Text Messaging for Nonprofits: 9 Easy Steps For Marketing

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Nonprofit organizations work for a cause they truly believe in. They want to create a better society and do their bit to create awareness for important issues. Many small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations run on limited staff and even fewer resources.

The volunteers learn how to create an impact using sparse resources. It’s not surprising that text messaging has become a go-to method for communication and marketing for nonprofit establishments.

In fact, various business text messaging service providers offer special rates for such organizations to help them continue with the good work. Research shows that people happily subscribe to text messages from nonprofit organizations they support. The rate is almost 99% and four times more than those who opt for email marketing.

A nonprofit organization just needs to follow the below steps to use text messaging to market the cause and the establishment and gain more supporters.

Select the Right Text Messaging Partner

The first step to creating a successful SMS campaign for a nonprofit organization is to select the right service provider. Consider factors such as:

· Pricing policy

· Scalability and API integrations

· Range of services/ features

· Bulk texting and personalization

· Data security, speed, and reliability

Do your research about the region's leading business text service providers and select the best based on your requirements.

· Finalize the Short Code and Keywords

After you choose the service provider, it’s time to get a shortcode to represent the nonprofit organization through SMS. A shortcode is a five or six figured phone number instead of the regular ten-digit number. The shortcode is easy to remember and helps create brand awareness. The nonprofit organization can either purchase a vanity short code for money or get a random code that doesn’t cost much.

You need to simultaneously select keywords for your purposes. Let’s say you want donors and volunteers but want to maintain different lists for both. You can choose two keywords- DONOR, VOLUNTEER and ask your subscribers to text you with either
keyword, depending on their choice.

· Promote the Short Code to Increase Subscribers

As we mentioned earlier, the shortcode helps create brand awareness and increases visibility. For that to happen, you need to promote the code online and offline. Add it to your social media profiles, website, Google My Business profile, citations, etc.

Get the shortcode printed on the business cards, letterheads, and so on for the shot code to read more people. Add an instruction about sending a keyword to subscribe to the texts by your nonprofit organization. You can increase the subscriptions over time.

· Personalize the Messages

Personalization of text messages can be as simple as mentioning the subscriber’s name rather than saying, dear subscriber. The extent of personalization is your choice, depending on the features offered by the service provider. For example, you can mention the number of hours a person volunteered at your nonprofit organization and thank them for their selfless contribution.

· Add a Call-to-Action Button

Add a CTA in all important SMS messages. Use shortened links or tiny URLs to stick to the character limit and include the necessary information. Whether you want people to advocate the cause, refer to like-minded people, or bring donors, use a link to get subscribers to fill up the form and complete the action.

· Include Images and Short Videos (MMS)

Visual appeal is always effective, though you need to be careful to not overdo it. Send MMS messages with an image or a short video clip to create a higher impact for the cause. The kind of images you choose will affect the success of your text marketing campaign. Try to aim for a mix of reality and hope. A video or image of kids thanking the donors will make them want to donate again.

· Establish a Routine/ Message Frequency

Would you like to send out a certain number of messages to your subscribers every week/ month? Which topics should be covered through text messages? Even though people associated with your nonprofit organization are devoted to the cause, you don’t want to annoy them by sending too many messages. Consider reducing the frequency of your emails if you notice people unsubscribing. It will be counterproductive for the cause.

· Automate Bulk Messages

The main purpose of using a business text messaging service provider like TXTImpact is to automate and schedule bulk messages. You can even personalize bulk messages by integrating the software with the database.

· Track and Analyze the Results

The last step is to continuously track the text messages and run analytics to determine the success rate of the campaign. Use the insights to change your marketing strategies, approach, and techniques to achieve your results. The ultimate aim is to take the cause to as many people as possible, isn’t it?

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