Last minute optimisations to help your tax campaign sing

by Cameron McMaster
June 16, 2021

Your tax appeal is likely in full swing. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for some last minute tweaks. Here’s our tips on optimising your campaign to ensure it’s performing as best as possible.

Apply the learnings from last year’s campaign

Make sure you apply last year’s learnings to this year’s campaign planning and ongoing optimisations. 

Ask what did you learn from last year?  For example:

  • How many donations did you get and when?

  • Which audiences had a high or low return on ad spend (ROAS)?

  • Which creative performed best?

  • What channel performed best? 

These learnings, plus the learnings you’re making in real time, should inform your last minute optimisations — guiding which channels, audiences, ad types, and creative you need to invest in to push donations through at tax time. Any major last minute changes should be informed by a strong testing framework. This should include a hypothesis test and clear success criteria. This could include testing multiple versions of ad copy with the same image for social media, testing landing pages for new donor acquisition or trialling different dollar handles in your messaging. Push harder into what is working and trim those elements that are not.

Separate out your audiences to deliver a more personalised approach

Separate out your first party audiences (i.e. previous donors, eDM, Direct Mail lists, website visitors) from your new acquisition/prospecting audiences. 

Your previous supporters will always be most likely to give to your organisation, so make sure you are targeting them on digital — but not bombarding them throughout the tax time campaign. 

Hone in on new segments through demographic, location and interest based targeting so that you can build them into long-term future supporters. Remember that EOFY tends to skew heavily to high income earners, business owners and older donors. You should be prepared for new supporter segments to not achieve as high a return on ad spend as your first party audiences. It’s still important to target these acquisition segments, to drive donation volume and for long-term growth of supporters over time.

Up-weight your budget to where you’ll get results

For EOFY, the bulk of your donations come through in the last five to seven days of your campaign. In fact, many organisations will see over 50% of their revenue come in during the final week and the majority of that 50% in the final three days before June 30. 

We know more people give close to June 30, so it’s important to set aside enough budget to maximise your campaign during these final days. 

Also, look to weight your budget to where you are getting real-time results. Redirect spend toward the audiences and keywords that are performing well (use return on ad spend as the key measure), and reduce spend on those which are not performing. 

Finally, lift your paid search bid caps in the final few days knowing that it’s both very competitive and the period when larger donations make higher bids extremely worthwhile.


Switch in new creative to drive urgency in the final days

Raising funds at tax time is a tricky business. We need to gain attention in a cluttered charity environment. 

In the final week/days of your campaign, it’s important to increase the urgency in your messaging. 

Urgency is a key factor for people donating in the moment and EOFY is one of those few moments of the year for charity and not for profits that creates genuine urgency. Look for other reasons that might increase people's urgency to choose you for their support. Is there a strong need in your field of support or a funding shortfall to get a project off the ground? Will dollar matching create an extra incentive? These types of messages can increase urgency and motivate people to give.

The most important thing to remember is that no campaign should ever be set and forget. Especially not at tax time. Keep an eye on your metrics throughout the period and ensure you’re regularly optimising. Your fundraising results will thank you, we promise. 

PS: Are you after more specific tips for your paid advertising activity? We’ve created a handy Tax Time Playbook with pointers on objective setting, audience targeting, creative and landing page optimisation. Follow this link to get the playbook sent straight to your inbox.