and easy it is for donors to give amounts and gift types that make sense for them. 

If your organization has an outdated website, is using buggy software, or doesn’t offer personalized giving options, then expect to miss out on a few new donors. That effect is compounded if a similar organization touts a more streamlined experience. 

“There is a set of experiences that consumers are expecting from you,” observes Ghafouri. “Whether you’re in nonprofit, banking, retail, or luxury, there are expectations around those experiences that come from other places.” For example, customers are, “expecting an Amazon, AirBnB, or Netflix experience on Nordstrom.com.”

Technology innovation is perhaps the most accessible disruptive business element available to organizations like universities or financial services who aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel in their industry. A prospect screening tool like WealthEngine not only makes it possible to comb through prospects at scale but also automatically updates their profiles with new data about their wealth and lifestyle. 

Prospecting Screening Tool Assists with Data Driven Personalization

WealthEngine then uses predictive lead scoring to hone in on prospects that are most likely to give to your organization. With this level of intelligence at your fingertips, you can simplify and automate the process of converting prospects into donors. 

How to Effectively Use Data to Drive Personalization

Companies gather a lot of data about customers. It’s a hot topic of conversation, and while that data collection gets a bad rap, it shouldn’t put you off from making use of it. 

In fact, Ghafouri asserts that 82% of customers are willing to share their data. The secret to that sort of buy-in is in how you collect and use their data.

    • Be Transparent 

Customers want to know what data you’re collecting and why. They also want to know that you value their data and will do whatever it takes to protect it from being compromised. Finally, it’s important for them to know that you won’t sell it to third parties. 

Aside from being the smart thing to do, it’s also the legal thing to do. If there’s even a chance that your customers or donors reside in the European Union, you’ll want to make sure you’re following all the guidelines in this GDPR checklist

    • Give Customers Control

Instead of predicting what customers want and sharing a potentially irrelevant offer or promotion with them, give customers the opportunity to share their intent data. Intent data basically states what things customers are interested in.

“I think the important thing here is that a lot of the customers or consumers out there want to control that journey that we create for them,” notes Ghafouri. “They want to provide input as they create that journey.” 

Dollar Shave Club puts this into action by immediately giving potential customers the opportunity to share their intent data. This invitation to take a quiz about what products a customer might like is displayed prominently on Dollar Shave Club’s homepage: 

Data Driven Personalization Displayed by the Dollar Shave Club

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The quiz asks questions like what body parts you shave, how often you shave, and if you have any problems, like skin sensitivities. With this information, Dollar Shave Club’s software can infer which products are best for you and create a personalized customer service experience.

    • Create Unique Experiences

Customers are looking for personalized customer service experiences that go across physical and digital spaces. If sharing their data gives them the ease and functionality they’re looking for, then they’ll be more willing to share it.

Nike+ is a connected fitness ecosystem that includes products and services like the Nike+ Training Club App, the Nike+ Running App, and Nike+ SportWatch GPS. Working together, these apps and products collect massive amounts of data about customers, but it’s all in service to their fitness.

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This integrated ecosystem also helps customers seamlessly log and analyze workouts in realtime, which is essential for anyone who wants to improve as an athlete. 

    • Focus on the Four Rs 

The four Rs are to recognize who the customer is, remember them, and make relevant recommendations. If recommendations aren’t relevant, then the customer is going to feel wary about sharing their data. 

Ghafouri offers this anecdote on how jarring irrelevant recommendations can be: 

“If you go to MyFitnessPal, you get offers or promotions that have nothing to do with fitness. I got a travel offer for a Cancun vacation on the app. What they did is they sold my intent to a third party, then that third party advertised to me because I was searching on vacations to Cancun.”

This sort of personalized advertising can feel particularly invasive because it signals to customers that their behavior and activity around the web are being monitored, then the data sold to the highest bidder. 

3 Elements of One-to-One Personalization

Once you’ve gotten permission from customers or prospects to collect their data, you’re ready to put that data to work. These three elements of one-to-one personalization will help you create the unique and relevant experiences that your customers are looking for. 

    • Personalized Shopping

Personalized shopping is the products or services you recommend based on data you’ve gathered about an individual and the intent data they’ve shared with you indicating their preferences. 

A donor pyramid is an example of how personalized shopping might work for a nonprofit or organization. It breaks up donors into different types, with the majority likely being one-time donors and the fewest falling into the planned giving category. Using the right tool, you can target certain prospects with a request for the level of giving that’s best for them. 

WealthEngine’s Donor Pyramid Modeler can automatically determine the number of prospects you need for each level based on the amount you need to raise during a campaign. You can adjust the modeler with conversion rates and What-If analysis. The modeler then shows how much you can raise with current contacts, who you need to contact at each level, and how many new prospects you need to reach your fundraising goal. 

    • Personalized Merchandise

On its own, personalized shopping is limited, as it relies on significant customer profiling in order to make any inferences. Personalized merchandise takes it to the next level by looking at the small details and unique preferences that make up an individual. 

“Profiling isn’t personalization,” says Ghafouri. “Personalization is about that intimate human conversation you have, whether it’s digital or physical and with a consumer or donor.”

Automation can only take you so far. Many exchanges require a human touch and connection so that customers or donors can get exactly the experience they’re looking for. By communicating directly with a donor, you can learn about what issues or services are important to them and what giving options they may be open to that the screening software couldn’t determine on its own. 

    • Personalized Advisor

A personalized advisor is a moment of upselling or cross-selling to a customer or donor.

For example, if you were to order a latte through the Starbucks mobile app for pick-up, the app might also recommend a muffin to go with it.  

“I may want a bottle of water to take with me,” says Ghafouri, “and who knows, maybe I want lunch, packed, so I can buy lunch at breakfast. That’s a curated experience, a pure recommendation which is what you’re finding in a lot of the sites today.”

What should be avoided, notes Ghafouri, is recommending a product that would replace or compete with the original purchase. For example, you wouldn’t want to offer a chai tea after the customer indicates they’re interested in a latte. 

In Summary: Combine Elements of Disruption and Personalization to Create an Unstoppable Organization

Technology like WealthEngine’s prospecting software can help nonprofits and organizations create personalized experiences and disrupt their industry. However, technology alone isn’t enough. 

Don’t let real conversations with your donors or patrons fall to the wayside. These can be critical moments to unearth details about people that software alone can’t hone in on. 

Aside from that, your organization is likely in the business of helping people. What better way to do that than by directly asking donors how you can best be of service? 

The way to make more of those conversations happen is to use software that scales up your prospecting efforts. Get in touch for a free demo to see how WealthEngine makes it possible. 

Fundraising for Higher Education Institutions During COVID-19

Higher education

This guide covers the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the ability of fundraising for higher education institutions and offers donor strategies, tips, and tools to assist schools in fundraising in the current economic climate.

By mid-March, more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the United States canceled in-person classes in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The choice to close was made with student-safety in mind, although it risked the financial safety of the institutions who made it. 

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Data-Driven Major Gift Campaigns

The empty campuses, online classes, and canceled events that resulted have left colleges with huge financial deficits and no apparent way to significantly increase much-needed funds. Now is the time to fundraise, the question is: how? 

Financial Effect of COVID-19’s on Higher Education Institutions

The first hit higher education institutions took was having to return prorated refunds to students for expenses like dining and housing costs, which previously had been dependable income. That income will continue to be lost for institutions that decide to stay closed during the coming semester. 

Institutions who decide to open will continue to suffer from financial difficulties in regard to additional student expenseshaving to find and fund alternative housing options. Some universities are contracting with area hotels to spread out students, while others are forcing students to move from dorms to off-campus homes. Both of these strategies will result in housing expense shortfalls, with the former resulting in institutions paying more to house students, and the latter resulting in fewer students paying housing fees for higher education institutions. 

Further exacerbating the problem, due to the pandemic and subsequent recession, fewer students are interested in traditional four-year institutions at this time. A survey conducted by Arts & Science concluded that 1 in 6 high school seniors who were planning on attending a four-year college or institutions full-time this fall believe they will now take a different path. This decline in interest will inevitably lead to more lost expense-induced and tuition income. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, higher education institutions are also having to deal with finding a way to effectively fundraise in this unprecedented situation. A survey conducted by Washburn & McGoldrick estimated that 43% of higher-education fundraisers would be unable to meet their goals this year, denoting that a tried-and-true method has yet to be found. Between losing expenses, tuition, and fundraising money, higher education institutions are in an undeniably precarious financial position. 

