3 Ways To Improve Nonprofit Marketing Outreach
Like all companies, nonprofits have faced many challenges over the last two years. Now as life slowly returns to normal, the recovery process begins. Once again, nonprofits can plan in-person events, increase fundraising efforts, hire employees and invest in marketing outreach efforts to raise awareness. But instead of sending out the usual text messages, emails and bulk flyers in the mail, there are marketing outreach methods and engagement techniques that can enhance and improve response rates and hopefully fundraising totals. Here are three your nonprofit should try.
1. Embrace the Power of the Pen
For starters, nonprofits should evaluate how they are sending out communications to potential and current donors, business partners and other important contacts. Nothing says “pay attention” like a personalized, handwritten note. No one flips past or does not see a handwritten envelope in their mailbox. These stand out from everything else that was delivered. Recipients wonder what could be inside and, while envelopes that look like bills or advertisements could be set to the side, handwritten envelopes are usually opened immediately. The attention-grabbing nature of a handwritten envelope provides an instant advantage that even the biggest and most prevalent direct mail marketers cannot overcome. Spending hours writing notes by hand can be prohibitive, especially for nonprofits that have been struggling to hire, so consider hiring a robot to pick up a pen and do the writing instead.
2. Evaluate Tech Touch Points
The pandemic resulted in people spending more time online and in front of screens than ever before. Nonprofits can benefit from making sure that every aspect of their digital footprint is functioning and updated. Click links and test to make sure they work, ensure photos and descriptions on social media are up to date and refreshed, and then check search engines to make sure that search result information is also correct. Assuming that websites will continue to work as designed and that public information will remain the same over time can be a mistake. Updates to software, human error, and other factors can play a role in desktop websites, mobile sites, social media, and search result data becoming incorrect or failing to function as intended.
3. Avoid Abandoned Carts
As part of a tech sweep, nonprofits should make sure to take a close look at their donation page. Start by looking at the data. Look closely at how many people are visiting the donation page and then navigating to another page of the site without returning, or who is making it to the page and then jumping to another website altogether. If a significant number of people aren’t engaging on the donation page, there could be a problem. Don’t assume that everyone will just enter their credit card number when they hit the donate page.
The “abandoned cart” issues that businesses deal with apply to a donation page, too. People may decide they are not ready to commit. To help limit the number of people who visit and don’t donate, an online giving page should have emotion-evoking photos with captions, a restatement of the nonprofit’s purpose, and impact statements that show the outcomes of the nonprofit’s work. The donation form should be as simple as possible — feature the fewest fields required, showcase security features and be mobile-friendly. And the confirmation page should instruct the donor on what to expect next —an email acknowledgment, handwritten letter from a board member, receipt, etc.
As nonprofits begin planning marketing efforts for 2022, they should take time to audit what worked in 2021, record baseline metrics, and set goals for the year ahead. Then, experiment with a mix of strategies that they’ve used before and incorporate something new when possible.