Save the Snails Hyper-Personalisation In Action

Save the Snails Hyper-Personalisation In Action

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Hyper-personalisation is a phrase coined by fundraising author Mal Warwick. He used it to describe going well beyond normal personalisation in direct marketing.

It is all about asking donors questions and reflecting their answers back to them.

Using this technique – otherwise known as ‘asking and listening’ – will increase the lifetime value of a supporter’s gift. It will also increase their personal lifetime value. They will feel listened to and valued. Because you, um, listened to them and valued them!

The best way to get their answers is through a Supporter Connection Survey, though you can ask questions in many other communications too.

Let’s say your organisation is Save the Snails (you will see more and more of this charity in our blogs and information!)

In your survey, you’ll ask donors a question about the part of your work they feel most connected to. Something like this:

What part of Save the Snails’ work is most important to you? (choose one)

  • Saving pigmy snails
  • Protecting polar snails
  • Rescuing homing snails
  • Standing up for basking snails
  • I care about all of the endangered snails

In a future fundraising message, you can use this information, like this:

Mrs. Example, I know you’ll be excited to help build our Snail World Super Habitat because, as you told me in a survey a few months ago, you love our work to protect polar snails.

That’s basic hyper-personalisation.

You’ll also have a question that allows donors to tell you how and why they’re connected with you in their own words. So Mrs. Example might say something unique, like:

“My first summer in college, I worked at a snail habitat, and I grew to love the majestic ways of snails and how they teach us to love life.”

As with the answers to the question above, you now have the ability to say back to her what she said to you. But it isn’t so simple. You don’t want to just plug it into the data because it might come out like this:

Mrs. Example, I know you’ll be excited to help build our Snail World Super Habitat because, as you told me in a survey a few months ago, My first summer in college, I worked at a snail habitat, and I grew to love the majestic ways of snails and how they teach us to love life.

Instead, to avoid looking like a database wrote your message, you’d want to revise it a bit to sound human. Like this:

Mrs. Example, I know you’ll be excited to help build our Snail World Super Habitat because, as you told me in a survey a few months ago about your first summer in college, you worked at a snail habitat, and grew to love the majestic ways of snails and how they teach us to love life.

That is true hyper-personalisation.

If I were you, I’d only do this for donors who give or have the ability to give above average donations. About 20% of your donors would be in that gift bracket, but perhaps only 10% of them would ever have written something in their own words. That should be a manageable 2% of donors – at most – that you should hyper-personalise.

It could still be too many to handle, so start with just the top 50 or so – but if you have too many, work at increasing resources so you can handle more.

Sean Triner

P.S. Learn even more about hyper-personalisation. Get access to my Supporter Connection Survey Online Course now when you join The Fundraisingology Lab!

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