Fundraising for Higher Education Institutions

There has not been an event like the COVID-19 pandemic in any of our lifetimes. 

Everything has changed, so fundraising strategies must adapt. Below are some tips and tools you can use to help your college or university make it through this crisis: 

    • Personalize Outreach to Donors

Prior to COVID-19, personalized outreach to donors was of utter importance. Now, it is a necessity. 

With an overwhelming number of worthy causes competing for donations, it is crucial that you communicate why your cause is equally important. The best way to make a compelling case is by being informed about what appeals to each individual donor, how much they can contribute, and other background information. 

That information is at your fingertips with WealthEngines’ comprehensive platform. With WealthEngine’s real-time intelligence you can automatically personalize a prospect’s online experience. 

WE Screen analyses donor profiles for you, segmenting them and providing wealth scores and ratings so you can easily find the right prospect to approach. This helps you identify who you should be targeting for fundraising campaigns, and how you should be targeting them. 

Specifically, WE Screen helps you create a donor pyramid with wealth modeling so that you can precisely and effectively segment and target donors. A donor pyramid categorizes prospects based on their engagement levels, mapping out paths for nonprofits to move them from lower levels of commitment to higher ones. 

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    • Alumni Fundraising Strategies: Appeal with Relatable and Immediate Projects 

An effective strategy for increasing donations now is emphasizing to donors how their contributions can help solve relatable and immediate problems within your institution and student body. Hot button projects at this moment are strengthening mental health programs on campuses, creating new programs for increasing student safety, and of course, financial aid. 

One of the biggest problems higher education institutions will face in the coming school year is providing financial aid to students. Higher education institutions have to juggle their financial needs with the financial needs of students who are personally suffering from the recession or whose families are struggling due to the recession. 

State aid to higher education institutions nose-dived during the Great Recession, and to this day, “except for a handful of states, spending per student in public colleges and universities, adjusted for inflation, remains far below pre-recession levels.” Adding to this burden is the likelihood that during and after coronavirus, the increase in financial aid costs will either rival or surpass the increases seen during and following the Great Recession.

In fundraising to provide financial support to students, schools should make a conscientious effort to demonstrate the impact of donors’ dollars, providing them with information about the students who have or will benefit from their financial support. In doing so, institutions will make donors feel more connected to the positive change they are making in student’s lives, increasing the likelihood they will continue to donate.

    • Appeal to Middle-Tier Donors 

Donations from mid-level donors are often overlooked in favor of trying to win over top-level donors. This is a mistake.  As a collective force, mid-level donors can be powerful. 

Experts believe that the trend of mega-gifts from top-level donors will decline because of the pandemic. This prediction is informed by past trends of big-time philanthropists contributing a lesser amount of large cash gifts to institutions during crises. 

However, experts predict that a surge of grassroots financial support from middle-tier donors is likely. Therefore, higher education institutions should direct their energy toward appealing to alumni for small gifts. 

An example of this occurred recently when Eastern Michigan raised 2 million from small donations, often totaling between $25-100 each, which it then turned around and handed out to graduates and freshmen. The institution gave  $600 to each graduate and $400 to each freshman in hopes of easing the financial burdens they were facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. By going for middle-tier donors, and setting a goal that would create measurable, relatable change, Eastern Michigan succeeded. 

To determine which middle-tier donors you should approach, use the WE Analyze tool. This predictive lead scoring and analysis platform uses one of the largest consumer data sets ever created to quickly give you deep insights into your donors. You can use that information to find middle-tier donors most likely to donate to your institution.

    • Stay Organized in the Chaos 

Every workplace has been shaken up by the chaos caused by COVID-19. The key is to prioritize organization so that you are fully capable of taking advantage of all tasks and opportunities that arise, especially fundraising options. 

A clean and accurate database will save your institution time and resources. You will never need to track down lost alumni or update records with an accurate email address, phone number, and other contact information. 

WealthEngine can provide you with that database, organizing your systems with real-time integration through its easy-to-use technology and strong partnerships with leading software providers. Spend less time organizing, let WealthEngine do it for you.

    • Create Online Fundraising Events 

The inability to hold on-campus events will definitely hurt higher education institutions. After all, a pillar of U.S. universities is the events that campuses hold for prospective students, current students, alumni, and community members. Higher education fundraising events are incredibly important to institutions. 

Higher education institutions receive the majority of their donations from two sources: online donations and in-person fundraising events. Losing one of those sources will inevitably lead to higher education institutions receiving less donation money. You can mitigate that loss with online events. 

Get creative, many organizations have been using platforms like Zoom to hold musical events, social events, and ceremonies in the absence of in-person gatherings. You can easily construct an invite list by using WealthEngine’s database. It contains over 90% of the US population, and you can choose from over 1,500+ attributes to construct the perfect, customizable list. 

    • Stay Updated on Donors 

Some of your donors may be thriving financially right now while others may have suffered considerable losses. It’s important to keep track of changes in the financial outlook of your donors. 

Using WealthEngine’s WealthScore feature, you can quickly identify prospective donors and predict their giving levels. WealthEngine’s extensive wealth screening analytics tools give you a solid understanding of who has the capacity and propensity to give. 

WealthEngine’s data is comprehensive and up-to-date, providing you with the necessary tools to keep your donor list up-to-date. 

Fundraising in the Future

Our present has been completely altered by the pandemic, so naturally, the future will be, too. What the future of fundraising will look like is still not completely clear, but below are some informed predictions from experts: 

    • Large Capital Gifts Will Be a Thing of the Past

Large capital gifts to fund campus building projects will likely be a thing of the past. Previously, some of the largest fundraising growth was in the capital project arena; however, it’s a hard-sell to collect donations for campus buildings on empty campuses. 

    • Funds Will Be Reallocated to Benefit Students 

The immediate growth in student financial need has led some higher education institutions to create initiatives that provide aid to students. Davidson College, UCLA, and Penn State are just a few of the higher-learning institutions that have recently rolled out initiatives to help students who are facing coronavirus-related hardships. 

This push to use donations to help students may be met with some reluctance from donors. A CASE study found that alumni donors prefer to donate to athletics rather than donating to financial aid. 

    • More Donations Toward STEM Programs 

Another fundraising priority schools should consider is raising money for technology upgrades so that they can improve their online learning capabilities. Most economic experts agree that trends toward donating to medical and scientific research and STEM initiatives will develop. 

Donor Responses

Due to the recession brought on by COVID-19, donors are limiting and freezing their donations and gifts. This is unsurprising when you take into account donor responses during the last recession

Paul N. Friga, a clinical associate professor at UNC found that general philanthropic donations in America in 2008 dropped 11.7% from 2007, a drop that was mirrored by a double-digit drop in donations to higher learning institutions. In 2009, UNC experienced a drop of $30 million in philanthropy, along with a significant drop in state support and endowment returns. This totaled out to equal 25% of the previous year’s operating revenue. 

This decrease in philanthropy, when higher education institutions have already taken a huge financial hit due to shutting down campuses, will be detrimental, forcing the closure of even more schools. In 2009, UNC dealt with the loss of income by raising tuition, but that doesn’t seem like an option in the current financial climate. The recession has led to families tightening their belts, an effect that puts expensive institutions at a disadvantage. 

Since 1988, colleges and universities have increased tuition by 213% and student debt is at an all-time high, equaling $1.53 trillion across the US. Because of the recession, and the already dramatic increase in tuition over the years, schools that raise tuition more to make up for losses due to COVID-19 will likely see a dramatic decrease in applications. One of the best options available to schools is to adjust fundraising strategies to try to mitigate losses. 

Looking for Assistance?

Try a free demo of WealthEngine today! WealthEngine’s experts will guide you through using the platform’s comprehensive software, showing you all the benefits it has to offer. WealthEngine consultants take a personalized approach to your fundraising endeavors, making sure you understand how to best apply WealthEngine’s full range of tools including Wealth Search, Wealth Screening, Trend Analysis, and numerous others to optimize your college or university’s fundraising campaign. 

