If you’ve been reading my posts over the years, you know that I’m an advocate of multichannel communications campaigns. It is important to communicate on a variety of channels (social media, email, direct mail, etc) because each channel reinforces the others and strengthens your content.
Your patrons will likely see your message on more than one channel before they take an action.
A recent article in Forbes provides data that shows that shows existing donors prefer email communications, but many donors first learn of a nonprofit on social media.
42% say they prefer to hear from a nonprofit via email
39.5% of donors say they find new organizations to donate via Facebook
This makes sense because existing donors are already engaged with your organization so they are more likely to expect and open email communications.
It isn’t that one channel or the other “doesn’t work”, it is that using both together is the way to go. This illustrates the patron journey from new acquisition to engagement and the shift in channel efficacy along the way. All the more reason why segmenting our communications in terms of target, messaging, and channel is important.
Postscript: Only 4% of donors think that events are a good way to keep in touch. We all know how much time, energy, and budget we put into donor events but perhaps we could be doing other things to keep donors engaged with our organization.