8. Build your audience, then stay connected
Everywhere you go, you should be collecting people, Levy said, and tracking them. For instance:
- Always collect e-mail addresses, Twitter followers, people who like you on Facebook and YouTube viewers.
- Think about how you can partner with other organizations to build your exposure and audience. Can you do a joint venue?
- Segment and prioritize your audience — a casual YouTube viewer may not merit the same level of effort as a significant donor.
- Stay in touch in whatever way makes sense to your audience (e-newsletter, postcard mailings, print or online magazine, annual report, etc.). Use your communications plan to monitor cadence. Don't communicate too much or too little. "Know who you're communicating with and what they really care about," Levy said.
- Be perceptive, responsive, relevant and compelling.
9. Remember to say thank you
Look for every opportunity to recognize your supporters for their contributions to your success. Mail printed notes, invites to events, shout outs and send quick e-mails.
"Unfortunately, when you thank people they are surprised because they don't get thanked enough," Levy said. "The more you thank them, the more they feel relevant and that they matter … and the more they will do for you."
10. Measure, measure, measure
Ask yourself how you will measure results and how you will know you've succeeded for every tactic you consider. Then report, report, report, Levy said. "The thing not enough people are doing — and it's really easy — is reporting. Here's what we set out to do. Here's what was done. And here are our results and what we learned.
"Make sure your staff and board are aware of what you're doing in terms of marketing communication and where you've been successful. Not enough people get enough credit for the work they're doing," she added. "You've got to toot your own horn to get people to understand why marketing matters."