 

 

8 High-Conversion Fundraising Tactics in the Wake of Coronavirus

Donor Pyramid

While everyone is contending with some level of financial uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this does not mean your fundraising efforts need to stop or even decrease. In fact, continued fundraising activities during this time are essential for ensuring you maintain a strong relationship with your donors.

However, one important element of fundraising has changed as a consequence of COVID-19the manner in which organizations need to go about identifying and reaching out to their donors. This guide details ways fundraising organizations are pivoting to continue their capital campaigns, explains the types of messages that are proving most effective at this time and outlines specific actions you can take to continue raising money. 

Read on or “jump” ahead to each section:

This guide is based on an interview between Rick Dunham, Chair of the Board at the Giving USA Foundation and the CEO of Dunham + Company, and Raj Khera, WealthEngine’s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. Listen to the webinar here

The Importance of Fundraising in the Time of Coronavirus

Given the global impact of the sudden economic downturn, it’s imperative that nonprofits continue fundraising in this difficult time. It is important to bear in mind that many nonprofits are founded based on mission statements declaring a commitment to increasing equity in fair treatment and opportunities for advancement among underserved sections of society.

The societal challenges members of these groups face are only exacerbated when a catastrophe like COVID-19 shakes the foundations of social and financial norms. As Dunham noted, “If your mission was relevant before all this hit, then it’s still relevant today.” 

In fact, the number of individuals in need of assistance can increase significantly. This has certainly proven true in the wake of COVID-19. As Khera observed, “We saw [recently] there were over six million people that had filed for unemployment. Our country is hurting…there’s a lot of need out there.” 

Donors also depend on consistent communication for assurances that the organizations they support are still functional and fulfilling their mission in times of crisis. If you go silent during a critical period for fear of being perceived as insensitive, it may end up damaging your relationship with your donors rather than helping it.

Dunham urges people to remember, “It’s not about the organization, it’s about what the organization is actually able to accomplish in the lives of people.”

8 High-Conversion Fundraising Tactics in the Time of Coronavirus 

The pandemic hasn’t put an end to fundraising. It’s only changed how fundraising is done. These tactics ensure that you’re appealing to and communicating with donors effectively.

1. Find Alternative Touch Points With Donors

Social distancing protocols and specifically, bans on public meetings in groups have disproportionately impacted religious-based nonprofits that now find themselves searching for alternative fundraising strategies. 

Dunham, whose company is a global leader in providing fully integrated marketing and fundraising strategies for nonprofits, offers the following suggestion: “Part of what I want to encourage churches to do is to consider a midweek eAppeal, that is more like an offering, if you would, that encourages people [and] reminds people of the ongoing work of the church.”

The same is true for museums and community organizations that primarily interact with people through face-to-face interactions. Just because your doors are closed to the public doesn’t mean that communications with them need to cease. You simply need to find a more appropriate method of interacting with them. 

2. Segment Donor Lists

Before sending a single email, segment your donor list using a donor pyramid. A donor pyramid can accurately identify which donors nonprofits should pursue at specific target amounts. 

Donor Pyramid

A behavioral trend has emerged where high-level donors are continuing to give but in smaller amounts, while mid-tier donors are increasing their gifts. Take advantage of this trend by targeting donors in these tiers with relevant messages and requests for donations.

WealthEngine recently unveiled the first artificial intelligence-based donor pyramid modeler in the industry. This advanced tool allows nonprofits to easily and quickly visualize how major fundraising endeavors should be broken down among giving tiers. 

With this tool, you can automatically segment your existing donors so you know who to target for planned giving, major gifts, mid-level gifts, and more. You can also easily see how many prospects you need to meet your goals. WealthEngine then works to find those prospects for you. 

Khera detailed how the donor pyramid modeler works by giving a hypothetical fundraising goal and explaining how you can use this new tool to create an accurate visualization of how close you are to meeting your fundraising objective: “Let’s say you want to raise a million dollars. All you do is type that in and our pyramid will actually help figure out how many gifts you need for each tier. You can change the thresholds for each tier…and it’ll recalculate everything for you, including your conversion ratios of how many people you need to meet, and how many you would close.”

3. Identify Donors Most Capable of Giving

It doesn’t make sense to reach out to a particular donor if their financial situation has drastically changed and they’re no longer capable of making their usual gift. Instead, use data analytics to focus your fundraising efforts on those who have experienced less of an impact.

WealthEngine’s WE Data tool enables organizations to quickly identify those individuals most capable of giving.

WealthEngine Profile

The We Data feature analyzes information from 60 sources, 300 million profiles, and 122 million households, and then offers insight into a prospect’s net worth, income, assets, history of giving, and more. With that kind of detailed data at your fingertips, you can easily find donors capable of supporting your mission, even at times of challenging circumstances on a global scale.

4. Be Authentic With Email Marketing

The subject line of your email campaign is the first thing donors see, so make it count. Aim to strike a balance between being sensitive to donors’ current situations and leaving the door open for them to continue participating in your mission.

Dunham shared the experience of one of his clients who supplemented its fundraising efforts with an email campaign that began with a simple yet impactful subject line: “How are you doing?”

Dunham explains this subject line was so effective “because . . . it immediately let the donor know how much and how important that donor was to that particular organization.” 

The body of your email should be equally engaging. In the case of Dunham’s client, the body of the email began with, “How are you doing in light of all that’s going on right now? We’re concerned about how you’re doing.” The message also addressed the health of the organization, its plans for moving forward, and expressed gratitude for the ongoing support it had received. 

This lone email blast generated $50,000 in donations. While certainly an impressive return, Dunham was quick to point out that this example of successful email marketing is not an isolated outcome: “For the month of March itself, that would be the last three to four weeks, we’ve seen a 26% increase year-over-year in revenue, but it’s because they’re actively engaging.”

5. Be Honest About Your Need

This is no time for organizations to hold information back from donors: If your nonprofit is genuinely struggling, do not attempt to downplay the stark reality. Efforts to downplay financial distress could negatively impact the carefully cultivated relationship between a nonprofit and its donors. Dunham emphasizes the importance of maintaining a relationship built on trust by asserting, “Nothing could be more distressing to a supporter, somebody who has invested in you, [than] to find out that you were in trouble and you never said anything about it.”  

Dunham advises struggling organizations to issue “a very clear request for funding” detailing why money is urgently needed. 

One of Dunham’s clients was an organization that could only sustain itself for approximately 18 days before operations would be forced to close. The solution was a quickly assembled multi-channel campaign that honestly addressed the situation, clearly stating the urgent need for funding. The ensuing donations allowed the organization to survive.

Dunham asserts, “Without being vulnerable and communicating the severity of their situation, this company could have potentially ended up closing their doors.” 

Smile FM, a Christian radio network based in Michigan, is another organization that saw similar success using the same tactic. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the station averaged a loss of three ongoing givers per month. When the pandemic hit, they began losing roughly three ongoing givers per day.

In response, the organization crafted an honest, compassionate email and sent it to 2,557 people, generating 25 donations within the first hour. Less than 24 hours later, the station had received 68 gift pledges, totaling nearly $20,000. Aside from on-air pledge drives, no fundraising initiative in the station’s history had ever generated such a generous response in such a short amount of time.  

6. Match Messaging to Donor Demographics

In addition to being authentic and honest, the messages you craft and their delivery system should be relevant to the demographics of your donors.

WE Analyze, a tool by WealthEngine, gives organizations an in-depth look at donor demographics so they can create messaging that matches the personas of their supporters.

Demographic Dashboards

For example, if your donors tend to be older, a fundraiser driven by direct mail is likely going to be more effective than one through an Instagram campaign or Facebook ads. 

Of course, there’s some messaging that you can land on without needing a demographics analysis tool. A faith-based organization such as a church, for instance, should tailor the content of their emails to reflect how they would engage with their congregants in person.

Dunham noted, “We’ve seen a tremendous response to a message around ‘How can we pray for you?’ For the faith-based organizations, there’s been tremendous engagement around that.”

This message works because it’s the same approach a person would take if they were comforting one of their faith-based peers in a face-to-face encounter.

