You've just signed up for our text to donate service, and now you're looking for guidance on how to execute a successful text donation campaign. Do SMS donations work? You may be wondering: What do I do next? How do I ensure I raise as much money as possible? Moreover, you have other duties to attend to, so you don't want to spend all your time fundraising.
This blog post gives you helpful tips for using your shortcode and keyword to raise funds online.
Put Your Shortcode and Keyword Call to Action on Your Website
The first and perhaps most important thing you can do is put your call to action on your website (If you don't have a website, just apply everything we're about to say on websites with "your Facebook page"). This is also relatively easy to do. Doing so will help turn passive website visitors into active, engaged visitors.
We do this on our website. Take a look at the announcement banner up at the top of our site.
You don't necessarily have to put your keyword and shortcode on every page like we do (although that helps). You may wish to pick a few high-traffic pages to include it on. In this way, you turn your website into your digital storefront. You want as many people as possible to see your prompt and have the opportunity to give you money.
Send Out Your Shortcode and Keyword in an Email Blast
Another tip is to include your text donation call to action in email blasts. If you've built up a donor list, you probably use some sort of email customer relations management software, like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Mailchimp is good because it's free forever for up to 2,000 subscribers. Be sure to make your subscribers aware of how easy it now is to donate to your charity by including instructions for how to donate in email communications.
Schedule Social Media Posts
If you have a Facebook or Twitter page, you can easily use free tools like IFTTT, Buffer or the free version of HootSuite to schedule a recurring post about your fundraiser. We utilize IFTTT to schedule social media posts weekly for our Smart and Pro Plan customers. We promote your charity on our Twitter and Facebook page weekly to put your message in front of our growing network of 6,000+ followers. You should amplify our efforts by doing the same on your own social channels.
In addition, you can use free tools like HeadTalker to help spread your message on social media far and wide. Write a social post on HeadTalker that includes your call to action (e.g., "Text ARTIST to 77948 to donate to the Art Academy of Delaware"). Then, get a minimum number of backers that you decide to support your HeadTalker campaign.
Headtalker backers can support you for no cost; they simply agree to post your promotion on their social channels at a designated point in the future. When you reach your minimum number of backers, HeadTalker will post your promotion on all of their social profiles, at the same day and time. This can greatly amplify your message, giving you a reach easily into the hundreds of thousands.
Take Advantage of Our Donation Collection Assistance Program
With our Smart and Pro Plans, we provide you with Donation Collection Assistance each month. This is how we help you secure donations from people who have already subscribed to your shortcode. When a prospect texts your keyword to your shortcode, they become a subscriber. Just like an email subscriber, you can send your shortcode subscribers a message, pretty much any time you like.
When you're ready, you just email us the message you would like to send, and we blast it out to all your subscribers at once. You can send news, alerts or, most importantly, additional reminders to donate to your organization. Subscribers will continue to receive messages from you until they text STOP to your keyword to opt out.
Facebook Groups Can Send Quality Traffic
Another easy, free tactic is to use Facebook Groups, but not in the conventional way. You can drive good traffic to your website by following these steps:
- Identify and join Facebook Groups where members would seem interested in your charity
- Write a blog post on your site that answers a question these members have or provides useful information for them
- Include your text to donate call to action somewhere in the post
- Post the blog on your company Facebook page
... and now here's the important step ...
5. Share the post from your Facebook page into the groups you've selected
Facebook makes this sharing process super easy. They now offer you the ability to post any post into any group of which you are a member:
Whatever You Do, Don't Get Complacent
The old adage, "If you build it, they will come" does not apply to the world of digital marketing. You are competing with tons of voices all clamoring for attention. Don't just sit back and think, "Now that I have a keyword and shortcode, the donations will suddenly start rolling in." Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way in the world of digital marketing. You've got to stay active in promoting your fundraiser. The pointers above are meant to give you a start and show you what's possible.
Remember, our staff is here for you at each step of the way to help you. As a Smart or Pro Plan customer, we will also be working behind the scenes on your behalf to promote your charity. Feel free to reach out to us anytime you need.