It’s the end of the fiscal year and your organization has lofty fundraising goals. You vowed to take a more strategic approach to this year’s solicitations, but then, staffing changes and org-wide shifts happened. Now here you are, once again sending last-minute email blasts to your entire database on the final day of your fundraising campaign.
Now more than ever, donors expect a seamless, thoughtful experience built on trust and perceived value from the nonprofit organizations they support. This heightened expectation requires a proactive, long-term approach to constituent engagement, rather than a short-term, transactional one.
Never fear: Marketing automation can help.
Marketing automation refers to the use of technology to automate marketing activities. Though your organization may not technically “sell” a product, if you’re engaged in fundraising or constituent mobilization of any kind, marketing automation can be a game-changer for your organization – helping you to ultimately make a bigger impact with your mission.
Here are three reasons your organization should utilize marketing automation:
1. Increase constituent engagement with personalized messages
It’s no secret that personalization is key to successful communications. However, meaningful personalization requires knowledge about who your constituents are, what they value, and what types of messages will compel them to act.A marketing automation solution can help you gather this information and put it to use. By combining demographic information with data points like what types of email content your audience reads most or which webpages they frequent, you can create content that speaks to why a recipient cares about your mission.
Additionally, a marketing automation solution can allow you to easily track the effectiveness of your efforts and share that information with your internal stakeholders, leading to an iterative approach to constituent communications.
2. Stay top of mind with donors (even when it’s not fundraising season)
How often are you sending non-solicitation communications? Despite your best intentions, it can be difficult to consistently prioritize stewardship emails or other non-fundraising touchpoints. With a marketing automation tool, you can automate stewardship drip campaigns throughout the year. What’s more, you can automate thank-you messages or full-on acknowledgment campaigns after someone donates or takes action.
These evergreen campaigns can help new constituents learn about your organization and keep existing constituents engaged – so when fundraising season rolls around, they are primed and ready to give.
3. Save staff time and internal resources with automated communication
Don’t get me wrong – a marketing automation tool is not a silver bullet, set-it-and-forget-it solution. Implementing and maintaining marketing automation involves planning, content creation and consistent data maintenance in order to truly provide value to your organization. But if your communications team is already stretched thin (or nonexistent), a bit of concerted, strategic effort at the outset well worth the investment. After a sound implementation of your new system, you can easily get to a place where constituents are consistently receiving a variety of content, you’re learning more about them, and gathering data about which approaches are working – all in an automated manner.
This way, you can spend less time pulling lists and building last-minute emails, and more time strategizing and making an impact.
To learn more about how marketing automation can transform your nonprofit, download our e-book: Expanding Your Donor Management with Salesforce and Engagement Marketing.