This is the second of four blogs during October 2012 about cultivating “Multi-Channel Outreach” in development campaigns. Last week we explored the Ten Dial Dashboard as a framework for organizing your next multi-channel campaign. This week we begin a two-part discussion about the variety of tech tools at your disposal.

Part One: Write Your Own Recipe

Amy's apples part one The assortment of apples available in Colorado during this time of year is amazing. My local farmers’ market boasts popular apples such as Gala or Golden Delicious and heritage varieties such as Ben Davis and Red June. Additionally there are “newly planted” categories such as Roxbury Russet and Calville Blanc. Each delivers its own combination of sweet and tart to please all tastes. I usually buy a bucket of my reliable favorites and experiment with something new. When baking apple pie, my choices may change as some apples can become too juicy. Putting together the right assortment makes all the difference when the ingredients are baked together.

This is also the case when choosing among the abundant variety of tech tools available for multi-channel outreach campaigns. As with the apples, how do you choose which tools to use in your campaign? How might they work with one another? When might you add “newly planted” to your online and offline bucket of apples?

Here are some suggestions for when writing your own recipe:

Lay out Your Ingredients

Imagine that your online and offline options are ingredients found in a recipe. Each tool will deliver a particular outcome. Include or discard ingredients that match your campaign’s goals and budget!

Plan How You Mix Your Ingredients

Decide when one channel will be used and how its use will complement and strengthen the campaign. For example, the Sigma Marketing Group* found that, “combining three spaced-apart emails with direct mail between the waves yielded twice the response rate of email alone and provided the best conversion rate.” Creating a calendar ahead of the campaign will assure that the ingredients have been mixed in the right order.

Determine the Measurement of Each Ingredient

Understand the metrics associated with each tool ahead of the campaign. Use your Social CRM to identify which tool matches the right donor segment and, when used correctly, may create donor movement in the campaign. For example, who should receive emails, hard copy or both? Determine how you will track such communication efforts as segmented among small, medium and major donors.

The time you invest in the design of your multi-channel campaigns will yield the flavor of success you’re seeking.