Solving complex problems with insufficient resources isn’t really solving problems. With rapidly developing cloud-based technologies, solutions are out there! Let’s take a quick look at marketing automation and how it could help a nonprofit stay more connected and keep its donors coming back for more.
Automated marketing can really empower an organization allowing the people of the organization to better pursue its mission. So where to begin? An article in a Virtuous publication outlines 4 ways a nonprofit could benefit from using marketing automation software.
- Welcome Series: With new names on your donor list it is important to have a special series of emails automatically sent to them over the course of a week or two. This series should provide a thank you for the initial donation followed by things like other resources that might be of interest to them, short videos that may show the impact of their giving, non-cash giving opportunities, a link to social media feed, and a newsletter highlighting different aspects of the organization and its programs. This is geared more toward giving the donor a good introduction to your organization and what you do, as well as what you need. After the welcome series is complete you can then add them to your regular email communications list.
- Gift Receipting: Acknowledgement letters are both critical and time consuming. A quick follow up with a donor thanking them for their support builds trust, lets them know that you care about their support, and also shows that you are an efficiently run organization deserving of continued support. Using marketing automation programs can save time and increase donor retention. Studies have shown that a donor thanked within 48 hours of a gift being received significantly boosts their likelihood of giving again.
- Event Follow Up: Events are a great way to bring in new supporters and strengthen relationships with existing donors. Having hundreds or even thousands of new supporters waiting to get involved, one-on-one time to get to know them is impossible. Automated email sequences are designed to help you learn more about the supporter and suggest all the ways they can get involved and make a difference.
- Trigger-based Communication: These are communications based on the behavior or activity of the recipient. Marketing automation is tailor-made to handle trigger-based communications with donors. They can be emails generated to give milestones like year-to-date or life-to-date giving, acknowledging the establishment of a monthly recurring gift, project impact follow ups for donors giving to a specific initiative, or follow ups to supporters that open emails but don’t quite complete the steps to fulfill the main call-to-action.
(Compiled from 4 Ways Nonprofit Marketing Automation Can Streamline Processes and Donor Communication by Jeff Jacobs, Virtuos.com; How Nonprofits Can use Automation To Streamline Their Processes by Dan Pennell, Forbes.com; Five tips for developing a successful email welcome series by Brad Davies, Virtuouscrm.com)