Automated Marketing: Let’s Get Personal
Emails released based on real-time behavioral data have been shown to increase open rates by 50 percent and conversion rates by 350 percent.
Last week, I wrote about the Great Reformation, which is the impending destruction of your organization’s org chart due to the advent of new technology that delivers the statistics above.
First, online fundraising platforms put traditional marketing tools into fundraisers’ hands, and now automated marketing platforms are dissolving the line between lead generation and closed deals, also called donations. Our world is changing.
Although automation extends beyond just sending emails in a special way, we’ll focus there. What is different? We use the "sonar versus a megaphone" example to help folks understand why we have to pay attention. With sonar automated marketing, you get pings back in the form of measured responses, which you can react to on an individual level. With traditional segmented, variable data email marketing, you are using a megaphone. You can only shout, again and again, with a variety of messages. Any modification to the individual’s experience beyond the first drop is painstaking, error-prone and unlikely due to human bandwidth constraints.
Having the technology to effectively create an individual marketing campaign for every single person is amazing, but the technology also allows us to put to work some psychological tools we could not otherwise do in an automated sense.
Automated marketing works together with traditional, inbound marketing to increase efficiency and scale. There are two main reasons that I believe will compel every nonprofit—both large and small—to use automated marketing tools within the next five years. They are:
- Drive faster revenue growth
- Focus on the right prospects
- Develop relationships even before they become supporters
- Engage at the right time(s)
- Reach more supporters/prospects
- Enable personalized interactions with each supporter
Automated marketing works together with traditional marketing, rather than replacing it. Inbound marketing creates compelling content to attract and acquire supporters/donors. Inbound’s job is not to find leads, but to help leads find you. What does having great, relevant content do? Inbound marketing can deliver the following:
- Increased brand awareness
- More favorable attitude toward brand
- More prospects with less investment
But inbound marketing has limitations. It is necessary, but not sufficient, to acquire (enough) supporters in today’s noisey media world. The two most critical limitations of traditional marketing are:
- It is difficult to target specific audiences
- It doesn’t get people to act
As I’ve written in previous blogs, getting people to act is the critical first step to developing alignment with the organization’s mission.
Back to the statistics:
Personalized, 1:1 emails based on real-time behavioral data have been shown to increase open rates by 50 percent and conversion rates by 350 percent, according to Jupiter Research.
And Marketo notes that nurturing relationships with leads who aren’t ready to buy "can result in 50 percent more leads at 33 percent lower cost." Next week, we delve into how automated marketing, combined with psychological strategy, creates unprecedented results.
Otis spent most of his career in the education industry, working at the psychometric research and development firm MetaMetrics Inc., Pearson Education and others. Since 2013, he has focused on the nonprofit sector, applying psychology to fundraising and donor behavior at Turnkey. He is the co-author of the 2017 book, ”Dollar Dash: The Behavioral Economics of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising” and is a frequent speaker at national nonprofit conferences. With Katrina VanHuss, he co-authors a blog at NonProfit PRO, “Peeling the Onion,” on the intersection of psychology and philanthropy.
Otis is a much-sought-after copywriter for nonprofit fundraising messages. He has written campaigns for UNICEF, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen, the USO and dozens of other organizations. He has degrees in social psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and The University of Virginia, where he also played on UVA’s first ACC champion basketball team.
Katrina VanHuss has helped national nonprofits raise funds and friends since 1989 when she founded Turnkey. Her client’s successes and her dedication to research have made her a sought-after speaker, presenting at national conferences for Blackbaud, Peer to Peer Professional Forum, Nonprofit PRO, The Need Help Foundation and her clients’ national meetings. The firm’s work is underpinned by the study and application of behavioral economics and social psychology. Turnkey provides project engagements, coaching, counsel and staffing to nonprofits seeking to improve revenue or create new revenue. Her work extends into organizational alignment efforts and executive coaching.
Katrina also regularly shares her wit and business experiences on her and Otis Fulton's NonProfit PRO blog “Peeling the Onion.” When not writing or researching, Katrina likes to make things — furniture from reclaimed wood, new gardens, food with no recipe. Katrina’s favorite Saturday is spent cleaning out the garage, mowing the grass, making something new, all while listening to loud music by now-deceased black women, throwing in a few sets on the weight bench off and on, then collapsing on the couch with her husband Otis to gang-watch new Netflix series whilst drinking sauvignon blanc.
Katrina grew up on a Virginia beef cattle and tobacco farm with her three brothers. She is accordingly skilled in hand to hand combat and witty repartee — skills gained at the expense of her brothers. Katrina’s claim to fame is having made it to the “American Gladiator” Richmond competition as a finalist in her late 20s, progressing in the competition until a strangely large blonde woman knocked her off a pedestal with an oversized pain-inducing Q-tip. Katrina’s mantra for life is “Be nice. Do good. Embrace embarrassment.” Clearly she’s got No. 3 down.