Thanks to co-guest-bloggers Amy Sample Ward and Allyson Kapin. Allyson is acclaimed for her leadership role in technology and social media, and runs Rad Campaign. Amy is the Membership Director for NTEN and blogs for Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Getting the attention of your supporters and engaging them in your campaigns on one platform is hard enough. But the key to campaign success comes in engaging people across platforms—email, social media, your website, and even offline. In the just-released Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community, Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward guide nonprofit staffers through developing and powerful integrated approaches to asking for money, time or support.
To start, Amy and Allyson recommend you take these four simple steps to ensure your next multichannel campaign generates the most attention (and action) possible:
1. Coordinate messages across channels to track response
For example, if you’re releasing an email appeal, post the same call to action on one of your social media channels for a short time after the email goes out. Make sure to measure any change in response to see whether that’s worthwhile for your organization.
Caveat: Since each channel has a different tone, style, and posting length, it’s important that you repurpose calls to actions that are appropriate for each channel.
2. A/B test your email subject line before sending
Even if you aren’t using a sophisticated email marketing tool, A/B testing is something you can and should do regularly. Say you are launching a national campaign and you have 10,000 email addresses on your list. Take 5,000 of those names and split that list in half, sending the same message with different subject lines to each half. Check results in 24 hours, then send an email to the balance of the list with the subject lines that generated more opens and completed action rates.
Remember, you can learn only when you test variations on one element at a time.
3. Privately invite community members to participate
You know who they are—those community members who are always the first to engage with you on Facebook, retweet you on Twitter, and share your campaigns and events to their friends. Start reaching out regularly to these superstar fans to encourage even more engagement. If they’re on Twitter, send them a Direct Message thanking them for their retweets. Or even email them sample social media content that they can share on different channels, plus a huge thank you.
4. Set up a Campaign Calendar
A campaign calendar is one of the most important parts of multichannel planning. Laying out your timeline with a calendar helps you shape an engagement ladder for your constituents and highlights required staffing and resources.
A productive calendar outlines a schedule for drafting, editing, and implementing each campaign element and considers the goals, audiences, and channels for each component, including:
- Email appeals and graphics
- Welcome series for new activists and donors
- Website action and donation landing pages, graphical callout boxes, and homepage hijacks
- Direct mail
- Social media strategies and messaging
- Text messaging if appropriate
- Online or print advertising to promote the campaign, if appropriate.
- Fun interactives that don’t ask donors for money
- A/B testing (version a vs. version b) of a subject line, webpage, appeal, or message to see which is more effective
- Segmenting your list by state, issue area, donation amount, etc.
- Thank-you messages and campaign updates
Looking for more multichannel campaign tips? Social Change Anytime Everywhere is packed with the latest resources, case studies, and best practices to help you achieve your campaign goals.
Thanks, Amy and Allyson.