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How to create a messaging plan

Creating your communication plan is crucial to the success of your campaign. Complement large-scale email blasts with social media posts to reach the largest audience possible.

MessagingPlan

In order to drive effective engagement, you’ll need to lay out how, when, and to whom you are going to communicate.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • Email best practices
  • Social media best practices
  • Sample messaging calendar
  • Messaging Q&A

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Email

The shelf life of an email outlasts most all other methods of engagement. A single email can “live” up to a couple of weeks in someone’s inbox. It often gets great visibility since it’s already a common and effective way of sharing important information.

Strategy: Send out at least three emails -- we suggest sending before, during, and after your campaign. These are critical times to rally support from your followers and solicit help fundraising and donating. It’s also important to send an additional dedicated email after your campaign is over thanking and sharing your success and how the money will be used with your donors and fundraisers.

  • While you know your audience best, research shows the best days to send email blasts are Monday-Wednesday during business hours.

Tools: Use the email tools located in the Manage View of your campaign. Use the Invite New Fundraiser tool to send an email to individuals inviting them to join and become fundraisers on your campaign.

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Leverage our Campaign Update tool to automatically send an email update to everyone who has donated to your campaign so far. Campaigns that utilize this tool bring in 2.5x more donations than campaigns with no updates at all, especially when done with video. It's an easy way to keep your supporters up-to-date with your campaign and keep them coming back again to support it.

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Twitter

Social Media

You and pretty much everyone you know is on some form of social media, especially younger generations, so it’s important to get your campaign out there, too. With Social AMP on CrowdRise campaign pages, sharing on Facebook and Twitter is easier than ever-- it’s a great way to reach a lot of followers in a short amount of time.

Strategy: Vary your social media content across all possible platforms. Have fun changing up your content and voice to resonate with different people. Make sure wherever you post, you include the campaign URL in your bio or post body.

  • Photo and video are the leading forms of content on social media in terms of engagement; social media is the best place to share compelling imagery.
  • Weekday mornings are the best times to post, with Tuesday-Thursday being strongest between 8am-12pm ET.

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Tools: Social AMP is available on every campaign page and prompts the user to continue to share once a donation is made. Urge your donors to share your campaign on their own social networks to broaden the reach of your message and to reach new audiences.

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Recommended Messaging Calendar

To get things started for you, we’ve created a template for a messaging calendar that you might find helpful as you lay out your own plan. Our example is based on a sample campaign that lasts 6 weeks. While your actual plan may not look exactly like this, it should include weekly outlines for each communication medium.

1

2 Months to 3 Weeks Before Campaign Launch

  • Gather ideas for how and when your campaign will take place. For instance, is it an annual 5K? A response to a recent disaster? Think of your audience and how they will receive your request for help.
  • To begin, email a smaller segment of your supporters to let them know about your upcoming campaign. Better yet, ask them to become fundraisers on your behalf. This smaller segment may be made up of your biggest donors or past campaign participants who are willing to become a fundraiser.

2

1 Week Before Campaign Launch

  • Use the Invite New Fundraiser tool in the Campaign Manager to get the first participants up and running with their own fundraiser pages.
  • Announce on your social media channels that the campaign is coming up. Demonstrate what success in this campaign will mean to your organization and what it will help support.

3

Campaign Launch Day

  • Send out an email and hit your social media channels announcing your campaign. Use this as an opportunity to get supporters excited and drive action. It's go time!

4

During Campaign

  • Send one email per week with social media posts sprinkled in between.
  • Mix up your content in each communication. For example, if one email focused on your mission or progress towards your goal, make the next about your supporters and how they keep your organization’s wheels turning.
  • Use the Campaign Update tool to inform your donors of all they have contributed so far, and encourage them to keep pushing towards your goal. Post a picture that represents your progress.

5

1 Week Before Campaign Wrap-Up

  • 1 week from campaign wrap up is a crucial point in your campaign to ask for donations and support to help you reach your financial goal. Make a final email blast to your fundraisers and donors by pulling a "Team Member Report- Detailed" from your Report Center.
  • Cultivate a sense of urgency with your donors and fundraisers. Let them know that time is running out by saying “Only 2 days left” or “72 hours to give" in posts on our Social Media channels. Create a quick, selfie-style video from a member of your organization saying why it's important to give.

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Campaign Wrap-Up

  • Once your campaign is over, it’s time to thank your donors and share your accomplishments. When you thank and engage your donors and supporters after a campaign, you’re creating a culture of fundraising and emphasizing their important role in achieving your mission.
  • Thank everyone involved again. If you can, reward your donors or fundraisers with something that will make them feel special and appreciated.
  • Share what you’ve accomplished with the money thus far and how big of an impact your donors’ dollars have made.

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Q&A

Q. I'm not getting traction with my emails and social media posts. What else can I do to improve my messaging strategy?

A. We suggest taking additional measures to tailor your content, such as by Segmenting your donor list. Mix up the way you craft your “ask” with each message you send, understand who your audience is and what they respond to.

Q. Our campaign topic is sensitive. How can we get people to share our message?

A. You might be surprised by the response and receptiveness people have to your message! Here are our three top tips to share in a respectful way:

  1. Ask your supporters to share as much as they're comfortable with.
  2. Provide them with sample posts they can share so they don’t have to start from scratch.
  3. Encourage sharing with a close network with a personal message instead of posting all over social media.

Q. Our organization is not on social media. Is that okay?

A. It's okay if your organization doesn't have a specific social media presence. Email can be just as effective. Engage your supporters on the mediums you know they are active on and the ones you feel most comfortable using.

However, be open to incorporating social media in the future. if you are looking at expanding your reach to potential new supporters, we recommend starting with Facebook and Instagram.

Q. What are some creative ways to encourage people to share our posts on social media?

A. We always recommend using emotionally-powerful language and images, in addition to shaking up your content in your messaging. Creative ways to engage people include:

  • Calling out your supporters on social media (i.e. tagging them in your posts and giving them a shout-out
  • Posting video updates on your campaign or using our campaign update tool throughout your campaign
  • Encouraging your supporters to tag friends and challenge each other to raise the most money