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4 Tips for getting peak performance from your paid volunteer acquisition campaign

It seems so easy! Your organization needs more volunteers so you spontaneously declare that you should run a paid acquisition campaign.

“Whoa, Nellie!” as legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson used to say.

Yes, Google, Facebook and others make it very easy to run ads. But, it’s the tactics you implement after the ads go live that will determine whether you’re just adding records to your database or truly bringing in new advocates.

Here are four things you should do to maximize the return on your volunteer acquisition program.

  1. Line up a series of actions these new volunteers will be able to take soon after joining your list. In short, keep them engaged and busy. The biggest mistake that organizations make is acquiring new volunteers and waiting months before giving them something to do.

  2. Create a customized welcome series. It can be just a revised version of your current welcome series but it should relate directly to the issue the new volunteers acted on to join your list. And be sure to acknowledge that they are indeed new volunteers. (If you don’t have a welcome series, then you and I need to have a chat before you do anything else.)

  3. Segment these new volunteers so all of the emails they receive for at least their first few months are specifically on the issue that relates to the ad they responded to.

  4. Budget to recruit more volunteers than you truly need. Even with data-driven targeting and fabulous content, a significant percentage of your volunteers are going to drop off after that initial action. Also keep that in mind when measuring the success of your acquisition campaign. Look beyond the initial cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and measure again to see who is still taking action after three, six and 12 months.


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