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Segmenting for Success in Your End of Year Appeals

As temperatures turn colder, it’s time to start heating up your end-of-year appeal campaigns to finish the calendar year strong. While calendar end fundraising campaigns are designed to reach a large percentage of your customer base, there are several ways to keep your message consistent but still add a personal touch to your communications. Using segmentation and branding will create a cohesive customer experience from the first appeal to their end-of-year thank you. As you get ready to launch your campaigns, keep these ideas in mind to maximize your returns. 

Create engagement - and keep it consistent

Creating an engaging appeal campaign will boost your customer response and help your patrons feel connected to your organization – even if they haven’t seen you in a while. Consider highlighting stories from artists or patrons who have joined you for recent virtual or in-person performances sharing their excitement about the new year. Keeping your appeal consistent will help connect your message to your donors, so try to use similar language or storytelling in emails, letters, and on your website.

Make it personal

You can still help give your appeals a personal feel by planning targeted segments within your customer base. Identify different customer categories or behaviors - like VIP donors, lapsed attendees, or volunteers - to include in your appeal mailings. Then use Customer Lists and dotdigital variations to send slightly adjusted appeal letters to match their relationship with your organization. Here are some examples of different segments and how you might reach out to them:

  • No matter the number of performances you had this year, ticket buyers are still key to your appeal base, and you can identify people who attended events - “Great to see you this year!” 
  • Customers who attended multiple events - especially virtual events - should be thanked for their loyalty - “Thanks for joining us again and again!”
  • Donors who converted tickets for multiple postponed events into donations can be targeted for a monthly giving scheme – “Thanks for all your help this year!”
  • Customers who haven’t attended a performance or event this year can be targeted with an announcement of exciting reopening and future production plans –“Hope to see you soon!”
  • Identifying new customers who attended their first performance, made their first gift, or even just joined your mailing list for the first time can be welcomed into your organization – “Great to meet you this year!”

This way, customers feel their relationship with your organization matters as much to you as it does to them.

Track your campaigns

Tracking all mailings you send - and how customers respond to them - will greatly help your re-solicitation efforts as your campaign moves on. In Spektrix, you can record every email, letter, or postcard you send to customers and track those customers' engagement - things like click rates on emails or who has donated since receiving the mailing. Then you can focus on those who haven’t donated yet for your next round of appeals and avoid double emailing a customer who already made their gift.

Make it a multi-team effort

If you have performances currently running, either in-person or online, keep your front-of-house and box office staff members involved in your appeal process. Using CRM tools like Tags or Customer Groups can offer quick information to these teams about a customer’s giving history and solicitation status. You can use all of the segments you generated to tailor your appeals to create these identifiers so box office staff can recognize someone as a loyal customer, or someone new to the organization. A customer who hasn’t made a gift to this appeal could be identified as Hasn’t Given, and you can offer quick tips to your box office staff on how to ask for them to add a donation to their order. Additionally, your appeal messaging can be added to pre- or post-show communications or even your print-at-home or e-ticket design to reach as many people as possible.

Combining a clear and cohesive campaign with customer segments and data will create a winning end-of-year appeal, helping you meet your donation targets and strengthening connections with your patron base. Do you have a tried and true plan in place already? Share your success stories with us!