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How Personalisation Can Increase Donations, Supporter Loyalty And Advocacy

Personalisation is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s an expectation. In an increasingly competitive and crowded marketplace – delivering the right customer experience is essential. 

After all, who doesn’t like a personal touch? 

We all love being recognised and treated as an individual. Our relationship with our favourite charity is no different. 

What is personalisation?

Personalisation isn’t a recent revelation. Many marketers know about personalisation and are capitalising on it. If you haven’t heard of it before, personalisation is where an organisation creates tailored messages, stories, offers, and experiences for an individual based on the data the organisation has about the person. 

You have probably experienced it without even knowing about it. When you interact with a company and it just feels like their whole campaign was made for you. Maybe a little detail about the town you’re from, something in the copy that acknowledges your relationship, or at the other end of the scale, pre-filling your form so you can donate with the click of one button on your mobile when you’re on the go. 

What are the benefits of using personalisation?

Today, people are gravitating to the organisations that they feel actually listen to them and pay attention to their specific interests, wants, and needs. Personalisation provides organisations with a way to do this. 

But, personalisation doesn’t just benefit the user. It can also benefit the organisation by: 

  • Increasing conversions; 
  • Improving customer loyalty; and
  • Encouraging customer advocacy.

1. Increase Conversions

In its simplest form, personalisation helps increase conversions by reducing the number of form fields a person has to fill out and reducing the time it takes to donate. 

But it’s more than that…

In an increasingly crowded and competitive digital landscape, personalisation helps create cut-through in the market to help grab your audience’s attention. 

Personalisation also creates a seamless and tailored experience for the user, which reduces back clicks and bounce rates; ultimately increasing conversions. 

On top of this, people are more likely to take action on campaigns where their name is used! In fact, studies have shown that brain activity increases when you hear (or see) your name.

Foodbank Victoria noticed all of their key metrics improved through the use of personalisation. 

Our open rates, click-through rates, and most importantly conversion rates on the donation page have gone through the roof by using those personalisations. Instead of seeing a decline in engagement and donations or an increase in complaints and opt-outs we are seeing the opposite.”

Sarah Cobb   |   Fundraising Manager

Foodbank Victoria

Imagine you went to donate to your favourite charity…

Without personalisation you may see a cold bare bank-like form, asking you for a donation. Lots of fields to fill out, all the fields you’d filled in several times before. 

The second page, addressing you by name, acknowledging the amazing contributions you’d previously made and pre-filling all the details they already had on you. With the click of a button you are done. 

What page are you more likely to donate on?

2. Improve Customer Loyalty

Personalisation is equally effective in improving retention rates. People don’t want to receive irrelevant marketing material and many will often opt-out of communications from organisations that are out of touch with their interests.

According to Salesforce, 70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their personal needs influences their loyalty. 

How many times have you unsubscribed from an organisation’s emails because they kept sending you irrelevant content? 

When personalisation is used correctly, it can make your audience feel valued and can successfully build long-lasting relationships and loyalty.

3. Encourage Customer Advocacy

When you have a positive experience with an organisation, you want to shout it from the rooftops! You’re more likely to share it with friends, family and across social media. 

Providing an exceptional customer experience increases conversions, it increases loyalty, but if you do it right it also creates brand advocates and influencers. This kind of brand awareness and reach is unparalleled and best of all, it’s free.

Chat to us about how you can use personalisation in your next campaign.

What to personalise and why

There are many things you can personalise with the right data. But that doesn’t mean you should personalise everything. 

There are some things donors expect you to know, and there are some things they don’t. It’s important to use personalisation to enhance your supporter’s experience but the golden rule of personalisation? DON’T BE CREEPY. 

Some things you should definitely personalise are:

1. Personalised pre-filled forms

This one is a no-brainer. If you already have the data you are asking for in your donation form, why not pre-fill this for your supporter! This makes the process of donating much easier (and quicker!) and therefore more likely to happen. 

After all, the less the supporter has to do before hitting that donate button the better for both you and the donor.

2. Personalised copy on your donation page, thank you page, and receipts

You’re likely already doing this in your email marketing. Addressing a supporter by name, including a variable paragraph. Don’t stop here. One of the easiest ways to personalise your donation experience is to include your supporter’s details in the copy of your donation page, thank you page, and receipts. 

Building continuity and consistency of message is critical. You’ve worked so hard on your email copy, you’ve added all the touches, so don’t drop it all at the most critical stage when someone hits the donation page.

Just like your favourite coffee shop remembering your order, it’s also nice as a donor when a charity remembers details about you. This can be as simple as the donor’s name, or if you have the data, the reason the donor supports your charity.

You can even go as far as to include information on how much they previously donated and the impact it’s had on your organisation. 

All these details can evoke a positive emotional response and make the donor feel truly valued for their generosity. 

If you are addressing an individual who has never donated before you can still use data such as their name, their interests, and where they live to personalise your copy. 

