The DON’Ts of Mobile Marketing

The DON'Ts of Mobile Marketing
Date Published

In my last post, I gave you a few tips for getting started with Mobile Marketing to boost your fundraising efforts. Here are a few more tips, based on the trial-and-error experiences of others, this time in the form of a few “DON’Ts.”

For your Marketing Campaigns:

  • DON’T forget you can have multiple Keyword campaigns running at any one time. Each donation form is unique to that Keyword, so price points, messages, and thank-you gifts can be tailored to each campaign or event, and changed at will. So think about how you want to manage the offers. For instance, in a given pledge drive, you can set up one keyword for the whole drive (KDMWFM) and change the price points and thank-you gifts as you go through the day or week. Or you can set up a different keyword for each program or genre (KDMWNEWS, KDMWJAZZ) and tailor the price points and thank-you gifts to the program.
  • DON’T be too hasty in choosing keywords. It’s a good idea to TEST the keyword on your own phone first to make sure it doesn’t auto-correct to something else, or isn’t already taken by another organization. Using your station call letters or nonprofit’s name or initials first lessens that chance: example, WDMWinsider instead of Insider.
  • DON’T use a generic word like “PLEDGE” or “GIVE” for a keyword. Another organization may have picked the same word, and gifts can go to the wrong org by mistake, if the donor isn’t looking carefully at what comes up on the screen.
  • DON’T be shy about promoting your keyword! Mention it every time you give other response options – ie. “Call 800-123-4567, go online to, or text “WDMWFM to 41444.”
  • DON’T give up! For consistency of messaging and promotion, it makes sense to set up one keyword for each station or program you will be pledging, and use it/promote it long-term so people get used to using it. For many it should become their preferred giving channel.
  • Even if you’re not collecting full contact information on every pledge, DON’T neglect to get a common unique identifier from each donor on every channel you’re employing. It might be their email address, or their mobile phone number. You will need this for updating your CRM without creating duplicate records.

For your Outbound Engagement Messaging:

  • DON’T choose quantity over quality. More is not necessarily better. Deliver focused, relevant, personalized messages to fewer people for better results.
  • Don’t be intimidated thinking it’s too much work to send out all these messages! Mobile platforms have tools that allow you to preset the wording and timing of different series of messages in advance for different audience groups.
  • DON’T let your messages be anonymous. Messages should start with your organization’s call letters or name, since the phone # they are sent from does not identify you as the sender.

When analyzing the success of your Mobile Efforts:

  • DON’T be timid. Test, test, test! Take risks – it’s easy to make changes on the fly.
  • DON’T get distracted by other factors. Clearly define the objective of the campaign, and analyze the metrics that relate to your objectives. Measure results against other channels used for that purpose.
  • DON’T ignore the data you’re collecting. Tie it back into your CRM to build up your donor profiles. Record their mobile communication preferences and behavior, and reflect it in your future communications. Donors give more when you “Show me you know me.”

And above all:

DON’T delay! Jump in and get started. Smartphones are quickly becoming the preferred tool for all communications. Insiders believe that smartphone payments will overtake cash and credit card payments by 2020.

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