7. Offer Gift Matching

Gift matching, a process in which a high-value donor or sponsor matches lower-value donations, is another powerful fundraising strategy. This approach may include a traditional gift-matching program or be implemented as a challenge, in which a larger donation will be made if a certain threshold is met through the combined efforts of several small and mid-level donations. 

Dunham maintains that the “true match” approach is the stronger of the two gift matching fundraising initiatives. Explaining his preference for a true match gift challenge, Dunham argues that true match has more of an impact, “especially if there’s some sort of a time frame on it, that if you run the potential of losing a portion of the match, and the donor’s intent is to get people to really be engaged” this approach can be very effective in getting people to commit to giving. 

The doubling effect of a person’s gift is also a powerful tool. If a donor realizes meeting a certain gift threshold will result in their donation being doubled—increasing the impact for the organization—their incentive to give is increased. 

For these types of programs to be efficient, it is vital that fundraisers have a firm grasp on the capacity for giving among their potential donors. This information allows nonprofits to set realistic fundraising goals. 

We Analyze assists organizations by monitoring and tracking donor giving history. This gives organizations a more accurate prediction of how gift-matching initiatives will perform.

8. Host Virtual VIP Events

Virtual tours and online performances help organizations remind supporters that they’re still offering value to the community and that their societal impact, as well as their financial needs, continue even as the nation works to emerge from “stay in place” restrictions.

However, interest in virtual tours has tapered off as the pandemic has progressed, so organizations need to get creative about differentiating themselves. Virtual events like webinars, live music, speaking engagements, or other distinctive experiences are still seeing success.

Virtual events have proven to be effective tools for cross-promotion and working cross-functionally with other organizations with whom you have established relationships, enabling you to expand your reach to a wider audience. Virtual events also offer ample lead time in promotion and can be used in conjunction with email messaging.

Before scheduling an event, organizations should consider how their donor audience will react to the offering. Ask yourself whether featuring the content online makes sense or if it feels forced; proceed with the event only if you feel that what you’re offering will truly appeal to your core audience.

Key Takeaway: Intentional Messaging Fuels Fundraising in the Time of Coronavirus

Although the pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, nonprofit organizations remain committed to their founding mission statements. Now more than ever, certain sectors of society depend on the assistance offered by nonprofits, making fundraising and garnering continued financial support for these organizations increasingly essential.

Organizations must pivot their messaging and delivery systems to show donors the importance of continuing to support them. Being honest about your needs, staying true to your mission, and being careful about how you construct messaging and virtual offerings are all essential for fundraising in uncertain times.

To learn more about the full assortment of tools included in the WealthEngine platform that elevates fundraising initiatives in uncertain times, sign up for a WealthEngine demo today.

Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Retail banking, also known as consumer banking, offers financial services to the general public. Typical services offered by retail banks include checking and savings accounts, personal loans, credit card access, and mortgage loans. 

This guide covers definitions of retail banking and customer segmentation and a discussion exploring common types of retail banking customer segmentation, how data analytics are used in customer segmentation and the benefits of segmentation.

What Does Customer Segmentation Look Like in Retail Banking?

Retail banking services are commonly provided by financial institutions at physical locations, or branches, where customers can manage their money and speak in-person with a banking agent regarding other financial services or products offered. 

Most services can be provided at ATMs or through mobile banking platforms, which in recent years have gained substantial traction. Since these institutions have a broad customer base, banks often group their customers into categories based on similar traits, a process known as customer segmentation

Customers that make up a retail bank’s user base can vary widely by numerous factors including age, gender, income, lifestyle, etc. Banks can segment their customers into lists dividing their consumers into groups based on certain key characteristics and take actions that better align with each segment. 

Reach Population Segments and Discover Market Size and Go-to-Market Strategies

Benefits of Downloading the Market Potential Report

  • Estimated net worth
  • Cash on hand
  • Investable assets
  • Business ownership
  • Giving capacity & history
  • Interests & passions
  • Propensity to invest, spend & donate

Obtaining and acting on customer data through the lens of segmentation can have a massive impact on marketing and sales, retention efforts, customer service, and more. 

Carefully analyzing such a high volume of customer data can be daunting. By using tools and software like WE Analyze, retail banks can easily capture data such as spending habits, frequency, and capacity, and then use this information to identify the most appropriate time to make a loan offer. In turn, this targeted action improves the likelihood of retail banks earning increased revenue through customer loans.

A bank’s customer segmentation approach can vary widely and must be based upon the organization’s business model and priorities. Segments can be quantitative, such as by age and gender, or they can be qualitative, such as separation by values and interests.

Maximum value is obtained when banks merge both types of data to better understand the wants and needs of their customer segments, allowing them to offer the right product or service at the right time.

 

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Common Types of Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

There are numerous ways to segment customers. Traditionally, segments are demographic, geographic, or product based. And, as this marketing plan example illustrates, with basic demographic and geographic information, a retail bank can tailor its marketing efforts so they are personalized to meet consumer demand. 

Here are some of the more traditional segmentation categories retail banks may consider:

  • Location: Marketing efforts geared toward specific geographic areas. 
  • Gender: Beneficial when promoting male and female-specific products online.
  • Age: Improve age-based predictions about customers. For instance, millennials are more responsive to digital marketing strategies, with most having an email account dedicated to promotional content and over 95% of them subscribing to email lists after “liking” a company’s Facebook page, whereas baby boomers tend to be more financially stable and have higher brand loyalty.
  • Income levels: Advertising certain products to customers based on income level. Banks can craft segments based on a wealth model, in which segments are categorized based on similar traits and demographics and give insight into the potential spending for these consumers. 

Wealth models are helpful because they convert certain qualitative attributes into quantitative scores. Wealth modeling enables banks to know where to focus their acquisition and marketing efforts to target customers who yield the highest return on investment.

Once this information is gathered, banks refine these segments by analyzing the spending habits and capacity of their customers to increase revenue by knowing which product or service should be offered and when. In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on segments that incorporate customer spending behavior or interests, often getting quite granular with the variables, as there are many factors that impact a customer’s willingness to spend. 

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Sample Retail Banking Segments

Once a bank is able to categorize and understand the customer they are working with, they can use software to learn how to best assist them. These are three examples of retail banking segments and how they might be approached for relevant services and marketing:

    • A family living in the suburbs with two children under age six in a house less than 1200 sq ft, who have a net worth over $500k. This segment could be attractive to candidates looking for home loans to move into a bigger house.
    • An existing customer who has only a car loan for $30,000 with your bank, but is also a business owner. This segment can be approached for business banking, line of credit, or equipment loan/leasing.
    • An existing customer who has less than $50k in your accounts but who has also been flagged as an accredited investor. This segment could be open to your private banking or wealth management services.
    • An existing customer who has a net worth of over $500k and a child, aged 17, who has a debit card with your bank. This segment can be tapped for showing how to help their child build credit using a secured credit card. This works the same way as a debit card, (that their parents might be willing to fund), but their usage and payoff history is reported to the credit agencies to help start building a credit history.

For banks looking to get the most out of their segmentation, knowing how to use wealth and lifestyle information to target the right audience with the correct services is key to retaining customers, and predicting their needs.

How Data Analytics is Used in Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Once retail banks begin collecting and screening key data from their user base, analytics can be used to turn customer data into actionable insights for each of their consumer segments. As previously stated, data analytics are most commonly used in retail banking customer segmentation to identify common traits or characteristics among customers to personalize service or product offers. 

Marketing software helps companies fill in the gaps in their customer database by using data enrichment, data cleansing, secure delivery and real-time updates to maintain high-quality data. Automation offers increased efficiency in comparison to resources lost when spent manually maintaining and updating databases, allowing more time to be allocated toward building stronger relationships with each customer segment.

 

Banking Customer Buyer Persona

An accurate banking customer buyer persona can drive a lot more client engagement and sales faster. It is driven by data. That’s where doing a wealth screening can really accelerate your marketing efforts.

Wealth screening through WE Screen uses proprietary wealth scores and ratings and merges them with current customer data, enabling companies to know more about consumers’ interests, political affiliations, net worth, and capacity to spend. These insights can be applied to segments to create a variety of initiatives such as reducing churn rates, improving satisfaction, and more. 

