Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that is designed to attract visitors as they spend their time online, convert them into contacts, donors and evangelists for your nonprofit’s cause. Many nonprofit organizations find the inbound marketing methodology to be more effective that traditional marketing for building their contact list, and converting more donors, volunteers and evangelists for their cause.
Yet, many nonprofits struggle to adapt their marketing in today’s online world. While most have a website and use email and social media to some degree, they often miss advantages that digital marketing channels provide, such as individualized messaging and precise tracking that can prove the success of their marketing efforts.
Nonprofits’ constituents are spending more and more time online. This empowers them to find information that interests them, control the marketing messages they want, and block what they do not want. Here are 6 tips for nonprofit organizations to improve their inbound marketing.
1. Speak “With” constituents; not “At” them
Be conversational. Write emails and social posts that come from a person, not the organization. Some options include a staff member expert, a board member, or a participant.
2. Provide a “One to One” message
People expect a personalized experience online. A big donor has different questions and concerns than someone who makes smaller donations. Segment your contact list so that you can tailor your messages to specific groups.
3. Ask for input and feedback
Wondering what kind of fundraising events people would be interested in? A great way to engage people with your cause is to as their opinion. This can be done in a formal manner using an online survey tool, like SurveyMonkey, or informally via social media.
4. Encourage comments
Encourage fans and followers of your social media channels to post, comment and share your posts. Use social media tools like HootSuite or Hubspot to monitor and respond to social conversations in “real time.”
5. Publicly thank constituents for donating their time and/or money
Simple “thank you’s” make a big difference. Take pictures of your donors and volunteers and post them on your social channels. Be sure to tag the people in the photos so they are notified.
6. Don’t send email blasts
It might sound counterintuitive, but do not send general email “blasts” to your entire contact list. Remember, people want a personalized experience. You would mention different reasons for donating to your organization to a first-time donor, than to a large, repeat donor. Segment your email contact database into smaller, specifically targeted lists. A good rule of thumb is, “a thousand lists of one contact each, is better than a single list of 1,000 contacts.”
Using these tips as part of an inbound marketing strategy can help your nonprofit organization attract visitors, connect with new donors and volunteers, engage them with the content they're searching for, and inspire them as evangelists of your cause.