Budgeting is an important part of any marketing campaign, but never more-so than for non-profits. SMS marketing offers a very low cost way for non-profit organisations to reach out to an audience — allowing them to appeal for donations, solicit volunteers and ask for support. It’s also a convenient way to build an on-going relationship with subscribers for future contact.

Research shows that 98.6% of all SMS messages get read within 20 minutes of being received, making SMS communication an excellent way for non-profits — whether schools, sport clubs, or churches — to announce events, urge subscribers to take action on an issue, visit a website to make a donation, or contribute directly via a text message. Results are immediate and registered in real-time.

Here’s how you go about it.

Step 1. Find a text messaging service

www.textahq.com is a powerful SMS marketing solution perfect for non-profits. As a charitable organisation, budget is always a primary concern, so a platform like Texta, with no monthly fees, free incoming replies and feature-rich automation tools is a perfect choice for organisations looking to extend their reach but working under financial constraints.

Step 2. Sign up with Texta

Sign up for Texta HQ is easy, free and takes only a few minutes.

Step 3. Buy credits

Prices go as low as 4c a text for high volume marketers. For a full breakdown of credit prices, go here.

Step 4. Build your list

Schools, churches, sports clubs etcetera will likely already have their member details on hand. Charitable organisations — perhaps looking to make an appeal for donations for example — can purchase a list from a broker, solicit sign-ups via a website or on-site location, or via their other promotional activities.

Step 5. Design your pitch

Depending on your goals, calls-to-action will be tailored on a case-by-case scenario. Regardless of the desired action, keep the actual text content in the message as short as possible. Looking for donations? A single sentence, followed by the call-to-action (Text ‘donate’ to ***) is ample.

If you’re asking for volunteers, asking the audience to visit a website to register is one way to organise your event. Alternatively, you can have the recipient reply to your message to create your own list of willing participants (Texta offers 100% free incoming replies).

Step 6. Build a text-to-donate campaign

Building a campaign whereby recipients can respond to a text to make an automatic donation is a slightly more involved process, but the breakdown looks a little like this:

a.       Have Texta provision your dedicated short code. (This is the process where we create a number for donators to text their responses to. We provide a selection of numbers for you to choose from, then set about provisioning them).

b.      Decide on your price points. (How much would you like givers to pay? Offering multiple price points is an excellent way to maximise contributions).

c.       Send your message

d.      Watch the donations come in (Clients are billed to their credit cards automatically).

Step 7. Include a thank you message

More than just good manners, a thank you message is a powerful motivator for future action. As simple as it sounds, it’s the best way to secure future action from your recipients.

Step 7. Automate for the future

Depending on the success of your campaign, you can automate identical future campaigns, or customise different promotions to tie-in with real-world events. Send appointment reminders, service reminders, membership expiration reminders or a birthday greeting.