With WE Screen, banks can gather analytics on customers from their lifestyle segment using affinity scores applied to their data. 

Using a Look-alike Model

Using segmentation and affinity scores, banks can rank consumers by variables such as net worth or cash on hand to identify their most (and least) valuable customer segments, allowing them to concentrate special marketing efforts directly to their top consumers. 

Creating a look-alike model for these customers takes this application of data analytics further, allowing banks to target prospect segments they know will yield a higher profit. Look-alike modeling allows banks to gather and identify common traits from a certain customer segment and find new prospects who match those same criteria. 

Banks can use this information to create personalized messaging for potential customers who resonate with them from the very first interaction based on the segment(s) they fall into. This often increases conversions and builds stronger relationships with consumers.

Retail banks can use other basic consumer information to more quickly identify trends among customer segments and use it to further personalize interactions. Some of these data points include:

  • Acquisition source: Noting where a new consumer was acquired. This helps track where new customers are coming from, enabling banks to capitalize on those channels.
  • Initial spending: Banks can identify the first purchase a new consumer makes, helping them to make better predictions about customers’ future needs and purchases. 
  • Device usage: This enables banks to understand which devices customers use for various services, clarifying what actions can optimize those interactions and engagements.

Because there are so many pieces of customer data that can be analyzed, data mining is becoming increasingly popular for larger financial institutions. Banks use data mining to apply extensive analytics to current data and to spot trends that may not otherwise stand out. 

For instance, a bank can use data mining analytics to discover the top 5 attributes shared by customers with the highest lifetime value (LTV). Knowing those key characteristics, banks can concentrate their marketing efforts by creating personalized campaigns targeting high-value customers. 

Data analytics performed on customer segments can also be used to create more efficient predictive models for retail banks. When machine learning is integrated, it can use these models to create a smoother customer experience by better forecasting what customers need and when. 

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Machine Learning

Machine learning is gaining traction and is predicted to have a positive impact on nearly all aspects of larger technology-driven organizations, with 57% of technology professionals expecting machine learning to contribute toward improved customer experience.

Benefits of Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Through a solid understanding of their customer segments, retail banks can personalize consumer experiences and quickly form genuine relationships with new and existing customers. Improving these efforts leads to reduced costs and increased revenue. A list of common benefits derived from customer segmentation follows: 

    • Lower Acquisition Costs

Through customer segmentation, banks can deploy more personalized initiatives that increase the likelihood of prospects becoming customers. Banks can also generate specialized efforts toward segments that yield the highest profitability. One way this can be achieved is by using a look-alike model

    • Increased Sales

By knowing customer interests, habits, and desires, banks can offer customers exactly what they are looking for when they need it the most, leading to increased revenue. 

    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) prediction 

CLV helps banks identify their most valuable customer segments so they can focus on acquiring customers who generate the most revenue over time.

    • Decreased Churn

Creating a personalized experience for retail customer segments increases customer satisfaction, often leading to increased customer retention and brand loyalty, decreasing churn rate.

    • Improved Marketing Campaigns

Using customer segments, retail banks can determine the best way to attract new customers, build brand loyalty, and promote specific products. Having a better understanding of the target segments will lead to increased conversion rates

Customer segmentation makes marketing, product development, and even customer service more effective by helping retail banks gain further insight into specific groupings within their customer base. 

To begin segmenting your customer list, visit WealthEngine today to see all of the powerful tools our platform offers to help organizations turn data into action. 

Communication Strategies for Donor Retention

Donor Cycle Image

In times when operational costs for organizations are increasing and donor prospects are lower, the need for a donor retention strategy takes on renewed importance. With the unprecedented economic upheaval and evolving business practices due to COVID-19, finding ways to communicate effectively and retain donors is crucial. Donor retention is part of the ongoing donor process that includes identifying prospects, building relationships, and donor stewardship.

Donor stewardship is the process that occurs once a donor has given to your organization. Stewardship refers directly to the continued communication and relationship building that happens after the initial transaction, which directly affects your donor retention rate. 

This guide covers the importance of donor stewardship in order to maintain donor retention, explains why donor retention is economically beneficial compared to acquiring new donors and how it increases your organization’s rate of return (ROI). The critical components of a consistent messaging plan to facilitate keeping donors informed of the impact their donations are having on the cause they care about and highlighting your organization’s continued appreciation for their support is explored in detail.

Keep reading or “jump” ahead to these sections:

Building and Maintaining Donor Relationships

Donor Cycle Image

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  • Beginning the Cycle with Donor Cultivation

Donor cultivation is the process of identifying and engaging with possible prospects, sharing your organization’s mission, and beginning to build a relationship before requesting a gift. Donor qualification determines which potential donors have the ability to give to your organization, and at which level they can be expected to contribute. WealthEngine’s wealth modeling feature works to help determine the status of each prospect, so you can easily identify which areas of your organization will appeal to them and which level of contribution is the best fit. 

The donor cycle begins as soon as a prospect is identified. Help these potential donors familiarize themselves with your organization’s mission, and explain why your cause is relevant to each donor. WealthEngine 9’s Engagement Science feature allows you to utilize personalized information and interact with your donors through targeted campaigns designed to increase engagement.

Insights provided by the WealthEngine 9 comprehensive platform dig deeply into the lifestyle of your donors, so you can understand what motivates them, which allows your organization to create meaningful relationships centered around your mission and your donors’ interests. By analyzing relevant wealth and lifestyle signals, WealthEngine gives you the necessary tools to personalize your campaigns and boost your donor engagement.

Once you have utilized this information to appropriately target your messaging, continue the conversation, and explain why their contribution is important. Provide examples of the impact their support will have and make it clear where their gift will be going. This provides your donors with a clear understanding of their impact. Remember, it is important to find ways to personalize your message to make it relatable to each donor. 

  • Continue to Build Relationships Through Donor Engagement

Once a relationship has been established, it is crucial to continue nurturing a connection between the donor and the organization. Focus on keeping an open line of communication with supporters through consistent emails and newsletters featuring updates of your work and achievements. 

It is vital that the relationship between your organization and its donors be one built on two-way communication. Use all of your communication channels to solicit donor feedback through interactive surveys, polls, and reviews, and be sure to announce when elements of initiatives contain suggestions gleaned from donor feedback. This will demonstrate to your donors that their suggestions are listened to and when viable, acted upon.

Invite donors to events or activities your organization is hosting so they can witness how their gifts are being used. Donor engagement will increase the likelihood of recurring gifts while strengthening your relationships with donors, which will encourage them to remain active participants in your organization.

Cost of Acquisition

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  • Increase Your Donor Retention Rate

Once a relationship has been established, donor retention is the process of retaining donors and keeping them involved in your organization after their initial gift. The goal of donor retention is to have donors give more than once and see these donors become more involved with your cause. 

Using the model above as an example, assume the initial cost to acquire a new donor is $85 while the cost of sustaining donors is $12. This graph illustrates how donor retention is economically necessary for a nonprofit to survive, as sustaining donors is significantly less expensive than acquiring new ones. 

The average year-on-year donor retention rate in the United State is 46%, which shows that less than half of all donors remain active after their first contribution. This low percentage illustrates how easily money is lost through poor retention rates, as the cost to onboard new donors is greater than the cost of sustainment. 

It is also worthwhile to seek out donors who can donate their time to initiatives. Just because a donor’s financial outlook may not make them a promising cash donor does not mean that the resources they could bring to the organization as a valued volunteer should be overlooked.

The continued cycle of donor cultivation and stewardship is vital because sustaining current donors has a positive effect on your organization’s return on investment (ROI), and plays a crucial role in your organization’s survival. Maintaining relationships and encouraging donor engagement leads to a higher ROI as your sustainment costs continue to lower and your revenue stream increases during a donor’s lifetime involvement in your mission. 

By continuing the donor cycle past the first gift through communication and strategic donor engagement, the experience donors have with your organization can improve, and your donor retention rate will increase. 

The Importance of Communicating the Impact of Donations

So you’ve received a donation, now what? Making sure your donors see how their gift is supporting your cause will be vital in retaining them for future contributions. Some organizations give the option for donors to specify where they would like their donation to be used. Finding ways to showcase these impacts can strengthen the donor relationship. 

