It’s become more and more difficult over the years to get your audience’s attention, and even harder to keep it. This is especially true for nonprofits looking to engage with or expand their donor base. Email, social media, and direct mail go unread and unanswered. Even if you are able to get someone’s attention over email, drop-off rates are high for newsletters and even one-to-one engagement. And with social media algorithms changing at a rapid pace, it’s less and less likely that your followers will see your posts. While these forms of engagement still have a place in building a successful campaign, there’s a better way to engage your community on a regular basis.
Text messaging continues to see high engagement rates, with a 208% higher response rate compared to email and social. Person-to-person texting on platforms like Hustle are an easy way to make new connections and deepen existing relationships. And while many organizations are turning to text-based engagement these days, there are a few methods you can use to make sure your communications stand out from the pack.
Below, we explore 10 ways to make your message stick and keep your supporters coming back.
What is Person-to-Person Texting?
Person-to-person texting is an easy way to engage your community over SMS. You can craft person-to-person text messages to promote event dates, locations, event registration, fundraise, recruit new volunteers, and so much more. Through the Hustle platform, you can send thousands of texts in minutes from a real 10-digit, local phone number. You can personalize messages to each recipient based on their past behavior or profile, and include links, video messaging, emojis, and specific calls to action.
Hustle has four primary P2P mechanisms:
- BROADCAST allows you to reach thousands of recipients in minutes, and reply to messages from a shared inbox.
- VIDEO CLIPS are a great option to engage, nurture, and convert audiences with in-message embedded videos.
- PERSONALIZED CLIPS allow you to send in-message videos, personalized to each recipient.
- STORIES enable you to direct recipients to longer-form videos and customize specific calls to action.
Best Practices for Increasing Engagement
While just using text-based messaging in the first place can increase your supporter engagement significantly, there are a few easy ways to increase your chances of building a longer-term relationship. Whether you’re reaching out to a lapsed donor, recruiting a past volunteer, or looking to connect with new communities, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always include a call to action, whether it’s a brief reply, a website visit, or a signup.
- Leverage analytics for follow-ups to make sure you’re getting the most out of each conversation.
- Utilize Hustle Clips and user-generated content to tell a story and create a sense of urgency with your base.
- Be mindful of your messaging cadence. Messaging too frequently, or not giving your audience time to digest what you’ve shared, can lead to drop-offs in engagement.
Re-Engaging Past Donors and Volunteers
- Let folks know what events and campaigns are coming up so they can mark their calendars, invite their friends, and have a concrete next step to stay engaged with your organization.
- Remind them why they engaged with you in the first place. Show how past events or donations have made a direct impact on your cause through video and Hustle Stories.
- Make it easy for individuals to share opportunities to engage, so they can spread the word with their networks.
Making New Connections
- Don’t be afraid to get personal. Share your name, and address them by theirs. If you have it, let them know where you met or how they might be familiar with your organization. You can also use personalized clips to go the extra mile and send a video just for your recipient!
- It always helps to let people know what you have in common. Share how other potential volunteers and donors have shown up for the organization in the past that might resonate with them, and how they can become a part of the community spirit.
- Put a face to a name. Record up to 30 seconds of video to send in-message to build a sense of rapport and trust. Don’t forget to record vertically to best fit text message formatting.
We need ways to reach donors on a personal level, and text messaging can be a fantastic way to break through the noise. By using person-to-person text to engage with your audience, you can establish genuine, long-lasting donor and volunteer relationships with minimal effort. And by crafting an intentional, cohesive strategy and using these best practices, you’ll increase your odds of establishing new connections, and rebuilding old ones.
More on Hustle: Text, Video, and Broadcast Texting
Since 2014, Hustle has helped hundreds of relationship-driven clients initiate more than 1 billion personal texting conversations within their communities. We are a market leader in texting, video, and now broadcast communication, transforming how organizations and their members talk. The first-of-its-kind and best-in-its-class, Hustle enables organizations to convert simple text messages into a powerful and dynamic tool to meaningfully engage with people and drive them to take action.
Contact us today with questions or to request a demo, and let’s turn your text into action!