Tag Archives: SMS Marketing

mobile fundraising

What are the benefits of the SMS Raffles and Lotteries?

Many charities, not-for-profits and sporting organisations, tend to run raffles and recurring lotteries in support of their causes, or as part of a corporate partnership.
Traditionally, raffles and lotteries were carried out by collecting cash and handing out tickets from cloakroom books. Since technology and the world of digital has rapidly grown, these can now be carried out through SMS.

Getting in front of your audience via SMS

Why not consider using text messages to gather raffle lottery entries? Well, to begin with, 95% of UK households own a mobile phone, or 5 billion people globally (that’s two-thirds of the world’s population). Mobile phones are the most convenient tools for almost anything in today’s society. If you don’t have cash or card on you, no problem! Pay with your phone or enter a raffle/lottery with your phone using SMS.

Your entrants can enter, confirm their age and location, pay and receive ticket numbers all via SMS. There is no chance of them misplacing their ticket or not having enough cash on them to purchase. There are no cards, fuss or forms with SMS, it is an instant process with the full journey being through text. We can offer this through our partnership with Zaffo, also known as Capen; an external lottery manager, based in London.

Your SMS could get in front of the right person, at the right time

Research has shown that on average, people in the UK check their smartphones every 12 minutes of the day. People rely on their mobile devices so much that now is the right time for organisations who offer raffles and lotteries to go mobile also. Not to mention the cost of these things, while we do have charges, sending ticket numbers by text is much cheaper, effective and efficient than sending them via post.
You can cut out the hassle of collecting postal addresses, SMS also supports carbon footprint with this method being entirely paperless. Contact us for more information.

Caitriona McCarry
Marketing

Text to donate

How often do you contact your donors?

Text to donate
Text to donate

With all the hype about GDPR and opting in vs opting out, many charities refrain from communicating with their donors and supporters. We believe it is essential to stay in contact with those who give to your cause, to keep them in the loop about how their donations help, what projects you are working on, upcoming events and much more.

Automated updates

Our system is designed to allow you to send your donors on an SMS journey, you can begin with a Single Giving campaign with consent enabled to gather opt-ins and from this, use our outbound SMS tool to keep in contact with them. Also, with having consent enabled on your campaign, you can also make use of our “extra response SMS” tool which allows automated texts to be sent to your opt-in donors weekly, monthly or at a delay of your choice.

When someone opts into future contact by your charity using InstaGiv’s SMS services, they are always sent a text in response, to acknowledge their consent preference and to give them the opportunity to opt-out again.

Recorded and trackable

All SMS correspondence between any mobile and your text campaigns with InstaGiv are fully recorded and stored on your account within the mobile history section; this information is stored for the benefit of the charity should they ever need this traceability information, and acts as an additional safety net. Our system has the intelligence to block any mobile number from receiving any SMS’ from you if they have opted out at any time post opting in.

When someone opts in, and their mobile number is on a recipient list for you to use within outbound SMS, if any mobile number, later on, opts out again, you do not need to scan through lists upon lists to remove their mobile number.

85% of people prefer SMS

From a recent survey carried out, we discovered that over 85% of people prefer SMS communication over phone call, I suppose it is because people do not need to take much time out of their day to read and respond to a text message, however an information call can take up to 30 minutes on some occasions.

From some client research, we can also see a trend in the times of outbound SMS’ being scheduled; most clients tend to send or schedule their sends for the late evening time after 6 pm.
At this time, most people are on the tube, trains, bus or at home, so they have time to check their phones.

Keeping in contact with your donors has never been easier, let us know if you would like one of our friendly advisors to give you a 1:1 demo.

Written by Caitriona McCarry
Client Accounts

Event Fundraising can really boost the cash you take in from your events

How can our charity use Regular Giving?

Regular giving, also known as monthly giving, holds several benefits for any charity.

To begin; we often get asked how our charity clients can upgrade their single donors to a monthly giving subscription? There are many ways you can do this; however, our most recommended and successful is by using our outbound SMS tool.

How can my charity qualify?