Start with a plan for communicating the value of each donation. Share the ways these contributions are being used to sustain your organization’s guiding mission, while also enabling the pursuit of important new endeavors that align with the values of the organization. 

Continually emphasize how the generosity of your donors makes these actions possible. In the digital age, it is easier than ever to keep in touch with donors, so you can easily focus your social media messaging to showcase the impact that is being made to benefit your cause.

It’s also extremely important not to forget the importance of personal contact. Send a handwritten note thanking your donors for their gifts; have a plan for you or someone from your team to speak with them personally when they attend events, and make a point of discussing all the ways their donations are being used, being sure to listen to any suggestions donors may wish to share. Making the effort to meet and speak with them as individuals and discuss the progress the organization is making thanks to their generosity can make all the difference when it comes to donor retention. 

Communication Strategies for Retaining Donors

Communication is the most important factor when working to retain donors. Focus on maintaining early contact with your donors. Personalization is also vital in nurturing the donor relationship and small acts such as remembering to acknowledge and express gratitude to donors right away, with a quick post-gift follow-up, such as a brief phone call or a personalized email thanking them for their continued support, increases the likelihood the donor will continue to feel connected to your organization and its goals. 

Timing is important, and maintaining consistent and efficient communication will ensure a donor feels seen and appreciated by your organization. Always let donors know that the important role they play in the organization’s success is appreciated and go out of your way to ensure each donor feels welcomed by your group.

Share meaningful content and a consistent narrative. When reaching out to donors to give updates on the impact their support is having, focus on driving your messaging through intentional content. Donors will appreciate, and most likely respond to, action-driven messages rather than fluff, and a consistent narrative illustrating how their gifts are being used will encourage continued donations to your organization.

Ask for donor feedback by conducting surveys and polls, and do your best to integrate their suggestions into your work. Don’t be afraid to use your communication lines to ask your donors what they think. Reach out and hold conversations with them, so you can tailor your communication strategies to their needs and avoid donor fatigue

Developing and Implementing a Successful Donor Stewardship Program

Donor Stewardship Program

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As you continue to search for new prospects, and implement donor stewardship programs, start by gathering and analyzing your information. Create personalized campaigns, segment donors according to their financial capacity to give and their shared interests, based on insights gathered by WealthEngine 9’s We Analyze tool, which features look-alike modeling, and use this information to create a plan to reach your target audience. 

Find ways for donors to get involved beyond their initial gifts. Reach out when you need volunteers, especially if you have an event coming up that is being funded by their contributions, or when something exciting is happening within your organization. 

Donors who are actively involved in initiatives will see the impacts of their gifts first-hand and feel inspired to continue giving, which increases your donor retention rate. Donors who give of their time also need to feel they have made impactful contributions and be shown that their endeavors are making a difference. Continually prioritize highlighting the impact donor support is having on the sustainability and success of your mission using every form of communication available.

For more information about how your organization can more efficiently search for new supporters while retaining its current donor base and increasing its donor retention rate, check out a free demo of the WealthEngine platform today.

 

5 Critical Steps for Successful Giving Tuesday Now Follow Up

These 5 critical steps for your Giving Tuesday Now follow up will increase your fundraising beyond what you capture from initial donations.

Giving Tuesday Now follow up

As many nonprofits send appeals for donations to help in their response to the massive economic downturn caused by COVID-19, most will not know the true potential of their donors. You can fix this. Use these steps to generate bigger donations from your Giving Tuesday Now follow up efforts.

1. Share Your Impact in #GivingTuesdayNow Follow Up

You may have a set of thank you letters to use in your initial Giving Tuesday Now follow up. Send your emails and letters out quickly to acknowledge donors for their contribution. If you received donations electronically, send your follow up by email. For paper check donations, respond in kind with a printed letter.

Mention the impact you are having. Donors want to feel that their contributions are making a difference.

giving tuesday now toolkitFor more messaging ideas, use WealthEngine’s Giving Tuesday Now Toolkit, which contains many templates that you can copy/paste and edit to customize your words.

2. Screen Donors to Know Who Can Give More

You will get donations of all sizes, $10 or $1000 or more. How many can – and would – give far more than $100? How many are millionaires and should be targeted for major gifts? There’s a very strong likelihood that if you nurtured these high capacity donors properly, they would donate more.

Find the Major Gift Donors Hiding in Your #GivingTuesdayNow List

Nurture donors with high estimated giving capacity and propensity.

Leslie VanSant, Chief Philanthropy Officer, at the Rainforest Trust had a donor who regularly gave a small donation, under $500. She did a simple check in their WealthEngine account to see this donor’s estimated giving capacity. Leslie saw that the donor had much greater potential than her past donations. This was an opportunity for building a stronger relationship.

Through personalized engagement resulting from her wealth screening using WealthEngine, the Rainforest Trust soon got a $25,000 donation from this donor.

Listen to Rainforest Trust share their strategic plan that enabled them to grow from 1000 donors per year to 1000 per week →

After your donations from Giving Tuesday Now are in, it’s time to investigate. You now have the opportunity to nurture many new donors who can give much more than they gave.

Screening your donors for their actual giving capacity and propensity will be the most important thing you do in your Giving Tuesday Now follow up. It can double or triple the funds you raised.

If you use Salesforce, get the WE Insights for Salesforce connector to append your donor record with these details instantly. For other tools, use WealthEngine’s API to save time and get all of the information you need right inside your CRM/DMS.

3. Take a Closer Look at Your DAF Donations

Fidelity Charitable reported that during the first 4 weeks of lock downs and economic turmoil, donors of their Donor Advised Fund gave $90 million to help nonprofits deal with COVID-19 issues. So, they challenged their donors to hit $200 million by today. Compare this to $60 million that was donated in all of 2017 in response to the seven natural disasters that year, such as the California wildfires and Houston floods.

Listen to Fidelity Charitable share the exact steps you can take to get donations from DAF donors →

Donors who participate in a Donor Advised Fund generally have a higher giving capacity than what they donated to your organization. Fidelity reports that their average donor has $17,000 in their DAF. Vanguard’s minimum amount to deposit in their DAF is $25,000 whereas Fidelity and Schwab have a $5,000 initial minimum.

When you receive a donation through a DAF of $50 or $500, it’s time to learn more about your donor. They should get special attention in your Giving Tuesday Now follow up. The simple fact that they used a DAF indicates that they likely can give more.

People use DAFs to set aside cash for future donations while taking the tax deduction on the total set-aside amount at once. This allows donors to decide which charities they want to support over time. With the havoc caused by COVID-19, DAF donors are being quite generous.

DAF donors often include their personal name in the donation. Use this to research the donor’s actual giving capacity.

wealth signal

This adds to the information in your donor segmentation analysis so you get a clear picture of where to put your efforts.

4. Use a Donor Pyramid to Project Your Fundraising Potential

It is time consuming to nurture major donor prospects. With limited bandwidth, you and your team want to focus on the most promising opportunities for growth and expansion. Donor segmentation can be hard.

A donor pyramid is a wonderful solution. It can help you segment your new donor list to create a prioritized list of prospects. For many organizations, this is a manual exercise that requires knowing the scores, capacity, propensity and other information about donors.

WealthEngine’s upcoming release makes creating your donor pyramid very easy. Rather than manually sorting and segmenting your donors, our new Donor Pyramid Modeler allows you to see which donors fit into each giving tier instantly.donor pyramid

This saves you weeks, even months, of grueling hours manipulating spreadsheets and digging into the backgrounds of your donors.

The Donor Pyramid Modeler can automatically screen your Giving Tuesday Now list for appropriate follow up. Using data from WealthEngine’s scores and insights, you will know which new donors to nurture for additional giving. Appropriately assign them to your major gift or planned giving officers, or keep them on your annual fund campaign list.

Reserve your seat for a free Donor Pyramid Modeler trial →

You will also see the total giving capacity of your Giving Tuesday Now donors so you know your full fundraising potential. Try it and see how quickly it can help you find your best donation opportunities.

5. Identify the Shortest Path to Reach New Connections

WealthEngine’s connections enable you to see who in your circle of close contacts can put you in touch with others you are trying to reach.

