Marketing Automation for Nonprofits: Strategies for Nurturing Supporter Relationships
We connected with our partners at Salsa Labs to deliver our best practices on marketing automation for nonprofits.
Why should nonprofits care about marketing automation?
Marketing automation is simply smarter marketing. It puts the focus on user experience and saves an organization time when connecting with supporters at critical points along their journey towards deeper involvement. There are plenty of ways to automate, but many nonprofits start with automating email.
Here’s how to go about automating your organization’s marketing communications:
First, pick your platform(s).
Ask yourself if you have the technology in place that allows you to automate your marketing practices. Your platforms will need to “talk” to each other and work together – CRMs, CMSs, email marketing tools, and more. Marketing automation saves you time by having the platform do the work for your organization, but that requires your platforms to be on the same page.
Next, craft your marketing communications around user behavior.
Take note of the data available to you. Don’t guess when your supporters want to hear from your organization – let the data tell you how to map out your lead flow.
For example, set up an email welcome series after someone signs up with your organization. This is the first touchpoint an individual has with your organization – so take advantage of this and nurture the relationship. A good welcome series tells a story over a series of emails, highlights organizational impact, includes a call-to-action, and sets the expectation for future communications with supporters.
There are plenty of additional use cases for nonprofits, including event reminder emails, follow-ups after form submissions, or automated communications based on button clicks.
Consider your supporter personas.
Persona marketing is a traditional marketing method that works great for automation because of the precise targeting made possible in the digital world. By examining all of the various passion points, demographic information, digital usage patterns, media consumption, and behavioral characteristics within your audience, you can define the exact person(s) you are communicating with.
Try turning your community into a few distinct types of people. This will help to keep your messaging, segmentation, and communications targeted and precise.
Remember to use personalization and keep it authentic.
Use the information you collect about supporters to provide a more unique experience tailored to the individual. Small, personalized details can make a big difference in digital communications.
Consider calling out directly to your email readers by including their name in the subject line or mentioning the last time they interacted with your organization. These actions show your audience that you are interested in connecting with them on a unique and personal level.
Lastly, continue to optimize!
Automation is an ongoing process, not “set it and forget it.” Remember to track everything and listen to the data. Take advantage of the fact that marketing automation allows you to see if how well your communications are resonating with your audience – to see what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re looking for help with email and marketing automation, get in touch with us!