5 SMS Marketing Ideas for Volunteers Week
From 1-7th June, groups, charities and individuals across the UK will be getting together to celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2018. The annual event is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity and a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK every day.
The week long event aims to share inspiring volunteering stories, encourage individuals to get involved in volunteering and provide resources to anybody with an interest in finding out more. SMS Marketing is a great, low cost way for charities and other organisations to reach out to both new and existing volunteers, share information and more. Read on for some great ideas on how to make the most of SMS Marketing this Volunteers’ Week.
1. Thanking existing volunteers
One of of the fundamental purposes of Volunteers’ Week is to thank all those who have given their time and effort to volunteer over the past year – and they certainly deserve a big thank you, after all they have contributed to the following:
- In 2015, volunteering more than £22.bn to the UK economy. This is about 1.2% of GDP.
- In 2016/17, 19.8 million (37%) people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and 11.9 million (22%) of people did so at least once a month.
- There are 165,801 voluntary organisations in the UK, many of whom rely on volunteers.
- Lots of volunteering also takes place within the public and private sector.
(statistics via https://volunteersweek.org/)
With volunteering being so vital to the success of many charities and other social organisations and carrying such a high value, the cost of an SMS Marketing message for each volunteer is a tiny price to pay for their amazing contribution and the simple act of saying thank you will help to show them that they matter and ensure their continued support.
2. Attracting new volunteers – SMS mailing lists
If your organisation collects data about potential volunteers, for example through a website form, canvassing or newspaper adverts, then SMS is a simple and effective way to follow up. One of the main advantages of SMS versus email is that it has an exceptionally high open and response rate. Almost 100% of SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes, and over 30% of customers are likely to respond.
Because recipients must opt-in before you can message them, they have effectively already expressed an interest in interacting with your organisation, so a high rate of success is reasonable to expect – especially if compared to canvassing or cold calling.
If you haven’t already done so, do take a moment to make sure that your existing mailing list, sign-up forms and opt-out system are GDPR compliant.
3. Attracting volunteers with SMS Shortcodes & Keywords
For charities with a larger media budget that wish to advertise in local, regional or even national newspapers and magazines or through radio and television advertisements, an SMS shortcode/keyword combination [LINK] is a fantastic way to encourage potential volunteers to get engaged and requires an absolute minimum of effort on their behalf.
For example, your print advertisement promoting volunteering for your organisation might conclude with a caption such as:
“To start changing lives today, text HELP to 87007”
This approach is equally effective whether displayed in print or on screen or voiced on television or radio.
Depending on the strategy you have in place, you can respond with a call back, follow up SMS or even send a link for the individual to register online.
4. Promote your volunteering event
If you are organising an event to promote volunteering for your organisation during this week of celebrations, or are hosting some kind of event for the volunteers themselves, be sure to spread the word with SMS Marketing and make sure nobody misses out. Unlike emails, which have a high chance of being overlooked or mis-directed to spam folders, an SMS message is sure to be read.
If you want to confirm attendance, then encourage attendees to rsvp by SMS too. This can be done simply by using a Virtual Mobile Number (VMN) or a keyword/shortcode combination as described above.
5. Coordinating volunteers
As well as being a great tool for celebrating and promoting volunteering during Volunteers’ Week, SMS Marketing is also a versatile tool that lends itself perfectly to coordinating volunteers on an ongoing basis. Whether you run one-off events or have ongoing, regular activities, SMS messages can be used to provide volunteers with all manner of information such as where they need to be, when they need to be there, special arrangements, emergency procedures and more. SMS can also be a good way of managing attendance to ensure that your volunteers are always accounted for, helping you to look after their safety.
If plans change during an event, or you need to reallocate volunteers to a different duty or position, then the real-time nature of SMS Marketing means you can do this instantly, thus ensuring you have the right people in the right places when it matters most.
As long as you have a mobile signal, no internet or other equipment is required, which means you can reduce costs by eliminating the need to factor computer or radio technology into the equation when arranging an event.
To find out more about how your charity or organisation can benefit from SMS Marketing, call our team of experts now on 0800 954 5305.