What Happens When You Add Texting, Video, and Non-Solicitation Calls to a Phonathon? A Massive ROI Boost.
We’ve been telling you about the next generation, remote-ready digital engagement center for over a year now, and we now have the results from early adopters of this transformation to what we used to call “phonathon” to share. What’s a digital engagement center? It’s going beyond just calling, using integrated texting, video and advanced analytics to allow engagement ambassadors (usually students) to meet donors where they spend their time—on mobile devices. These programs also go beyond the annual fund to capture actionable information for major and planned giving conversations. You can hear more about the strategy behind it and listen to a campus partner report their experience in our recorded webinar.
But I bet you probably just want to know: What will this actually do to my program and how much more money will I raise? We looked into the data from programs who have adopted this new integrated strategy, and put together a digital engagement calculator for you.
The Digital Engagement Center impact calculator: see how your phonathon program transforms with integrated digital engagement
Using the digital engagement calculator, you’ll enter your current phone-only pledge results, and then by answering mostly yes/no questions about your program, you can see what the expected boost to actual dollars and donors in the door will be when you adopt the digital engagement center strategy.
Amplifying donor engagement with digital outreach: how do we know it works?
This calculator is based on the real results of RNL partners who took the plunge and went beyond telefund to adopt a Digital Engagement Center. Most of the activity we looked at is in the remote environment because of the pandemic, and the results are from real student engagement ambassadors communicating with a wide range of alumni and other supporters. Some results from our clients:
- 55% giving rate for donors engaged with calling, texting, and video at least once during the year for one client. That’s 5x their alumni average.
- 5x increase on open rates for personalized video messages compared to email open rates for another institution. These video messages usually have the highest open and click rates of the messages they send.
- 14% of people we engaged with planned giving information said they were interested in talking with a gift officer. That means if we talk to 1,000, that’s 140 live planned giving leads, more than many institutions receive in an entire year.
We’re already seeing 3-5x results from programs that adopted these engagement strategies. The calculator is a conservative estimate, and you could see significantly higher results.
Key strategies to amplify donor engagement: texting, video messages, advanced analytics, making giving easy
As you’ll see in the calculator, you can do so much more with a digital engagement center than just ask for phone pledges. Key strategies include:
- Integrating texting into your outreach, including after conversations or to people you don’t reach, and doing this early in the engagement.
- Using text and personalized video messages (like ThankView) to support calling, giving days, crowdfunding, and special giving challenges.
- Non-solicitation engagement like support for events, surveying, special announcements, and care calls/texts.
- Collecting good contact reports and updating donor information to pass on to gift officers.
- Identifying a group to ask about planned giving interest and passing it on to your MGPG team.
- Setting up easy to use giving pages for donors to fulfill their pledges, and even texting them real-time giving links during a call.
That’s just a taste of what we’ve seen RNL partners do with this new technology. They key is integration, with all the channels working together. RNL is the only platform that allows for all of these technologies to work together and maximize the impact your engagement center and ambassador can have—all in a remote environment.
Take the next step: go beyond phone calls for an integrated, digital engagement strategy
It’s time to meet donors where they spend their time, on mobile devices. And to give our engagement ambassadors the tools to go beyond “phonathon” to an integrated, cross-channel donor engagement experience. Check out the calculator today to see how your results can be amplified, and contact us right way to find out what your peers are doing, and how you can take donor engagement to the next level.
Discover the next generation of donor engagement solutions
Learn more about the remote-ready RNL Digital Engagement Center, which keeps your donors engaged across integrated calling, texting, and personal video. And it can keep your student ambassadors working and driving to your fundraising goals.