Direct response television isn't just for selling workout equipment and cooking supplies; nonprofits can use it, too. Enticing donors isn't something that can be done from one marketing channel. You need several different types of marketing to ensure that your message is being heard. DRTV should be a part of your overall strategy.
Working with television advertisements can help you convey your message in a way that will tap into donors emotions. In 2011, Food for the Poor did this masterfully when they ran a DRTV segment on the sick and starving children in Prolonge, Hati, according to Target Marketing. The DRTV ads show viewers rather than tell them. This is a highly effective way of proving your worth.
In Food for the Poor's case, they were able to easily show people how bad conditions were for the people they wanted to help. They did this by focusing in on the children. In the Food for the Poor's video you see a shy little girl who at first won't look into the camera and then does for a split second. This shy behavior is a universal reaction of many small children according to Target Marketing. Because it's universal, the video resonated with the people watching the video no matter where they were, making the fundraising campaign very successful. Other nonprofits should take some queues from Food for the Poor for their own DRTV campaigns.
Here are four tips for nonprofits that want to do DRTV campaigns
Find something universal
Donations come from all sorts of different people. This can make it difficult to know how to draw them in; however, if you focus on something universal, like Food for the Poor did, you'll have a better chance of increasing your donations. While you might not be able to do something similar to what they did, try to find something about your cause that will resonate with most people.
Show, don't tell
According to UKFundraising, DRTV can convey a sense of gravitas because of it's ability to show people the reality of a situation. Direct mail can do this with a picture, but for the most part, it still tells donors what to do instead of showing them the situation and then allowing them to make up their mind about what to do.
Determine what form is best
When you decide to do a DRTV campaign you need to decide whether to do a long or short form video content. For some nonprofits, a long form DRTV campaign is not the way to go. Long form can be up to an hour or two and short form is anything from 30 seconds to a few minutes, Kevin White, vice president of broadcast media at Russ Reid, told NonProfit Pro. If you have a very focused mission, there is no need for a long form DRTV program. However, nonprofits with more robust services and missions may need a half hour to fully entice donors.
White went on to say that nonprofits should focus on the need and the solution when trying to decide on long or short form. If both of those things can be covered in a typical TV commercial slot, then short form is the way to go. If not, it's probably better to set up a long form program.
Make sure you can handle the donation influx
The success of DRTV is well-known. Food for the Poor's DRTV campaign mentioned above asked donors for $19 dollars a month, and most donors gave more than that, making the campaign a huge success. Nonprofits should make sure they can handle all of the donations coming in. It can be beneficial to hire a payment processing company for the duration of the campaign, just to make sure no donations are lost due to the lack of capability to process them.
Brought to you by PacNet Services, your one-stop global payment processing solution.