You call a donor or prospect. There’s no answer.
What you do next is crucial to increase any chance of a response.
1. leave a voicemail?
2. try reaching them through text, WhatsApp or email?
3. call again later?
The answer is - all three.
Here's how it works.
Next time you call and there’s no answer, leave a short voicemail.
Leaving a voicemail - you may be thinking - is of little benefit. At face value, you’re correct. But, it will allow you to kick off an effective follow-up which is very worthwhile.
After you leave a voicemail, immediately email, text, or WhatsApp the donor. Use the following words either in the email subject line or the first line of the text.
"Just left you a voicemail"
Our donors (and each of us) when receiving a call, want to know who called and what it’s about.
With the subject line, ‘Just left you a voicemail’ you've piqued their interest and they’ll more likely open your message.
In the body of this message briefly write why you were calling.
"Hi Mr. Abcde, just called for xyz reason. Could we speak this week?"
This is still probably not enough to get a response.
In fact it creates another problem.
Now you’ve left the ball in the donor’s court to get back to you. That’s never a good idea, because it restricts what you can do next.
Social norms are to give the person time to respond. Waiting locks you out of any further action for at least a few days. And then what happens if they don’t respond again!?
What should you do next?
Here’s the million dollar idea...
After writing the short email/text/WhatsApp saying, ‘Just left you a voicemail. I was calling for xyz reason. Could we speak this week?’
Then also add,
‘If it’s ok with you, I’ll call back at xyz day and time to follow up.’
By saying ‘If it’s ok with you’ you've now kept the ball in your court. If they don’t want you to call, they can reply saying that won’t work for them.
And if they don’t respond, then you've just earned yourself permission to call back when you said you would.
This week make the triple header Call---->Voicemail---->Text/Email/WhatsApp a part of your fundraising tool kit.
Have a great fundraising week.