Consider’s five and a half tips to creating a donor welcome journey that works.

Alistair Kelly By Alistair Kelly

Experience has shown Consider Director Alistair Kelly that the answers to reducing attrition lie within your welcome journey. A great welcome journey is the key to building long-term relationships with new donors. So if your attrition rates are causing you sleepless nights, check out Alistair’s expert tips below.

Tip 1. Find out exactly what you need your welcome journey to do.

A great welcome journey is the key to developing long-term engaged donors. It needs to work hard, so identifying your main challenges, and how to tackle them, has to come first.

What are your current attrition rates, where are people ‘dropping-off’, what’s working and what isn’t? Understanding where things are going wrong is the essential to develop a new journey that turns new cash givers into the ideal supporter: A regular donor, with a legacy pledge, who feels really connected to the work you’re doing.

Tip 2. Involve everyone from your fundraising, comms and database teams - we guarantee you’ll need their help.

Keep in mind that your journey will require work from everyone down the line. By getting their buy-in early on, you’ll create solid touch points with achievable timings.

When someone has been sufficiently motivated to donate for the first time, you need to validate their trust and let people know they’re at the beginning of a very special reciprocal relationship. It’s essential that relationship can continue unhindered by content or data issues.

And remember, if you’re considering a beneficiary-led approach - one that’s honest and authentic, with real voices and experiences at its heart - your comms team will thank you for plenty of advanced notice.

Tip 3. Ensure your creative agency’s ideas can be strong and relevant from the start - because you know your audience better than anyone.

You really need to support (and challenge) your creative partner to deliver a journey that captures the true impact of a supporter’s gift and brings them closer to you with every touch point.

Here at Consider, we make sure we delve deep into as much information about the charity and their audience as we can. That way, our creative ideas are based on insight rather than guesswork. If you’re not using us to create your journey - make sure your partner agency has as much info as you can give them, because there’s no one-size-fits-all welcome journey out there.

Tip 4. Keep things simple. Just trust us on this one.

It’s very easy to over-complicate a welcome journey. A simple process that keeps the supporter at the centre is usually the best option. We all love to feel truly valued, so thanking people for their kindness comes first. Getting that right is the key to fostering long-term support. Encourage your new supporters to feel brilliant about themselves – and always keep sight of what’s right for them.

Hitting supporters with too many touch points too soon can soon have a negative effect, so look for efficiencies wherever you can. Absorbing mandatory comms (such as Direct Debit advance notification letters) into an engaging and inspiring welcome pack is a great example.

Tip 5. Never take your new journey for granted. It’s a living thing that needs nurturing.

Ultimately, your welcome journey will be judged by the results it gets. Review its performance regularly. Include small surveys and donor engagement pieces to get valuable insights around people’s personal motivations for supporting you – as well as their reasons for stopping. Take heed of supporter feedback and don’t be afraid to test new touch points if you’re not getting the results you need at every stage of the journey.

Tip 5 ½. Get Consider involved. We’ve done this before.

Here at Consider, we’ve earned a great reputation for delivering brilliantly inspiring ideas and creative, based on strategy and insight. We love to crack the perfect welcome journey - so why not speak to the team about getting us to help you create yours?

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Alistair Kelly

Alistair Kelly

Creative Partner

Alistair is one of our co-founders. He has more than two decades of heavyweight agency experience behind him and is a fountain of ideas and creativity, particularly around print and fundraising. Alistair brings the clarity to our creative thinking and you can read his latest insights on our blog.