To qualify to be able to send your single donors an outbound SMS up upgrade them to a monthly gift, you must have first enabled our consent feature on your initial campaign. Our consent feature allows you to explicitly gather opt-ins and consent records from your donors, allowing you to use their mobile number for future marketing & communication.

From this, you can extract all opt-in mobile numbers, create a recipient list and send them a message asking them to reply to subscribe to a monthly gift of say; £3 per month to your cause.
All recipients who reply will then get an SMS in response to acknowledge their new subscription. Every month after that they will get a reminder SMS with the option to SKIP or STOP that month’s payment.

Customise

Your charity can fully customise all of these messages that go out to your subscribers so you can make them that little bit more personal. Some of our clients add live URLs to either their social channels, websites, videos or infographics to help drive more traffic to those direct channels.

The reporting side of things of regular giving is a different topic; it is up there with one of our main USPs due to the final detail it gives.

Contact us for more information on our entire regular giving package.

SMS analytics

An insight into the reporting for SMS campaigns

All clients get an overview of the total amount raised and the total amount of texts received.

Our platform works in real time, so you can see donations flowing in instantly. This is great for helping you measure the progress of your campaigns, and also very useful as it will allow you, at a quick glance, to view your fundraising stats thus far as soon as you log in.

You get access to stats on the number of unique mobile numbers which gives you information with regards to how may mobiles numbers donated more than once.

Top tip

This is useful when scoping out the possibility of having a regular giving campaign. If you see that their several individuals are donating to your campaign on more than one occasion, it may be beneficial to upgrade them to regular giving, where their payment is taken each month automatically.

You can schedule your inbound reports to be sent to either yourself, a colleague or a call centre via FTP or email. If you have consent enabled on your SMS campaigns, schedule for all opt-ins to be sent to the applicable parties for follow up. This takes out the stress of logging in and doing it manually or giving additional people access to your InstaGiv account.

There are 22 columns of data on your inbound report, and you get full data ownership.
Using our CSV tool, you can download your report at any time. This allows you to analyse and evaluate your SMS campaigns effectively and, in a user-friendly fashion. More importantly, you can add and remove columns from your inbound report to suit your requirements, so you download a report with only the columns you need, making it efficient and applicable.

As well as your inbound report, you also have access to a response SMS report.

This shows you all messages that have been sent to anyone who has engaged with or donated to your text campaign.

This is useful as it allows you to see that everyone who has donated, has received the thank you bounce-back message. Also, if you have Gift Aid enabled on your campaign, you can see that all donors have successfully received their Gift aid ask. All of our campaigns have an additional tool called “extra response SMS”. What this is for is if you have consent enabled n your campaign and you want to create an SMS journey for your opt-in mobile numbers, scheduling SMS’ to be sent to them later on, you can certainly do this.

For more information contact us for a copy of our brochures.

April Fool's Day

April Fool’s Day Prank Ideas

We have something a little bit different for this week’s blog post and it’s all about April Fools. It’s almost the end of March, which can only mean one thing – April Fool’s Day is almost here!

It’s on Monday in fact, and we’ve already been discussing ways in which we can prank our office friends at instaGiv HQ. We work in shared office space, with two of our sister-companies; Landed, a recruitment software provider, and Zymplify, a sales and marketing automation SaaS product. As you can imagine, there are a lot of us floating about the office, and the banter can be brilliant at times. We all get on so well, and we know exactly how to wind each other up, so we often play practical jokes on each other. (We do work from time to time as well, we promise!)

A select few of us have already been discussing our April Fool pranks for Monday, and we’ve come up with some hilarious ideas. We thought we’d share them with you, in case you’re stuck for some ideas this year.

*Disclaimer: We will not accept responsibility for any of your office banter blankets who won’t take well to an office joke.

Make a nickname for someone in the office, but don’t tell them

Our Head of Development is called Martin, who loves a good joke just as much as the rest of us. We thought it would be hilarious to get everyone in the office to call him ‘Marty’ on Monday, but we obviously wouldn’t let Martin in on the joke. It’ll be funny to see how long it takes him to catch on. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this blog post.

