This post got me thinking….
How do I find out which of my missionary prospects has the "right stuff"? Until we have a scoring model that can pre-identfy these folks in a donor file (something our partner DonorTrends is working on) I guess there’s no substitute … I have to ask or "test" them!
So, I’d come up with a simple missionary request for my prospects (actually, a few requests over time to really probe my prospect pool) … something that involved outreach — such as passing along a message or sending in a prospect name. The donors who responded would be my missionaries. …I’d then attempt to "graduate" them to some explicit donor-to-friend fundraising promotion. I’d conduct as much of this program online as possible, using the latest viral marketing and social networking tools. And I’d create a recognition program to keep my missionaries motivated.
This is good but I think most groups are missing the deep outreach to new members. The people likely to be “missionaries” are the “sneezers” which has more to do with the rank in a social group, the topic area and personality type. In “grapevine” there was talk that it is the new members that are your most likely evangelist. They just “found you” and eager to tell friends of the “new experience”. Social marketing is not about donors and loyalty. It is about buzz. i don’t think the process outlined really gets at the evagelism you seek.
I would start mining the data of new people that arrive. Focus on the tools and behavior that the new people engage in and and make sure they have the tools they need to “invite” friedns and keep confident that connecting with your cause or group was a great idea.
Focus on launching services to as existing base and see how they pick up and open issues and then see if i could get them to perform. I would focus more resources on the “new customers” that are just coming to you for whatever reason and understand why your group is attractive in the current context. Getting old members that joined 5 years ago to give you a few nnames is fine but I don’t think it is going to be the approach that will give you the best ROI.