You can find common connections through personal relationships, other nonprofit board members, and professional activities.

Our client constantly report high ROI and big increases in fundraising once they start using WealthEngine. Even in a climate with tight or frozen budgets, bringing in donations is the key to your survival. A tool as powerful and easy to use as WealthEngine can mean the difference between funding new initiatives or turning off your lights.

Request a WealthEngine Demo Today →

Financial Advisor Prospecting As COVID-19 Lockdowns End

financial advisor prospecting

There’s no denying the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many aspects of how we conduct business. With 29% of workers now able to work from home, compared to  just 7% who had that capability before, your approach to financial advisor prospecting needs to take into account new ways to reach people.

McKinsey reports that 89% of consumers feel their routines will return to normal in two months. As the country slowly comes out of COVID-19 lockdowns, the way you approach private wealth management prospects will be different. Thanks to WealthEngine’s Prospect Research machine learning technology, you are better equipped to handle these rapidly changing and challenging times than ever before.

A 90-Day Financial Advisor Prospecting Plan

This guide covers best practices for financial advisor prospecting. We will go over easy options, like content marketing campaigns, educational webinars,  and video conferencing. We will also go into cross and upselling to help you accurately target financial advisor prospects who are most likely to turn into clients. 

Most importantly, we will touch on how you can quickly segment your existing clients and prospects by expansion potential based on estimated investable assets, net worth and other wealth insights. Using data and predictive analytics to know your prospects, you can speed your time to closing new deals dramatically. These options are included in the wide range of advanced analytics provided by WealthEngine.

Download WealthEngine’s Guide to Financial Advisor Prospecting in a COVID-19 World

Best Practices for Financial Advisor Prospecting

Even during times of extraordinary circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, it’s important to remember the basics when it comes to prospecting.

The first step is to narrow your focus to the specific customers you need to reach. Understand your target market and find common elements between those leads. 

Doing this will make you better equipped to define your ideal client within the current market. Armed with the information gleaned from your lead research, you will be ready to begin prospecting.

Create Content Marketing Campaigns

With your ideal private wealth client in mind, start creating content marketing campaigns. Write content that speaks to the issues your target customer is facing. Send them emails with financial tips on ways to cope as we ease out of the pandemic lockdowns.

Topics for financial advisors or brokers to consider exploring with their clients include:

  • Should you review your risk tolerance in light of recent heavy market swings?
  • How can you reduce debt to increase available cash?
  • What considerations should you take into account to rebalance your portfolio?

Prove yourself to be a valuable resource, consistently providing answers to the questions customers most often ask. When they’re ready to convert, you will be the foremost expert in their minds and they will trust the information you give. 

WealthEngine can help you strategize your campaigns by assessing your existing business processes and identifying potential problems and opportunities. WealthEngine helps you design and implement financial advisor prospecting campaigns through advanced data modeling and predictive analytics. For example, our proven system helped one of our clients increase average email open rates by 25%. Another client reduced the number of touches to get an initial meeting with a prospect from 5 to 2.7. They did this simply by knowing unique insights about prospects that only WealthEngine is able to provide.

Host or Participate in Financial Educational Webinars

The inclusion of educational webinars in your marketing campaigns is a demonstrably effective tactic for increasing your marketing content audience. A whopping 72% of customers admit they would prefer to learn about services via video: It is one of the best ways to get clients to consume your content.

Share the educational information – don’t sell! Host webinars on timely topics like those listed above. It will keep you top of mind and help potential customers understand why they need your services.

If creating fresh content requires too much time or slow internal approvals, share insights from your company’s web site or other content from reliable sources. You can post them on LinkedIn or other social media channels and provide commentary with a call to action.

When you pose timely questions, like the ones suggested above, you increase your chances of encouraging conversations with the right prospects. Then, coupling that outreach by focusing on the right audience segments using WealthEngine, you can reach high net worth prospects who may not be having with their existing financial advisor and could turn to you for advice.

Schedule Virtual Meetups

A certain percentage of people still prefer to meet face to face when consulting someone about their finances. Of course with social distancing measures, connecting with clients in person isn’t an option.

As a solution, you should offer digital meetups using video conferencing software. This technology allows you to give customers the personal interaction they’re looking for while keeping you and your clients safe. 

Leverage Your Current Customer Database

If you haven’t already, now is the time for you to cross-sell your current customers. Around 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, making them an ideal place to go when you start prospecting. While your existing clients have invested a portion of their assets with you, you can increase your total assets under management by exploring how well your clients’ other investments are doing.

A good place to begin would be to make a list of all the services you offer and choose one to prioritize. Then, take your current customer list and filter down to those who aren’t currently using that service or are not getting as high a return on investment that you are providing. If you find they’re a good fit, open up a dialogue with these targeted clients about your chosen service.

By applying WealthEngine’s lifestyle insights, you can start dialogs that relate to saving for college education, vacation homes, retirement plans, and philanthropic pursuits.

Upsell Modeling

Take the manual work out of finding potential cross-sell opportunities through filtering with WealthEngine’s upsell modeling wealth intelligence data analytics. It builds a formula which predicts and identifies upgrades or complimentary services that will appeal to your current clients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, automating your processes will help decrease your overhead costs. This will make financial advisor prospecting yield a much higher ROI. 

WealthEngine’s Inner Circle Feature

WealthEngine provides you with yet another way to leverage your current client list with its  Inner Circle feature. Simply upload a list of your closest contacts and let Inner Circle create a list of their connections. 

Once you have this information, you can ask the Inner Circle for an introduction to the secondary connection. This feature enables you to find the shortest path to a prospect by seeing their personal, nonprofit board, and personal connections.

The WE Analyze Tool and Look-Alike Modeling

It can be difficult and time-consuming to find new customers, even when we’re not battling a pandemic. With WealthEngine’s highly effective WE Analyze Tool, you can take advantage of look-alike modeling to create a list of your top sales leads based on the ideal characteristics of your target customers.

Even if your data is incomplete, WealthEngine will fill in the gaps with data on potential clients’ wealth, lifestyle, interests, and more. Then, WE Prospect scans your current customer lists to find new ones with those same traits. This is look-alike modeling, and nobody does it better than WealthEngine.

Use Predictive Analysis to Find Financial Advisor Prospects

WealthEngine’s predictive lead analysis compares new lists against your best customer list. Everyone on the new list is scored in comparison to your best customer list, then divided into segments. 

Using segmented lists enables you to prioritize your financial advisor prospecting efforts and concentrate your resources on the highest value prospects first. This saves time by pinpointing  your most valuable leads based on their likelihood of conversion.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Using Artificial Intelligence to aid with prospecting will help you build predictive models by analyzing your database. These models can then be used to identify your next best prospects without requiring you to do the manual work. Machine learning continues to make your lists better through its rapid learning process.

Since artificial intelligence powers the WE platform, it’s able to quickly analyze records much better than you could manually. For example, if you provide a list of 200,000 people with over 50 attributes for each person, the AI could quickly handle this request and rapidly give you feedback. Again, the more you do this, the better machine learning will refine your unique model.

Help Your Community

During this time, financial advisors should go beyond their usual community outreach programs. Your goal is to extend a hand that helps relieve stress and aids others as they struggle to make it through these economically uncertain times. For example, you could reach out to your clients and connect them with people who can assist with mortgage refinance. 

Even comparatively small gestures such as offering to grab groceries for elderly customers goes a long way toward building trust in the community. Of course, doing these things won’t give you immediate leads. However, if you’re able to go the extra mile, once this pandemic is over, your neighbors will remember your name. 

WealthEngine’s Financial Advisor Prospecting Software

WealthEngine’s predictive prospecting platform helps you focus your financial advisor prospecting funnel. The platform serves as a valuable educational tool that keeps your current customers informed while identifying new opportunities. Our filtering and modeling systems are unmatched and will help you successfully find, reach out to, and close new prospects.

Our application program interface (API) will connect seamlessly to your current customer relationship management (CRM) tool, such as our WE Insights for Salesforce, or other systems to ensure data is updated in real-time, giving you the most accurate view of your customers. WealthEngine is easy to use so you can spend your valuable time building relationships, not looking for new leads.