Add more cards to a standard deck of cards

We often play cards at lunchtime in the office, typically a game of Jack Changes always creates a bit of fun. If you’re familiar with the game, you’ll know that the dreaded ace of hearts means the next person has to pick up five cards. You always know who has it, because they are smug and are waiting for their chance to ruin someone else’s chances of winning. We thought it’d be funny to add a few extra aces of hearts into the deck we normally use to create even more fun.

Create a fake parking ticket

We often park right outside our offices, which has hourly rates and we are forever swapping spaces to ensure we don’t get stung with a parking ticket. We think it would be hilarious if you pranked a team member with a fake parking ticket and record their reaction.

Taste test

Trick someone in your office with a sweet treat, with a twist. Give them a rotten piece of candy or cover onions in chocolate and fool them into thinking it’s chocolate apples. More suggestions in our office include:

  • Take the white part out of the Oreo and fill it with toothpaste before putting them back together
  • Fill doughnuts with mustard instead of jam

You might think we’re evil, but it will be hilarious! Watch this space; we might have a social post up next week on the reactions to our practical jokes. Let us know if you use any of our ideas.

More from instaGiv

Why are Charity Awareness Days Important?

SMS Marketing

5 reasons why you should be using SMS marketing over Email

SMS Marketing
SMS Marketing

Email is usually the medium of choice for marketing. Most people find that they receive a couple of marketing emails daily and ignore quite a few of them. Or they spend their lifetime sitting in an inbox, with the ‘intention’ of being followed up on. But that never really happens.

SMS, on the other hand, remains a much more intimate way of getting in front of your target audience. It’s usually a quick message from a friend or family member. With more and more people using their smartphones for their everyday business, people tend to look at their phones much more than they will look at their emails.

SMS marketing campaigns have increasingly become a quick and cost-effective marketing platform. And when you look at how audiences respond to SMS marketing, you may be surprised to see how well it competes with email. Let’s look at some of the main advantages of an SMS marketing campaign, compared to an email marketing campaign.

SMS can reach more people than any other platform

Email can reach anyone with an internet connection, but what about those who don’t have access to it? Of the 7.5 billion people in the world, less than half, which is around 3.7 billion have access to the world wide web.

Mobile phones are a very different story.

According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, there are now over 9.01 Billion mobile connections worldwide, which surpasses the current world population of 7.67 Billion implied by UN digital analyst estimates.

Just think about it, people may have one or two mobile phones and generally use them every day. It’s not uncommon on the other hand for people to have a couple of email addresses, some of which are rarely used. They might use just one regularly, meaning your marketing messages may be getting lost in transmission.

Mobile phone figure stats
Mobile phone figure stats

Higher open rates for SMS marketing

Common sense can tell you that people are more likely to open an SMS than an email. According to a new research study, Americans check their phones an average of 80 times a day while on vacation, with some checking their screen more than 300 times each day.

Opening your inbox and finding five or six marketing emails can make you unlikely to click any, especially if you have lots of other emails coming in for other reasons.

Email marketing can prove difficult when people receive so many emails. An SMS, on the other hand, is so short that most people will take the time to read it. Recent research showed that the average open rate in the UK for emails was just under 25% while estimates for SMS marketing in recent years state that as many as 98% of phone owners open an SMS message, usually within a few minutes of receiving it.

Higher click-through rates for SMS

The data also shows a much higher click-through rate for SMS messages compared to emails. The most recent research shows that email marketing tends to generate a click-through rate of around 4.2%, compared to 36% for SMS messages. When you work that out, that means around one in every 25 people will click-through when they get an email, compared to one in three for an SMS. SMS is a much more effective way of driving potential customers towards your website.

Quality Over Quantity

As people’s email inboxes take in more and more messages for all angles, the chances of your email sitting there unnoticed are quite high. This means that email marketers tend to send quite a lot of emails, hoping to eventually catch the attention of their target with one or two.

For SMS, you know the open rate and click-through rate is high, so you have to work on crafting one or two good messages. That’s simple too as you only have a small number of characters to fill. You just put the most important information in your text and get right to the point straight away. Campaigns that adopt SMs marketing often prove to be much cheaper than email marketing campaigns.

SMS is Cheaper

It’s a much cheaper medium, as you are sending out fewer campaigns. It should also be more cost-effective, as a high click-through rate should lead to some sales. This means the SMS campaign should soon pay for itself.

