Are you taking advantage of the ‘honeymoon’ phase in your nonprofit marketing?

February 3, 2016

Have you ever heard of something called the ‘honeymoon phase?’

In marketing, the ‘honeymoon phase’ refers to that period of time (usually one to two weeks) following a customer’s purchase. They’re in love with the product or service — or think that they will be — and the savvy business builds on that relationship, right from the start.

Couple enjoying vacation in luxury resortYou’ve probably seen honeymoon phase influence used a lot, particularly in direct marketing, like infomercials, for instance. You’ve called in to place your order and you’re offered an upsell to additional products or services. Or you buy a product on Amazon, and a few days later you receive a coupon in your email for something from the same product line.

For all you small shop fundraisers out there, taking advantage of every potential opportunity for cultivating relationships is essential! In our field, I’ve always thought of the honeymoon period as the six to eight weeks immediately following a donor’s gift (or expressed interest). While this window is open, your opportunities for relationship-building are ripe for the picking…

  • You’ve just rolled out an acquisition mailing that exceeded projections.
  • The event you labored over for months came in at 12% higher than you anticipated.
  • You did a crowd-funding campaign, and raised enough to fund your new program.
  • Following lots of fits and starts with your email service provider, you finally got your email newsletter up and running.

Time to kick back your heels for a bit and relax, am I right?

No! Wrong. This is probably the worst time for you to step back and enjoy the victory. You can’t hang in that moment forever.

In A True—and Heartbreaking—Tale of Not Being Asked for a Donation, Megan Contakes writes: “Yes, it is counter-intuitive. Yes, asking immediately after the donor has been properly thanked can feel rude and pushy. But it remains one of those unlikely fundraising truths the data force us to accept.”

No, I’m not advising you to include an ask to your thank you letter. But I do want to ask you:

Are you taking advantage of the honeymoon phase, particularly with your new donors?

Begin strong, and you won’t go wrong. Here are a few examples:

  • A donor has decided to make a gift to your organization. Before they complete the process, they’re redirected to a monthly giving upsell page
  • Create a monthly giving ask for your follow up welcome kit, sent to new donors 2-6 weeks after the thank you letter
  • Make that thank you call, especially immediately following a first-time gift
  • Create a warmly inviting welcome (or better yet, a welcome email series) for those individuals who have expressed an interest in your organization by signing up for your enewsletter
  • Develop the processes to follow up with event attendees — and turn ticket buyers into donors (in Power of Thank You we show you how)

These are just a handful of my ideas to get you thinking about how you can grow your relationships during the ‘honeymoon’ phase. What are yours? I’d love to hear about them.


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