Initial lessons from GDPR
10 November 2017 by Guest Author
Since spring we have been trialling new communication messages on both our cold and warm appeals.
Previously we only gave existing and potential donors two options:
- state if they preferred to be contacted by email rather than by post
- opt out of future mailings completely, by calling us.
Now we include those options, plus
- the option to opt in to appeals and newsletters
- a tick box option to opt out of future mailings if they don’t want to call us.
What we have found, is that our existing donors are still happy to stay in touch. The real impact has been with new donors. We are receiving a significant number of first time donations with the ‘opt out’ box ticked, meaning we can’t continue to mail those people, even though they have donated to us.
Currently we are seeing about 25% of first time donations being impacted in this way. Only about 10% of donors are stating a positive preference for either, the newsletter, appeals, or both. The remaining 65% don’t state a preference at all, so we plan to mail this audience again with a future appeal, including the opportunity to once again ‘opt out’.
If it continues, this change will definitely impact on our bottom line. We’ll see a decrease in the average value of a new donor over the lifetime of their support, and an increase in our donor attrition rate.
No other form of direct mail, such as unaddressed door drops or magazine inserts has proven as effective in generating new income as addressed mail, and our return on social media advertising has been negligible.
As a result we are looking at ways to increase the value of our mailings by including items such as blank greetings cards and stickers for our donors. We hope that this will not only increase the response rate to our appeals, but also encourage supporters to consider giving higher value gifts.
Whether any potential increase in revenue outweighs the extra cost of these options remains to be seen.
Donor Development Manager
Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN)
Founded in 1854, the RHN is a well-respected, charitable hospital and research centre, providing services for adults with brain injuries. Our Putney-based community provides specialist care, therapies and innovative technologies to meet the complex needs of people with profound disabilities.
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