They also take much less time to create. You don’t need to worry as much about the design as in an email. You also don’t have to worry about how it will appear on different devices. InstaGiv can help your charity create SMS marketing campaigns that work. We work with more than 300 charities to help boost their fundraising with SMS. To find out more, check out our Services page or Contact Us.

Why are charities using text-to-donate?

I am sure you often wonder when you’re working within your charity or fundraising role, what is the best way to go with your next campaigns? Or why are charities starting to use SMS donations more and more now?

We have put together a few of our main thoughts as to why charities may choose text-giving over other methods, or else to add to their list of donation collection methods.

User-friendly

Our first thought is that text-to-give is incredibly user-friendly. There are no forms, fuss or verification checks required. The donor simply texts their chosen charities “keyword” to the 5 digit shortcodes and a donation is made.

People don’t often like to partake in anything that takes up too much of their time or requires long-haul forms. It is also user-friendly for the charity. Text campaigns can be created and inactivated in a matter of minutes. This helps to reach deadlines that little bit easier.

Quick and Easy

SMS Giving is also quick and easy to do. It takes around 60 seconds or less to send a donation by text. If someone wanted to give a charitable donation without much effort – SMS is the answer.

Most people within the UK today either own or have access to a mobile phone, therefore, it is one of the most effective ways to make a donation. If you are at an event with no change in your pocket, no problem – you probably will most likely have your phone with you so the donation can be made easily through your phone. Donations can be as little as £1 too.

Detailed reporting on progress

Reporting is so important when it comes to SMS fundraising, you need to be able to monitor the progress and measure the success of your campaigns.

Mobile Fundraising and Engagement with InstaGiv has a realm of various reporting functions from your inbound campaign report, consent and opt-in report, Gift Aid collection report and much more.

Our regular giving reporting displays everything from the number of subscriptions per month, number of new sign-ups, gross donations per donation, number of skips and stops, retention percentages and much more. This is essential and is readily available with InstaGiv campaigns.

These are just to name a few; the reasons are endless as to why charities continue to choose SMS giving as part of their fundraising efforts. Other thoughts we had include:

  • It’s cost-effective
  • Has a fast turnaround
  • Works in real time
  • It can be accessed 24/7 among lots of other benefits

We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog if you have any thoughts you would like us to focus on we would be happy to hear them. Reach out to us at help@instagiv.com.

More from instaGiv

Top Tips for your SMS Campaigns

Charities and Social Media

The Growth of SMS 

 

SMS comps

Top Tips for your SMS Campaigns

We have brainstormed and came up with our top four recommended tips for your SMS campaigns. These tips will help your charity in the long run between gaining an extra 25p per pound donated by adding Gift Aid, to increasing your supporter base by enabling consent and gathering opt-ins.

First things first…

Customise your Response Message

Grab the fact that you get to create your own response message by the horns. The bounce back SMS goes straight to the donor’s handset after a donation is made, this is in place to allow you to thank your donors, you get 160 characters to use so we try to encourage our clients to use up this space wisely. Perhaps also say something like “check out how your donations help”, with a URL to your website, this, in turn, will help drive more direct traffic to your charity’s website. Remember, people tend to read and digest the contents on an SMS received to their phone.

Add Channels

Adding channels to your campaigns brings the benefit of knowing which of your marketing channels are working best for you. You have a number for every marketing channel that you have your text code and campaign advertised. Allowing you to analyse your inbound report and view which channel is reaching the biggest audience and drawing in the most donations. If you are spending your budget on paid ads or expensive advertising, channels are perfect for measuring success.

Enable Gift Aid

Our Gift Aid tool allows you to collect names and addresses from your donors. We have two GA collection methods for you to choose from, both of which records and stores all declarations on your platform. You can then view down downloads this information at any time to send to the HMRC for processing. Enabling Gift aid is recommended as you can claim an extra 25% per one pound that is donated to your charity.

