Christmas is a peak time for many of you for ‘ask’ campaigns. It’s often a great time of year to motivate people to give or support your cause as we’re deep in the throes of happy-vibes and generosity.
But there are a few tips to make sure your campaign gets the results you want:
WARM YOUR LIST
I see too many organisations going from not having contacted your email database or posted to your social media for a while to going direct for the ask. Think about what you can add to your sequence now, in order to deliver value and create engagement before you ask (or ask again).
Here are a few ideas:
- Give them something of high-value. This could be a guide to managing the overwhelm of the holiday season for parents of kids with autism (for an autism-focused cause). It could be a free webinar where you teach a skill or tell a valuable story (like Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation that did a series of webinars on overcoming adversity). Think about what you may already have that can be quickly repurposed.
- Craft some highly-engaging posts that increase your algorithmic reach on your social media channels. Think about what posts you’ve done in the past year or more that have had the highest reach and engagement, there is nothing wrong with repurposing content and doing something similar again. Think about what your ideal audience most enjoys talking about.
Giving value reconnects people to you and reminds them how much value you give to your community.
USE PAID ADS
I get asked a lot – are paid social media ads really worth it? I can answer unequivocally – yes. But only if some thought and planning goes into them.
One of the easiest and most effective ad formats is one that goes to your ‘warm’ community. This includes things like custom audience targeting to people already on your email database. Or ads reaching people who have engaged with your Facebook or Instagram account in the past 30 days, or visited your website. These people already know who you are and have an existing relationship.
TELL A STORY
Make sure you mix your direct to the point ask with telling a story about why and when. I remember last Christmas, I contributed to The Kids Cancer Project campaign after seeing a highly emotional ad about children in regional hospitals that didn’t have access to toys. It hit me in ‘all the feels’ and I knew exactly where my money was going. I could even pick the type of toy I wanted to donate (I chose a teddy dressed as a superhero).
Some important stories to go around your ‘ask’ include:
- Why are you asking?
- Where does the money go and why is that important?
- What is the human (or animal) face on this need? If you can show me what it means in the real world, it will be an emotional decision not a logical one.
- What is in it for me? Am I doing this as a tax deduction? Because I am a mother and I would want someone to do this for my child? As a gift for that hard-to-buy-for family member?
MAKE YOUR ASK CLEAR & REPEAT IT
When you are ready to ask, make sure you keep the message simple and to the point. What do you need and why? I also find more and more people are scared of sharing the same ask too many times on their social media or on their email list. I can’t recommend enough repeating asks in a well thought out series.
One example that comes to mind is the Cat Adoption Foundation of SA. They did a Facebook fundraiser post around one cat’s story and raised $2000. They did another and raised $1000. The third raised $500. If they’d stopped at the one they would have nearly halved their outcome.
Need any help with campaigns? Don’t hesitate to reach out for advice.