What we learnt in Ramadan 2017

Ramadan 2017, like last year, has started a conversation about how fundraising is changing for Muslim charities. Overall, growth rates were reduced, although once again this reduction was offset by many of our clients who saw significantly increased returns across their digital channels.

This year’s headlines:

We sent out almost 9 million emails (up from 5.5 million last year) and achieved an average of 10% open rates. Our clicks increased from just over 10,000 in 2016 to more than 24,000 this year across all clients. But that’s email alone: we also managed other channels such as digital advertising and social media. It’s provided us with unprecedented levels of data and insight which we hope you can benefit from.

For example, we saw that, in the face of increasing competition, general growth-trends remained modest for this campaign period when compared to last year for most charities.

Direct-mail returns seemed to have declined as expected. But let us know if you bucked this particular trend.

TV appeals on average also delivered lower returns. Much of this was obviously due to the longer fasting times which left very little time for families to sit down after Iftar to watch appeals.

Digital channels still offered the best opportunity to acquire donors for the lowest cost (approx. £25). With TV and events-based activity the most expensive way to acquire donors (£120 and upwards).

There are several reasons behind the increased income from digital channels, some of which are highlighted below.

For example, one client saw an increase of over 4 times the number of click-through’s to their website (over 4,000, compared to under 1,000 last year). The main difference? The charity in question invested in sensible retention-orientated activities throughout the year. This included reaching out to donors through feedback events, and via cross channel communication including direct-mail, email and even telephone-based feedback to core supporters. It’s an obvious point, but with more charities out there, it’s clear that donors are going to respond more favourably to the ones that focus on building credibility and developing relationships throughout the year.

Clients that analysed their data to understand donor patterns (including size, type, geography) and tailored their campaigns accordingly, also achieved higher returns on their investment. Again, a point we continually laboured upon throughout last year.

Clients that invested in increasing their visitor numbers throughout the year were able to benefit from remarketing activity during the Ramadan period. Even though ROI’s were not as strong outside the Ramadan period, it made sense to continue this activity as the overall income vs spend figures showed.

We saw enormous variations of email results between clients, with lows of approx. 4% and highs of over 30%. Subject lines and email design were some of the key reasons for this with simple and clear calls to action often performing better. Also, those who already had a warm list of openers that had been engaged throughout the year showed better results.

Faster websites with easier donation processes positively impacted conversion rates. Slow and clunky platforms with too many steps put people off donating and often led them to no longer engage with any future marketing.

Obviously, there’s so much more we can get into, but a key take away here is that most charities need to go back to the drawing board and update their fundraising strategy.

By using the data from your Ramadan campaign to redirect your focus on activities, you can save resources and improve ROI’s whilst still increasing your reach. Hard to believe? Get in touch and we’ll show you how.

Oh, by the way, is your Qurbani 2017 campaign ready yet?