Enable Consent

Add the consent feature to your campaigns, this is where you can gather opt-ins from your donors and supporters. InstaGiv has two methods that you can choose from; Implicit and Explicit. With both, all consent records and stored on your platform where you can easily view and download them. Consent is user-friendly and straight forward, for example, rather than having your donor’s text KEYWORD to donate, ask them to text KEYWORD, YES to donate and opt-in- simples!

Social media for charities

Charities and Social Media

Almost all businesses, organisations, charities and not for profits have a social media presence, why is this? Well because the likes of Facebook has 2.3 billion users, meaning social media is one of the easiest and direct methods of promoting your cause and reaching out to your supporters.

It’s not that easy though, you need a following of supporters who are legitimately interested first, which can be somewhat difficult to build.

To enhance the engagement and conversation on your social channels, it may be a good idea to have cause-related content.

Content

Have content that encourages people to stop scrolling through their feed and stop at your post. Have something engaging, something that is eye-catching and encouraging people to comment or share, which is more likely to spark a discussion among your supporters.

Having content that drives engagement will also give your charity the opportunity to gain feedback, as many people tend to put their thoughts and opinions into the comments section below a post.

Credibility

Ensure your social profiles are credible, when someone visits your page for the first time, they are most likely going to form an opinion or thought instantly, first impressions are everything and all that! So, make sure you have got your page fully up to date, giving visitors an insight into the hard work you do to fight your cause. The use of visuals also ways work a treat – people love images and videos over long reams of paragraphs.

Increasing your Following

Everyone knows how difficult it is to increase your followers and supporters on social media. Engage in conversations and posts related to your cause or sector, this can be sort of like “online networking” as such.

Lastly and most importantly, promote, advertise and scream from the rooftops as much as possible. Try to get your cause into the limelight at every possible opportunity. Have your social icons on everything you do, all merchandise, email footers, advertising materials and so on.

There was a program on BBC 1 NI last night called “The Search”, it was actively advertised and promoted over social media the days leading up to it. The program was about missing people in Northern Ireland. This show zoomed in on the work carried out by the CRS – Community Rescue Service. A charity that is run entirely by volunteers. This was an eye-opener into the work that this cause and these people do, which is all voluntary.

It had encouraged me to donate as well as look into how I sign-up or help to be a part of their rescue team.

A lot can be done when actively promoting your cause as widely and as much as possible.

Check out our latest blog post on key dates for your diary, and you could use some of these in your upcoming social media strategy.

SMS marketing

The Growth of SMS

It’s no surprise that SMS has grown significantly over the last number of years with the massive growth of technology and smart phones.

Almost everyone owns or has access to a mobile device of some description. For many of us, our phone is like an extension of our hand – we physically could not live without it! (I know I couldn’t).

SMS is the one sure way to get your message across effectively. Almost all texts received to a handset, have an open rate of 100%.

We wanted to find out for ourselves

An online survey was recently carried out by our team, with participants across the age ranges of 22-50+ on the use of SMS and mobile technologies.

We will be creating an e-guide will all of our stats collated together and analysed to give an insight into the world of SMS and peoples preferences.

SMS is actively used by many businesses and charities to market their message across to their audiences.
I remember when I first started to receive such communications from businesses.

It was from my dentist, reminding me of the date and time of my upcoming appointment. I instantly thought to myself how handy that was! If you’re like me, you often forget things and are trying to organise yourself at the last minute, so this reminder text was perfect.

Why use SMS as means of communication or marketing?

The list of reasons why is endless but to name a few;

  • Its personal
    The recipient will open and read the text
    There is no junk/spam box on a mobile phone
    Texts are short, sweet and to the point
    It doesn’t cost a lot and is very effective

SMS within business

Text messaging in the business sector is commonly used for brand awareness, offer discounts, reminders, events, lead generation and notifications.

The charity or not-for-profit sector most commonly uses outbound for;

  • Support for petition
    Rallies for last minute disaster appeals
    Event sup ups
    Gathering opt-ins
    Gathering contact details
    Donation requests
    Advocacy
    Cause awareness

SMs is a great all-round tool for anyone wanting to raise either cause or brand awareness and for those who want to get their message out there instantly.
Our upcoming e-guide will outline SMS in a more detailed fashion, giving you the inspiration to go for it.