It’s never been more challenging for nonprofits to connect with donors. Like many of its peers, USA For UNHCR (U4U) works hard to connect with its supporters, creating trust through education and engagement, as well as raising funds for humanitarian projects worldwide. The organization’s small but efficient digital marketing team added Prompt.io SMS text marketing to its outreach strategy and successfully added a powerful new channel to engage with supporters, increase donations, and better personalize its outreach efforts.
The digital marketing team at U4U recognized that supporters’ habits are changing, increasingly using their mobile devices throughout the day. With no mobile marketing program in place, the team suspected they were missing valuable opportunities to connect with supporters. Their primary methods of connecting with supporters included email and web--but the team runs lean and had little extra bandwidth. Without the right solution in place, launching and leveraging another new channel had the potential to overwhelm with the need to provide personal replies.
Part of U4U’s plan included leveraging mobile across many aspects of the supporter experience, including community work, fundraising and events--with a goal of broad engagement to maintain mindshare and build trust.
With all this in mind, they began looking for a solid partner and solution to help them with mobile.
After exploring options, U4U selected Prompt.io for its comprehensive and easy to use tools and capabilities, as well as an integration with Salesforce--the organization’s CRM. In preparation for launching mobile programs, U4U added mobile phone opt-in messaging on its other digital landing pages and forms to grow its list.
Also, recognizing the importance of scalability, U4U ensured they were ready across the organization, empowering the Donor Care team to be informed, trained and ready to use automated responses for their initial campaigns.
“We recognized our ‘competitors’ for the attention of donors are not just other nonprofits--they’re retailers who are also using mobile,” explained Emily Lauten, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, USA For UNHCR. To that end, U4U built a plan to leverage Prompt.io’s personalization capabilities and automated responses to ensure a successful launch.
With the solution ready, and the list established and growing, U4U was ready to integrate Prompt.io’s texting technology into their campaigns. Among the first major campaigns leveraging mobile was a test in preparation for Giving Tuesday. “We were blown away by the results in terms of donations,” said Lauten.
Virtually all standard campaigns now include a mobile component, and the U4U team is consistently pleased with the results. Lauten said, “Although our primary goal shifts depending on time of year, we have seen great engagement since launch.”
Prompt.io has provided great results for emergency fundraising as well, for issues such as winter storms in Lebanon. “Prompt helped us generate tens of thousands of dollars in incremental donations via mobile, after we’d already emailed the list twice for that campaign. We learned that Prompt helps us reach donors where they are most comfortable, ultimately helping raise more funds than we did before.”
U4U also hosts events for supporters, which were virtual for much of 2020 and the start of 2021. With Prompt.io, U4U is able to use mobile to drive registrations and attendance. “In addition to email, we send invitations via text, along with a reminder to registrants the day of. We regularly receive friendly interactions via SMS, such as ‘Thanks for the reminder!’” said Olivia Clemmons, Senior Associate of Digital Marketing.
In fact, the donor engagement has been so strong that the Donor Care team is very engaged, with a full set of automatic responses to the most common questions. “Prompt.io’s automation makes the load very manageable,” said Clemmons. “The key is providing personalization without physically responding to every message, and Prompt.io lets us do that. It doesn’t take up a lot of bandwidth in our process, and the team appreciates the time savings.”
In short, Prompt.io is just the start for U4U’s mobile marketing. “We’re only at the start of implementing our mobile strategy, but it has a lot of potential. SMS is now part of every campaign, and we are still learning who our SMS donors and supporters are,” said Lauten. “We are now able to start digging into the data and understand them better. From there, we’re planning to grow and focus our use of mobile for integrated marketing--and with Prompt.io’s tools, we are optimistic.”
“We added a mobile component to the campaign very quickly with Prompt.io, and generated additional emergency donations over what we were able to raise via email.”
--Emily Lauten, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, U4U