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Posts Tagged ‘PayPal’

Speak To Your Audience

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I always have a great time at the NTEN & AFP conferences, catching up with old friends and making new ones, as well as learning new techniques I can apply in my job. I was shocked at what I saw, though, at one of the vendor booths at NTEN:

Like many of the vendors, PayPal was trying to entice visitors to their booth with a giveaway. People who entered the drawing had a chance to win a Nook. Many electronic devices were being awarded at the NTEN conference: iPads, Kindles, etc. Experienced attendees always bring many business cards for these drawings.

But how was PayPal – the company promoting online fundraising – accepting entries? Not with a business card, but with a paper questionnaire! (click to make larger)

Complete this survey for a chance to win 1 of 3 Nook e-readers.  Winners will be notified at the phone number that you provide below.

I asked one gentleman who was at the booth why a company that makes its living selling online commerce would operate in such a fashion and how they expected to compete with all the other vendors who were offering giveaways without requiring this much effort on the part of the conference attendees.

He shrugged and explained that he didn’t actually work for PayPal, but was just “helping out” for the day.

A couple of aisles later, I saw another vendor that was working to meet the needs of a busy attendee . . . on their terms:  The Chronicle of Philanthropy

In addition to providing free paper copies of the Chronicle, they were offering free sign up for people to subscribe to issues online, with the screen facing passersby, so that they could create an account immediately:

It makes a great deal of difference to your constituency how you engage them, and how much you ask of them. Prizes are nice, of course, but most of us left each conference without a new iPad – and will unsubscribe to all of the new emails we’ll be getting . . . unless they provide value and convenience to our lives.

The AFP conference in Chicago was held at McCormick Place, which is akin to a large airport! LOTS of walking is necessary to get from one session to another. Even the convention center itself has moved with the times to try to provide service that is convenient to its customers. I noticed this sign in a women’s restroom:

McCormick Cares   Please text the "Keyword" below: MCE3504F  followed by any Restroom needs to 69050

What can you do to keep your finger on the pulse of your constituent base? Have you been measuring your areas of growth, so you can address them and meet those needs? Online giving has increased in nearly all sectors, for example.

Mobile giving and texting are going to show explosive growth in the next year. While smart phones are currently only 13% of handhelds, they account for 78% of the handheld traffic. Does this impact how you might alter your strategy? Would you consider adding a graphic like the one below to your next direct mail appeal, for example?

QR codes are becoming very useful for a variety of things. You can search for a (free) QR code app on your smart phone to decode the one above, and if you wish to create a code of your own, it’s very easy. The code can translate into a word, phrase, phone number, hyperlink, or sms – and be in various sizes. Give it a try!

Just as with any new venture, the response rate will be smaller and slower than something already being done, but the segment of your population that uses this venue will appreciate your catering to them – and they will grow with you over time.  They will also remember who responded to their needs earliest.

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Keep the base of the pyramid strong

The dangers of too much transparency

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Social media is about transparency and sharing, and, given our recent economic crisis, “transparency” is often lauded as a GOOD thing.

Certainly, it is important to be open with our constituents, donors, board members, staff, etc. – particularly about policies, how their gifts are being used, etc.

However, I’ve explained this concept to my daughter as, “There’s a reason the truth is often referred to THREE ways:

•  the truth
•  the whole truth
•  nothing but the truth

When a report is late, for example, it usually suffices to explain that there are “database problems,” (the truth) rather than to explain to my director the specific querying functions that aren’t working, resulting in my deduping problems yielding soft credit, rather than hard credit totals, etc., etc. (the whole truth).

I could add some information about how this isn’t the first time that the database upgrade maintenance schedule has slowed down my ability to pull reports in a timely fashion, along with my thoughts on a better schedule, and so forth, but this wouldn’t really be relevant information to her initial request (nothing but the truth).  It’s pretty extraneous and opinionated.  Joe Friday also had a way to eliminate this:  “Just the facts, ma’am.”

When you’re working in social media, it’s best to consider the important distinction between #1 (the truth) and #2 (the whole truth), however.  There is a danger in revealing too much about one’s self these days.  Consider the following examples:

Facebook has changed their privacy policy (yet again!) so that, by default, they will share all users’ personal data with pretty much everyone – particularly advertisers – unless you understand how to find your settings and opt out.  This includes sharing your data with your friends, so that as they agree to various applications’ terms, those applications will pull all of their friends’ (i.e., YOURS) data and harvest it for marketing…UNLESS you know how to turn that off, too.  (See instructions on how to modify your settings.)

Storing your credit card number with various accounts, such as Amazon, PayPal, Blippy, etc., is marketed as a convenience, so that they remember you the next time you log on.  That way, you can shop without re-entering your information.  Giving this data to another company can make you vulnerable, though, and Blippy Users’ Credit Card numbers have appeared exposed on Google today, for anyone to view.

It’s certainly important to tell the truth…but not always the WHOLE truth!  Always remember that once you click [Post] or [Send] online, literally anyone and everyone can see what you’ve sent.  Count on it!

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Keep the base of the pyramid strong

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