Acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing one, according to commercial research. The same effect holds true for campaigns. It takes more time and resources to acquire new donors and volunteers than it does to keep existing supporters active.
With email being a crucial channel for supporter outreach, having a re-engagement plan in place is the most efficient way to grow your online fundraising and volunteer efforts. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Create a re-engagement segment
Start by identifying the email subscribers you want to re-engage. These should be anyone who has previously opted-in but isn’t showing as opening or clicking in the last 90-364 days. Even better, if you know previous behavior like donations or volunteering and the source of how they were acquired, you can personalize your outreach.
Send automatic emails designed to re-engage them with surveys, one question polls, and giveaways. This segment should be excluded from your typical emails until they become re-engaged.
Write personal, one-on-one emails
Re-engaging your existing supporters is so valuable, it’s worth doing it in ways that don’t scale. In addition to your automated program, create personalized emails you can send individually to those who have unsubscribed or dis-engaged. Give them an update on the campaign and include a call to action that adds them back to your list.
Create a custom Facebook advertising audience
For really disengaged subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked in a year or more, your best strategy is to add them to a custom Facebook audience using their name, email, and any other details you have for them. Target them with ads designed to bring them back to the campaign. You’ll either get their new, more active email address opted-in or enough interaction with the campaign to re-activate their current email address.
Text or call
While email re-engagement is the goal, every campaign needs an omni-channel outreach strategy. For those very stubborn supporters who won’t re-engage digitally, consider a P2P texting campaign or even volunteer calls. The cost – especially for bringing back known online donors – is well worth the return.
Most campaigns focus too much on adding new supporters to their email program without attempting to re-engage or more fully activate their existing subscribers. Both strategies, working hand-in-hand will ensure that your email audience – your campaign’s most valuable digital asset – is as effective as possible.