To get started with highly effective financial advisor prospecting using wealth data and analytics, contact WealthEngine today.

What Organizations Can Do Amidst COVID-19 and an Economic Downturn

This is an unprecedented time in modern history. With markets falling dramatically and lock downs and social distancing affecting the country, the full economic impact of COVID-19 remains uncertain. It is no longer business as usual. In the 2008 recession, organizations that focused on their return on invested capital came out ahead. Those who retreated faltered.

What can you do right now to minimize the risk of your 2020 goals slipping?

The answer starts with getting back to the basics: know your donor, know your customer.

Follow this proven 3-point strategy to keep your momentum in the midst of economic instability and uncertainty due to the coronavirus, COVID-19.

Managing in Uncertainty?

Read our guide to learn key strategies to protect and grow your organization amidst economic instability.

1. Engage with Your Community, Focus on Impact

Historically, during economic downturns, organizations that use this time to create stronger relationships come out ahead.

Being there for donors and customers gets you closer to them. The more you do for your community, the more goodwill you generate. This builds your brand and tightens your relationship with your audience.

To connect with your audience, share stories about the impact you are making on others during this difficult time. You will get attention by touching people’s hearts.

Luxury Brands

LVMH, home to brands such as Louis Vuitton and Fendi, is manufacturing hand sanitizers in their factories that normally produce perfume.  The goal is to help address the dramatic shortage of hand sanitizer, especially in hospitals that so desperately need it. By showing their commitment to a larger cause, they are reinforcing their brand. They have already received a sizable amount of free publicity for their efforts.

Financial Institutions

Banks are offering very low or no interest loans and short-term lines of credit to small businesses. WaFd in Seattle, an area hit very hard, is offering a $200,000 business line of credit for 90 days and is fast-tracking loans up to $30,000 for small firms that saw a 10% or more drop in cash flow due to the coronavirus. They are standing by their community and have prepared $100 million for these loans.

Charities

Just about every type of organization can have an impact. Celebrity chef José Andrés closed his restaurants and set up community kitchens to offer packaged lunches to those who aren’t able to get meals. As the founder of World Central Kitchen, his organization provides relief during natural disasters. While he loses money providing free meals, his attitude and approach is to pay it forward.

Travel and Hospitality

Several colleges have shutdown, leaving students with little time to move out and return home. One student got to curb side check-in at the airport only to find that her bag was overweight. She had packed her text books and other heavy items. Rather than charge $75 overweight baggage fee, the Southwest  Airlines rep asked if she was a college student returning home due to COVID-19. Exasperated, she said “yes!” The airline’s rep immediately waived the extra charge so the student could get home without added stress.

The student’s mother shared this heartwarming story on social media. While Southwest isn’t a luxury brand, the student and her mom (and many of her social media friends) now have a stronger relationship with the company. The airline rep’s gesture generated far more goodwill than $75 of advertising could buy.

Knowing what your customer needs right now will score points that will create a stronger relationship going forward. It will also help you increase your return in invested capital.

2. Stay Top of Mind, Don’t Retreat

With the Dow Jones losing so much of its value in a week, even wealthy consumers will feel (and likely be) less rich than they were a month ago. They may postpone previously scheduled meetings that you set up. Some might say that they are not in a position to do any business with you due to significant losses in the stock market. Others could hold back on financial commitments till they see a rainbow after the storm passes.

Staying top of mind is a critical element in maintaining momentum during an economic downturn. Those who retreat will lose market share.

While your first instinct may be to reduce your investments, retreating from activity can make your situation worse.  John Quelch’s Harvard Business Review article on How to Market During a Recession stresses that organizations should maintain their marketing efforts during a downturn. Again, it’s not business as usual. How you approach your prospects to build bonds will influence their lifetime value with your organization.

This blueprint works regardless of your type of organization. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recommends a very similar strategy for charities to connect with donors in a looming recession.

Now is the time to reach out with a personalized message.

Your outreach will be different for everyone so knowing what makes your prospects, donors and clients tick is critical. You can use your WealthEngine account to find insights to personalize your approach to donors, customers and prospects. Learn what types of causes they donate to, who their connections are, and other intelligence to prepare your conversation.

3. Strategize for a High Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

In a tighter market for dollars, your competitors include everyone pursuing the wealthy client’s cherished bank account. This includes nonprofits vying for their cause, banks claiming they can manage wealth better, and luxury brands who offer unique lifestyles and experiences.

The stocks deemed as winners in the 2008-2009 recession had one thing in common. All of them had a high return on invested capital (ROIC) that outperformed their peers. The Financial Times reports that organizations who prioritized ROIC generated 15-20% growth whereas those who retreated lost 15% or more.

History will repeat itself. Inaction now will hurt your organization in 2020. Optimizing your invested capital can make or break your year.

The key to success is to make your outreach as efficient as possible. That’s why getting back to the basics, knowing your donor or customer, is so important. Wealth and lifestyle insights about your audience empowers you to craft your message in ways that your competitors won’t.

Small Gestures Build Big Bridges

The country’s lock down is preventing in-person meetings. Many organizations are scrambling to move online to conduct business. Their staff is simultaneously dealing with children who are now at home due to school closures. If you know a top prospect has children under age 18, something you can find instantly using WealthEngine, you know they are likely struggling with schools being shut down temporarily. Send them a link to kids activities. It can help them stay occupied while the whole family is self-quarantined.

Use wealth and lifestyle data to increase your return on invested capital. It can help you come out of our current economic downturn better positioned for growth than others who are competing for the same dollar. You want to show that you care now, not later when things are rosy.

Markets abruptly tanked, leaving many people nervous. Some people will be reluctant to commit immediately. This is precisely why you need to know who your best targets are.  They can withstand market fluctuations better than others.

We will eventually get out of this economic situation and you want to be as well-positioned as possible.

In every downturn, those who invest in getting closer to clients come out ahead.

New to WealthEngine? Maybe we can help →

Close 2019 Strong! WealthEngine 9.1 is Live with Refreshed Data

wealthengine dashboard 9.1
We’ve got a Thanksgiving treat for you to help you reach your #GivingTuesday and end-of-year goals. WealthEngine 9.1 is live and includes updated data and more to help you close 2019 and start 2020 strong!

Update Your Records for Higher Accuracy

Outdated emails and phone numbers cost you time and money. Update your data now so you spend your precious time connecting with people instead of hunting for contact information. WealthEngine 9.1 includes:

    • 240 million updated emails
    • 140 million updated personal phone numbers
    • 167 million charitable donation records with confidence scores on match
    • 500,000 new donation records added monthly
    • Stock holdings for nearly 350,000 insiders
    • Many more updates coming soon!

Know Your Donor or Customer Instantly

Our new WealthSignalTM graphic shows you important information in a snap. Use it to help qualify the prospects that are your best bets. See their connections to find inroads that can lead to a warm introduction. It’s fast, easy and empowers you to make informed decisions quickly.

Drive Productivity with Actionable Intelligence

When you login, you’ll see a new dashboard with your recently visited profiles, tips, best practices, and the latest product announcements to help you drive your mission forward.

wealthengine dashboard 9.1

WealthEngine’s Integrations Change December 7

CRM/DMS Integrations

On December 7, 2019, any integrations that you are using to pull WealthEngine data directly into your CRM/DMS will automatically be directed to our new 9.1 platform.

Grateful Patient Program Clients

Starting December 7, 2019, please login to WealthEngine 9.1 (not 8.2) for your nightly screening results.

Not Using Integrations Yet? Get Started – You’ll Save So Much Time!

If you are using a CRM/DMS but haven’t yet integrated WealthEngine into it, please contact us. We’ll help you get set up so you see WealthEngine’s insights as part of your workflow.

Questions? We’ve Got Your Back!

We’ve updated our online knowledge base to help you find answers to your questions quickly. We have an updated library of documents, guides and videos that walk you through the improvements in WE 9.1 and drive more revenue to your organization using WealthEngine. Bookmark this page for quick reference.

Visit the knowledge base →

Start Using WealthEngine 9.1 Today

WealthEngine 8.20 will be available until January 3, 2020

Not a client yet? Request a demo →