It always frustrates me to hear fundraisers or their consultants concern themselves with vanity metrics like response rates for lead generation efforts.
Honestly, I’m tired of hearing it!
Way too often, we (at MarketSmart) find ourselves being asked about our response rates resulting from our outreach efforts to our customers’ supporters. But, I wonder, “What difference does it really make if we garner a 1% response rate or 20%?”
Lead generation marketing isn’t about generating percentages— it’s about creating opportunities that are likely to result in revenue (as soon as possible).
For instance, would you rather have a 25% response rate to outreach such as a donor survey (completed surveys) or would you prefer 100 highly qualified leads with hi-value, hi-capacity, hi-potential, wonderfully passionate supporters instead?
25% response rate VS. 100 great leads? Hmmmmm.
If your answer is that you’d prefer a 25% response rate, you might want to unsubscribe from your subscription to this blog right now.
Still with me? Great!
Clearly, you recognize that the purpose of lead generation marketing is not to just garner a response rate, it’s to support the revenue development process in a way that is tremendously cost-efficient. As we say in our office, “You are one of us.”
You are likely to tell your boss (or your consultant) that lead generation is just one step in the process of raising major gifts (and legacy gifts), and response rates make up just one component of that one step. Then you’ll probably talk to them about results.
Here’s one example of the results a devoted MarketSmart customer attained over 2 years (with our software and service assistance):
The total pipeline of potential revenue resulting from our collaborative efforts is now at least $25 million based on how this organization decided to carve it up. I believe it actually should be valued at over $100 million.
Of course, all of that revenue might not become realized. Or, perhaps it might become increased. That’s not MarketSmart’s job, it’s the fundraiser’s.
But, after reading all that, do you see any reason for her or anyone else to care about the meager 1.8% response rate percentage? I don’t.
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