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--
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
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.