Is Multichannel Marketing Right for Your Organization?
A multichannel marketing strategy means consistently interacting with your target donors on a variety of channels so that they see your message wherever they go. They are served an ad on their favorite news website, see an out-of-home billboard on the subway, receive an email with a donation ask and hear your organization is sponsoring their favorite podcast.
This strategy provides donors with multiple touch points that present a consistent message and create lots of meaningful interactions.
On average, it takes six or more touch points with your audience for them to act. The more channels you can reach them on, the faster you can turn a prospective donor into a first-time donor and then into a life-long champion.
Here are five advantages of multichannel marketing.
1. Extend Your Audience Reach
The biggest problem with marketing on a sole channel (only television, only email, etc.) is that when your customers stop watching TV or fail to clear their inboxes, you lose your access to them. With multichannel marketing, you can find and reach your customers throughout the day or night — no matter where they are.
By understanding your audience and creating donor profiles, you can spend ad dollars on the channels where your donors and potential donors are. Think about donor profiles as more than just where a person interacts with your organization. Instead, they allow you to build out a robust profile that provides a complete 360-degree view of donors.
- What brands do they use?
- How do they travel?
- Where do they vacation?
- Are they a Mac or a PC user?
Having a clear understanding of who a person is allows you to create messaging on channels that show how you fit seamlessly into their lives.
2. Improve Your Donor Journey
The amount of time between a prospective donor viewing your content or discovering your organization and making a donation is critical. The more time that passes, the less likely they’ll contribute. Multichannel marketing reaches your customers wherever they are (online, in their inbox, on their phone, in the mail, etc.) and provides a consistent direct link to a conversion. Here are a few ways to improve your prospects’ conversions.
Understand your donor journey. If you haven’t already, you should create a donor journey map that includes every touch point from awareness to donation and beyond. This will allow you to shift your perspective to be donor centered.
Design for the donor, not for yourself. It’s important to remember that the donor journey is about the donor, not about you. Too often, organizations create experiences that are convenient for them, rather than for their audiences.
Keep it simple. The donor journey should be easy to understand and use. Donors should be able to easily find the needed information and complete the needed tasks in order to contribute. Well-designed landing pages that remove distractions (including main navigation and footer links) with an easy path to conversion are vital to success.
3. Take Advantage of the Benefits Your Different Channels Have
Every channel (website, social, email, SMS, etc.) can be perfect under certain circumstances but less than ideal in others. Using the multichannel marketing model, you can take advantage of the different channel’s positive features while mitigating those situations where it falls short.
You can combine each channel you’re targeting into one multichannel marketing campaign to react immediately to any situation that arises. The only way that your organization can benefit from the positive attributes of each channel and negate their weaknesses is by using a multichannel marketing strategy.
For example, each of these channels has its pros and cons but these channels are blended together, all of the bases are covered.
- Radio. This has a large audience though targeting is difficult and it is relatively expensive.
- Social media. This is Inexpensive and very targeted, but requires trial and error. It demands interaction and authenticity (and can be time intensive).
- Newspaper. This has good local reach and is great for older customers.
- Email. This is good for interaction with existing audiences, but your message can be easily overlooked in a crowded inbox.
- Google Ads Grants. This is free ad spend with coverage of intent-based search terms, but has spend and cost-per-click limits.
4. Enhance the Success of Your Retargeting Campaigns
Retargeting (or remarketing) is an essential part of any marketing strategy, and taking a multichannel approach can help with that, too. Offering your donors a cross-channel experience can be the determining factor between them contributing or not.
Retargeting allows you to show ads to people who have visited your website or interacted with your organization in the past. This is a great way to keep your brand top-of-mind and encourage potential donors to come back and donate.
This doesn’t just have to be a one-size-fits-all effort but can be segmented. So maybe in your donor journey mapping you saw that a person visited your site then read a blog post then left and eventually came back to read another blog post before they donated. Using retargeting you can inject a paid post in front of them sooner because you know their preferred platform and the content they are interested in. By breaking out your retargeting efforts into where people are in your conversion funnel, you can move donors forward faster.
5. Experiment With Different Ways to Tell Your Story
Multichannel marketing, whether it’s print/television/radio or email/SMS/social (or a combination of all of these) is one of the best ways to increase conversions, boost your retargeting efforts and extend your reach.
All channels do something well and require a unique piece of content. This doesn’t mean a new story, but a new way of telling your story. Implementing a multichannel marketing strategy provides the opportunity to tell your story in different ways and find the best way to connect with people and drive them to action.
Ensuring that the story is consistent across channels can also help you find hidden talents within your team as multichannel marketing is best done with a coordinated effort from multiple people.
All of the channels working together to tell your story is the real advantage that can amplify your voice and your impact.
Joe Frye is the account group director for nonprofit and cause at Town Hall Agency. He has spent more than a decade helping organizations make an impact and connect their missions with individuals. He has led award-winning projects and campaigns for organizations including PBS, Partners of the Americas, the Identity Theft Resource Center, Showtime Networks, Duke University, UNESCO and many others.
Joe's experience at the intersection of technology, data and creativity provide a unique perspective that allows organizations to create impactful digital ecosystems, increase donations, grow membership, improve member retention and increase overall revenue.