It’s easy to confuse basic email marketing with marketing automation. While they’re both powerful concepts that can substantially enhance your nonprofit’s donor development and retention efforts, there are quite a few things that make them different. In a nutshell, marketing automation helps nonprofits automate their marketing and development efforts, enabling them to generate more support for their cause.
By now, most organizations are likely using software that allows them to automate their email communications. There are a lot of software solutions out there that pose as marketing automation — but don’t be fooled — they’re no more than automated email marketing platforms with a few bells and whistles.
In your search for the right software solution for your organization’s team, remember that to truly be a marketing automation platform, it must have these components:
Landing Pages and Forms
The ability to easily build landing pages and forms is essential to utilizing all of the important information and data collected by marketing automation software solutions. They used to be difficult and time-consuming to design, but the best marketing automation platforms include a variety of pre-made and formatted templates.
Landing pages are designed to funnel traffic toward a specific call-to-action that you want your prospects to take. This can be for a content download or a specific campaign your organization is running. Either way, when you send them to a landing page — that also includes a form — it helps you generate more leads by gathering the necessary contact information you need to fully take advantage of all that your software has to offer.
A software solution equipped with sophisticated, data-driven list-building affords you the opportunity to automatically generate dynamic lists that are constantly growing based on your predetermined parameters.
Let’s say an individual makes a first-time $20 donation to your nonprofit. You want to continue sharing information about your organization’s impact with them to help deepen their engagement in your mission. Your marketing automation software can identify this and automatically add this individual to a new donors’ list. This gives your organization the ability to send hyper-personalized communications with your donors, while still sending emails and other types of content en masse to your audiences.
Digital marketing today is driven by data, and one of the key functionalities of marketing automation software solutions is website tracking. With website-tracking, your organization has the ability to track and capture every person in your database along their journey through your website. This provides your development team with insights such as their specific interest in your cause — whether they’re interested in learning more about your impact, making a donation or signing up to volunteer. Using this information, your development team can meet these individuals with the information they want and need to become dedicated supporters of your mission.
Lead-Scoring and Alerts
Lead-scoring lets you organize and prioritize prospects based on specific actions taken on your website. From filling out a form and giving your organization their email address, to visiting your blog, each action can be scored to help you identify what individuals are most likely to continue engaging with your mission. And each time a lead hits a certain score, the marketing automation software will send an alert to your development team “pinging” them toward action. Once alerted by an individual’s score, the team can then trigger a series of pre-loaded automated campaigns to drive engagement between these targeted individuals and your nonprofit.
Get Started With Marketing Automation
The case for marketing automation is rooted in its ability to transform your marketing and development efforts. With these software solutions, you can market to your donors with the content and messages they want, at a time and place of their choosing. It’s about building deeper relationships with these individuals — not just maintaining the status quo. The power of marketing automation rests in its many functions. These capabilities work together to supercharge your marketing and development efforts, ensuring you’re getting the most out of your investment in whichever marketing automation software solution you decide is right for your team.
This blog was published as a guest article for Nonprofit Pro, the go-to source for nonprofit management and strategy.