by: Claire Meyerhoff on
What Works in Planned Giving Marketing?
That's a question we hear every single day here at PGM! What "works" for one organization can be entirely different for another. All nonprofits are different -- and more importantly, so are their donors.
But there are some common goals. The organizations we work with all want two things:
1. They want more donors to ‘raise their hand’ and say "YES, I'm including a gift in my will to your organization!"
2. They want more top-tier prospects. These are prospective planned giving donors who are identified as more likely to consider making a deferred gift to your organization and would be open to a conversation or other engagement to move them closer to making the deferred gift.
A good planned giving marketing campaign is an authentic, natural extension of your stewardship. Way too often, nonprofits send donors planned giving information that seems completely disconnected from the usual donor communications. The donor is left wondering, “Why is the Springfield Animal Rescue sending me a brochure about something called a “unitrust?”
So...what does work? Here’s one thing that works:
Reaching and engaging your donor with a compelling offer.
Check out this great example of how PGM recently helped one organization identify more planned donors and top-tier prospects...
In February, 2,500 personalized mailings arrived in donors mailboxes. These donors were a select segment identified by our client organization. It featured a Valentine’s Day theme and two very important and very simple words--
The personalized postcard was, first and foremost a stewardship piece. Time and time again the research tells us donors don't feel that they're thanked enough-- or in the right way.
Because we utilized a personalized strategy, the card thanked the donor by name and then did something quite extraordinary. It asked the donor for...nothing. That's right -- nothing. It didn't ask the donor if the org is in his estate plans, or to consider a planned gift, and it didn't ask the donor if she'd like an estate planning guide or more information.
Instead, this card OFFERED a free gift to the donor, simply for being a supporter of the organization. All the recipient had to do to receive their gift was to visit their personalized landing page (also known as a PURL or Personalized URL).
There's much more to say about this mailing, like the creative concept, back end logistics, the personalized landing page content and the strategic questions posed to respondents. But you'd probably rather get right to the good stuff and see the results. After all, you want to hear about a planned giving marketing strategy that works, right?!
Here are the results:
2,524 donors around the country received this personalized mailing. Within one week, we'd heard from 127 donors. One week later, all the "non-responders" received a follow-up email. That very same day, another 153 donors responded. Within two weeks, an additional 221 donors responded.
Now, here's the good stuff:
A whopping 33.8% of the 2,524 prospects visited their personalized landing page.
Right away, this organization learned of TWENTY new planned gifts.
Right away, this organization had 120 top-tier leads. These were donors who, once they arrived at their personalized landing page, indicated they were interested in a specific planned gift and/or an information kit.
The key "What works" takeaways:
A good planned giving marketing campaign is about PROSPECTING. How can you get highly-involved donors to engage a bit more? Some are calling this "engagement marketing", but shouldn't ALL marketing be engaging? We think so and we have the outcome to prove it – and the ROI the client was looking for.
Would you like to see exactly what PGM did for this client? Contact PGM President Jeff Stein at jeff@pgmarketing or 484-680-7600 and he'll tell you more.