Marketing Automation: A Guide to Smart Workflows for Fundraisers

Marketing Automation: A Guide to Smart Workflows for Fundraisers

As your organization grows and you work towards optimization and becoming more efficient, fundraising automation is a handy tool to explore. More specifically, marketing automation will allow you to implement the nonprofit marketing and communication processes integral to your fundraising strategy. 

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a process that helps your nonprofit organization to level up your marketing to increase productivity, improve donor communications and make more impact. It amplifies the processes you have in place, so use it wisely! 

In simple terms, marketing automation uses technology to move tasks along and be more productive. In a nonprofit organization, this could look like sending messages to donors or prospects automatically when they move into a specific stage of a donor cycle. It could also mean that team members are alerted when their input is required for specific tasks, projects, or campaigns. 

The benefit of using marketing automation technology in your nonprofit is that it keeps things moving. It improves your overall workflow as a team, helps you work smarter over time, and ensures nothing slips through the cracks. 

Work Smarter with KIT

KIT gives fundraisers access to insights, predictions and recommendations about donors so they can finetune their strategies and be more efficient with their work.

Does Your Nonprofit Need Marketing Automation?

If you are not confident that your organization’s marketing has the desired impact, you should consider honing that before amplifying it with automation. But if you’re certain your nonprofit marketing is moving in the right direction but are unsure about marketing automation, consider these questions: 

  • Are You Generating Donor Leads Steadily? 

A steady influx of leads is evidence that something about your marketing strategy is working, and so you should be safe to automate those processes. If you don’t have a steady lead generation pipeline, automation won’t necessarily fix this issue. You should experiment with your marketing strategy until you find a marketing process that works and see a steady stream of leads. 

  • Is Your Team Feeling Overwhelmed With Your Current Marketing Workflow? 

If your marketing team manually sends emails, posts to social media and performs other creative and administrative tasks, they can quickly become overwhelmed. When this happens, their productivity levels decrease. 

If this is the case with your team, you should consider automating your workflow so your team can spend more time being creative and productive rather than manually putting mundane pieces together all day.  

The benefit of using marketing automation technology in your nonprofit is that it keeps things moving. It improves your overall workflow as a team, helps you work smarter over time, and ensures nothing slips through the cracks.

3 Key Benefits of Marketing Automation for Nonprofits

Marketing automation can benefit your team in three ways: it improves your team’s productivity, enhances donor communication, and increases your nonprofit’s impact. Let’s take a look at how marketing automation can do these three things for your nonprofit and discuss best practices and tools that can help you implement marketing automation.

1. Improves Your Nonprofit Team’s Productivity

Marketing automation can help your marketing team become more productive by automating mundane tasks, segmenting donors automatically, and amalgamating processes across multiple channels. 

A. Automating mundane tasks

Automation can save your marketing team loads of time. There are plenty of mundane tasks that your team spends time doing weekly that could simply be automated with the right tools. 

For example, Hootsuite allows you to automate social media posts across platforms by scheduling posts ahead of time and providing valuable analytics. Tools like Keela and Mailchimp can automatically send timely thank-you messages to your donors when they make a contribution. And KIT can sieve through your database to create comprehensive reports about your donors and fundraising efforts. 

These tools are just four examples of how technology can help your nonprofit marketing and fundraising tasks that tend to take up way too much time. 

B. Working across multiple channels

Multi-channel marketing is a strategy that involves engaging donors at different touchpoints spread across various platforms to help build a stronger relationship with them. Multi-channel marketing has become a best practice among nonprofit marketing teams because it allows you to meet donors where they are and improve the quality of your interactions with them. 

But managing multiple channels—social media, email marketing, website, direct mail, etc.—can be challenging. With so many possible ways available to reach donors, you need to ensure that you are sending one cohesive message at all times. 

Tools like Marketo can help bring all these platforms under one roof, so each channel complements the others instead of competing. Since Marketo offers an omnichannel marketing approach, you can connect with donors through channels that best suit each person.

C. Filtering and segmenting donor lists

Donor segmentation is vital to the success of your nonprofit marketing and donor communication strategies. Automating this process means you can create and send targeted messaging to specific groups of donors. 

With KIT, you can segment donors based on their historical giving data and tailor your fundraising appeals based on each donor’s likelihood to give to a campaign. When automating your donor segmentation process using KIT, your team will have more time to think and act strategically and, ultimately, be more productive.

Start Segmenting Your Donors

Use this FREE Donor Segmentation Template to segment your donors and contacts based on their level of engagement. 

2. Enhances Your Nonprofit’s Donor Communication

Communication is the bread and butter of marketing. The better you communicate with your prospects and donors, the better your chances of winning their trust and securing their support. 

