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Glasses to focus smallprint

Is small-print helping you with supporter acquisition?

By Claire Fuller | Fundraising Creative Print News | 07 May 2019

How many times have you heard it’s important to build relationships with your existing supporters because:

  • They are your greatest advocates and their passion for your cause can easily spill over, encouraging their friends and family to support you too
  • Their continued support may take many different forms – financial support, volunteering at events, participating in challenge events etc.
  • It’s more expensive to acquire new supporters than it is to maintain relationships with existing ones

And much, much more…

There are many creative ways to build lasting relationships with your supporters, showing that you care about them, value their support and ultimately providing opportunities to demonstrate the difference that they are making in the world.

But can your existing supporters really help you with the task of acquiring additional ones too? 

Of course, when a supporter asks their friends and family for sponsorship or talks about their recent experience of volunteering for your charity, it’s possible (and plausible) that new supporters will grow out of these conversations.  But is it possible to more intentionally encourage these “conversations” of acquisition?

I recently received an email that had been forwarded to me by a friend and it really got me thinking.

My inbox regularly fills up with all manner of newsletters. I admit I have a tendency not to read to the very end of every one (I get easily distracted, or run out of time), and I can even ignore the footer and small-print completely! I’m sure there are many times I’ve therefore missed the small, but not insignificant, call-to-action encouraging me to “forward to a friend”.

Not so with the case of the email that was forwarded to me.

Clearly, the sending organisation felt that increasing the reach of their message was a priority, and they recognised that amongst their existing subscribers they would be likely to find a potential audience of like-minded people with similar interests, priorities and needs.

Icons of emails being sent

The traditional “forward to a friend” link had been moved higher up the screen, promoted to a larger font size and even given an eye-catching red background and button providing a sense of urgency and making it really stand out to my friend.  Not only that, the standard “forward to a friend” text had been replaced with a more conversational and relational tone.  “Why not forward this email to someone who might also be interested?”

This call-to-action fitted the context of the rest of the message and had clearly been considered important when the message was designed.  As a result, the original recipient took time to not just read a link that can so easily be lost but to forward the message and potentially help the organisation increase their subscriber list.

Have you explored how the use of email small-print can help with your supporter acquisition? Don’t forget - every email is different and it’s always a good idea to only change small elements at a time and to test, test, test.

If you’re planning to develop your approach to supporter communications we’d love to hear from you. Or, if you know someone else looking for hints and tips on acquisition you could always forward this on of course!!!


Images courtesy of istock

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