For example, if you’re a charity that helps a range of domestic animals and you have data that the person’s favourite animal are dogs then you can use this information to tailor your copy to be more dog focused to help get them across the line. 

Similarly, if you are a statewide charity and you know where the individual lives you can personalise your copy to be focused on the work your charity does in their area. 

3. Personalised asks and one-click donations

Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty. 

Personalised asks

Increasingly charities are using the formulas that work so well in direct mail to bring the same experience to their emails and donation pages. If a person has donated $50 previously, provide that person donation asks at $50, $75 and $110.

You can imagine that if you have a donor who has previously donated $500 then they receive a donation page without personalisation, it may say ‘Please donate $50, $75, $110 or your choice’ they will likely be confused and frustrated. 

And worst of all, they may only donate $50, because that’s all you’ve asked for. 

Charities have been using this method to encourage donors for years – because it works! Yet only recently have many begun to use this kind of personalisation across their digital experience. This lack of uptake for many charities has been due to rigid legacy websites and platforms that lack the needed functionality. However, with the rise of software like GiveEasy, features like personalisation are all a part of the service. No coding or developers needed. Meaning any charity can now use personalisation on their digital campaigns (even if you aren’t a digital expert). 


One-click donations

Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and tokenisation. What do they all have in common? You don’t need your credit card in your hand to be able to make a donation. 

You may be early in your journey when it comes to increasing payment methods or you may already have a full arsenal of payment options. At GiveEasy we provide tokenisation on all donations, so if that same user returns to donate, they won’t need to re-input their credit card details. 

This is the ultimate when it comes to ease of donation for second time donors, you don’t need your card or a password you may have forgotten, you simply click on the donation page link and confirm your donation. 

Most importantly GiveEasy provides security on tokenised payments with full PCI certification as well as regular and ongoing reviews. This ensures your donations are protected at every stage, even if your organisation doesn’t have an extensive IT, finance and security team.

Personalised Matched Giving Campaign Email By Lifeline 

This matched giving campaign email by Lifeline is a great example of putting all of the best of personalisation together. The team at Lifeline have created an experience so when you donate from an email, you see personalised asks based on your last gift, the content is directed to you, addressing you by name, and if you’ve previously donated, you’ll only have to click confirm and your donation is complete. 

PURLs through Give Easy have been a game changer for Lifeline. To be completely honest – we were reluctant to use them at first as we were uncertain we had the capacity to utilise them properly.

Jeremy and the team were fantastic supporting us, and once we did implement it, it was apparent we couldn’t go back! The results were amazing. (We went from eDMs bringing in around $5,000 to bringing in quadruple that!)

The area we’ve had most success, however, is through our Giving Days. The personalised landing pages, ask amounts and donation function make each ask truly feel relevant and personalised. The results have been incredible – our most recent Giving Day exceeded it’s stretch target of $550,000 to finish at more than $593,000.

Rochelle Nolan   |   National Manager, Strategic Fundraising

Lifeline Australia

Chat to us about how you can use personalisation in your next campaign.

A note on personalising outside of donation forms and pages

If you aren’t already personalising across Direct Mail, Email and SMS. You definitely should. We’ve included a few notes here but if in doubt our friends at Flat Earth Direct specialise in supporting charities across these areas of fundraising. 

4. Email and SMS subject line and copy

Email and SMS subject lines and copy are important to personalise. After all, it’s this communication that gets supporters to your donation page in the first place. 

Adding the first name to an email subject line has had proven results in increasing open rates. Using personalisation and tailoring your email and SMS copy to your supporter’s interests will have a positive impact on your click-through rate. Which ultimately gets more eyes on your donation page and therefore more chances for conversion. 

What’s more, it’s super simple to add personalisation and segment your audience based on data from most email software providers.

5. Mail packs

All donor mail packs are personalised in a sense as they all have to be addressed to an individual in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add personalisation in other ways. 

Adding a personalised QR code to your mail pack that directs supporters straight to a personalised donation page with a pre-filled donation form gives your donors another seamless and personalised online donation experience. It not only removes the hassle of needing to complete several steps to donate but also makes a donor feel valued from the tailored experience that has been provided just for them. 

The Royal Melbourne Hospital Donation Mail Pack

It’s important to note that for donation mail packs you should NOT include payment details in your personalisation, simply due to the risk that the person’s mail could fall into anyone’s hands. 

For more information on how you can use personalised QR codes read our article Print Goes Digital: 5 Ways You Can Use QR Codes At Tax Time 

Final Comments

Although personalisation can seem gimmicky at first (and sometimes creepy), increasingly, organisations are using it as a tried and tested tool for their campaigns, because it works. 

We hope this information helps you navigate the benefits and risks around personalisation to make it easier for your organisation to use as part of your next campaign.

Chat to us about how you can use personalisation in your next campaign.

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