CDE project 11: part 3 — a data-dri­ven strat­e­gy for direct communications

Doing the sim­ple stuff prop­er­ly, Phil White – Wood for Trees

Written by
The Commission on the Donor Experience
April 30, 2017


For any Direct Marketing, data is the way to drive and underpin all marketing communications, including Direct Mail. 

By getting the data basics right, it will mean a charity can communicate with its supporters in a way they feel respected and it engenders a positive supporter experience. Data insights drive a positive supporter experience by ensuring delivery of the right message, through the right channel, at the right time. By achieving this, a charity has a stronger relationship with supporters which in turn helps end-beneficiaries.

To achieve this approach, there are some obvious and straightforward steps to take. However, while obvious and straightforward, can you look in the mirror to say you’ve done them all and to the necessary depth possible? Is there an investment of time and resource for continuous development? Have we achieved the best donor experience possible? 

Obstacles to overcome

For a truly data-driven strategy, measurement is key.

As simple as this sounds, there are often many obstacles to undermine the ability to measure campaign success. For instance:

  • Raw data is not clean e.g. duplicate / uncategorised records which skew results
  • Appropriate supporter consent isn’t clear or in place
  • Unable to access necessary data to accurately measure, because it’s in silos
  • Not collecting all the right data from channels and ensuring comparability
  • Data analysis for insights or analysis doesn’t focus on the right objectives
  • No, or unclear, campaign objectives
  • Appropriate suppressions are not in place e.g. MPS, TPS (and soon FPS) 

Click on the image below to view project 11 in full - PDF format

About the author: The Commission on the Donor Experience

The CDE has one simple ideal – to place donors at the heart of fundraising. The aim of the CDE is to support the transformation of fundraising, to change the culture to a truly consistent donor-based approach to raising money. It is based on evidence drawn from first hand insight of best practice. By identifying best practice and capturing examples, we will enable these to be shared and brought into common use.

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CDE project 11 summary: communication with individual donors

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CDE project 11: part 3 - it’s all about the ‘How’

How to develop a data-driven strategy that will deliver?

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