Should every request for funding via email be followed up with a phone call?
If you are referring to a mass cash appeal mailing to 100-1000, then phoning everyone is too daunting. If you anticipate making 100-1000 phone calls to follow up on your letter, you won't send the letter!
But phoning to follow up individual letters asking for support—"YES!"
Thoughts on letter follow-up phone calls:
- To maximize the work you already put into your mass appeal letter, phone 5-15 readers and say you are "following up on the letter I sent." Though the reader may not remember your letter, don't be discouraged! Re-describe the cash project and ask if they will prayerfully consider the gift. Possibly 50% will give!
- I find a "letter-phone combination results in the 80% yes-rate. I do it this way:
- Phone to ask if I can send a "5-pound-letter" with a ton of stuff about my ministry and an invitation for support. Most will say "yes, send it" if they have been on your mailing list.
- I send the "5-pound-letter" with the personal appeal personally signed. The letter package includes a pledge card, return envelope, ministry literature and my photo.
- After a week I phone: "Did you get my 5-pound-package?" (Humor.) I take my time to ask about my appeal, and we talk for 20-30 minutes.
- If you seek monthly support, then a letter alone is usually dead in the water. Follow up phone calls are essential to get a yes for monthly.
- Phoning is time-consuming and frustrating because people don't "pick-up." Use social media to find out when to call. But phoning is worth it because it enables your partners to hear your voice and feel your passion.
- Take notes as you talk, and it is usually appropriate to ask if you could pray for them before you say good-bye. And don't say "Bye-bye!" That is how babies talk!