By Curtis Simmons

How to Send Custom Triggered Messages to Your Givers

This is the final post in a series of 6 posts on growing generosity in the digital age. Start at the beginning: How to Nurture Generosity in the New Digital World.

In this series, we’ve explored the Giver Lifecycle and how to classify your givers for personalized communications. So what’s next? Actually writing those customized messages!

We know that talking about giving is difficult for everyone. So start by checking out our Best Practices for a refresher of dos and don’ts to strengthen your messages. Now that you’ve gotten to know your givers and classified them into groups, it’s time to jump into your technology for automated, personalized messaging.

What are Triggered Messages?

When a giver donates, an automatic thank you email is “triggered” within your system by that gift. You write it ahead of time and when someone donates, it sends. The cool thing is that your data can inform the system which thank you email the giver receives. Those you’ve classified as new givers can receive a first gift acknowledgment that introduces them to other programs and services. Those you call top givers can receive a video of the pastor acknowledging their long-time faithfulness. Or whatever you like.

Messages are customized by you, but the sending of them is automated, triggered by a specific event.

Planning Your Communication Sequence

The most important place to start is with your thank yous for online gifts. Your platform should allow you to customize the acknowledgment screen they see after donating, and the thank you email your system automatically sendsBut let’s say you want to run a campaign to see if you can transition more of your cash and check givers to online giving. By segmenting your givers by giving methods, you can send the email only to cash and check givers and avoid bombarding existing online givers with an irrelevant message.

For your email campaign, you can also create an automated response sequence. A typical email sequence often follows this pattern:

  • Email 1: Thank you for supporting our ministry. Introduction to online giving with simple instructions and link to online giving page.
  • Email 2, automated to send one week later only to those who didn’t open Email 1: Same email (with a new subject line). Your marketing automation tool will send email 2 out automatically.
  • Email 3, automated follow-up message to send one week after Email 1, sent to those who opened but didn’t take action (e.g. setting up an online giving profile), asking how you can help.

You can create campaigns like this for specific fundraising events or even for non-giving-related topics such as elder recommendations or new program surveys. Targeting certain specific segments of givers means no more annoying email blasts to uninterested groups.

Crafting Your Messages

Finally, it’s time to write your messages. Build a library of short pre-written emails for each giving type and each response in the sequence. Then, in your messaging automation tool, you would first select the giver segment or classification. Next, you would select the pre-written email you want to send to start the sequence you want to launch and hit Send! It’s that easy!

Message and Campaign Tips

  • Visit our messaging Best Practices blogpost.
  • Make sure your online giving tool features automated, custom messaging for acknowledgments and donor analytics to inform messaging strategies.
  • Review and update your online giving page to make sure everything’s in order.
  • Keep your messages short – just a few sentences. Or better yet, embed imagery, a video, and links to available resources into your email.
  • Remember the Rule of 7, that people sometimes have to see a message multiple times before it registers. Try again in different ways.
  • Learn from your campaign: What subject lines worked best? What day of the week or time of day got more responses? Did videos produce more engagement?
  • Remember, you cannot say thank you too often!

The stakes are high in the kingdom, and not just any online giving tool has what it takes to make connecting with your givers personal.

Along with the powerful automated messaging system included in our contribution management system, Vision2’s Managed Services experts approach today’s giving challenges from every angle. We offer technical support, accounting guidance, and even content coaching for your personalized messaging strategy.

We’re committed to providing the resources you need to truly grow the discipline of generosity, not just your bottom line.

Download How to Nurture Generosity in the New Digital World to get access to an expanded version of this entire blogpost series in one printable PDF.