Effective donor communication has more to do with the quality and timing of your messages than anything else. That’s why it is crucial to have a system in place that helps you reach the right donor at the right time, and you can leverage marketing automation to do this. Here’s how: Segment Your Donor List 

As previously mentioned, donor segmentation is a key part of your donor communication. You need to be sure that the prospects and donors who are receiving your messages and appeals are the best fit for your campaign and nonprofit. 

By automating your donor list segmentation process such that donors are filtered into relevant groups and categories, you’re giving your organization in a position to get better responses and improved donor engagement

Consider using tools like Keela or Moosend to automatically segment your email lists. You can set custom email triggers that ensure contacts are ushered into the right segments and workflow. This set-it-and-forget-it system will help ensure no contact slips through the cracks. 

Drip campaigns

Also known as nurture campaigns, drip campaigns involve a slow, steady stream of messages to a donor over a specific period. 

The goal of a drip campaign is to anticipate a donor’s actions and nurture them as they take said actions. These campaigns are set to send communications to donors based on a predetermined series of triggers (e.g, email clicks or opens) and hopefully guide them to take the desired action (e.g., make a donation). 

Did you know that open rates for drip campaigns are about 80% higher than single send emails, and average click-through rates are three times higher? Drip campaigns can boost your nonprofit chances of engaging donors and getting a positive response from them.

The best way to run a drip campaign is by automating it because tracking who has received which emails, or newsletters, manually is a nightmare. To run a drip campaign, you should first determine the campaign’s goal, which can be anything from getting a donation to getting a user to sign up for a newsletter. 

Next, you will determine the triggers that will push an email to be sent out. Then, you will write the email copy to ensure it speaks to the stage at which the donors will be reading the email. It is best to create all emails in a drip campaign at the same time before you kick off the campaign.  

You can use tools like Keela or Hubspot to create drip campaigns. With these tools, you can create smart workflows visually and assign goals to each campaign, so you’re sure you’re hitting your targets.

Types of Drip Campaigns for Nonprofits

1. Welcome campaigns are a steady flow of emails that a donor receives when they first join your nonprofit’s mailing list. These automated emails are curated to provide key welcome messages to the donor, highlight your nonprofit’s mission and impact and nudge them towards staying engaged with your organization. 

charity-water nonprofit welcome email

2. Re-engagement campaigns are a series of emails sent to donors who have stopped interacting with your organization and are at risk of churning. The goal of this type of drip campaign is to remind donors about your organization’s impact and why they donated in the first place. 

3. Increases Your Nonprofit’s Impact

Marketing automation tools can help your nonprofit organization increase its impact by giving you the insights needed to finetune your communications, fundraising, and outreach campaigns. 

These tools can provide you with marketing analytics, help track campaign outcomes, and improve the quality of your interactions with donors. Ultimately, these simplify your workflow and help you become more effective and efficient as a fundraiser or nonprofit. 

Here are three ways marketing automation can increase your nonprofit’s impact: 

A. You Can Gather Key Nonprofit Marketing Insights

Automated nonprofit marketing tools allow you to set and monitor your organization’s goals, KPIs, and metrics. This way, you can measure your team’s progress and ensure you are moving towards quickly smashing your goals. 

By evaluating the quality of each touchpoint and interaction with donors, you can better understand what messaging, communication channel or fundraising approach works best for your organization. With this in mind, you can invest your resources in activities that will yield a better return. 

Marketing automation is a game changer for your nonprofit marketing and fundraising team because it allows you to see what aspects of your strategy and operations are working and which areas need improvement. With KIT, you can track each interaction you make with donors, predict the best time to reach out to donors, and receive suggestions that can help improve the quality of your communication. 

FREE Donor Profile Template for Fundraisers

Use this template to record and track important details about your donors and prospects so you can target the right individuals for the right fundraising campaigns.

B. You Can Track and Monitor Campaign Outcomes Easily

Chances are, you have to create a report after each fundraising campaign you run or organize. It can be challenging to track and monitor every campaign detail, output, and outcome manually. With the right marketing automation tools, you can track your campaign outcomes and spend more time implementing the campaign’s strategies. 

With KIT, you can create comprehensive, visually appealing, presentation-ready campaign reports in little to no time. You can use this tool to report on your campaign outcomes and communicate your nonprofit’s impact to donors, board members, and stakeholders. 

C. You Can Improve Quality of Your Nonprofit’s Donor Communication

Automated marketing allows you to nurture donors much more closely than you would be able to manually. Sending multiple emails based on where donors are in your nonprofit’s fundraising is not scalable without marketing automation. So you need a tool like Keela Automation to ensure your messages are getting to the right donors at the right time.  

Get Timely, Actionable Donor Insights with KIT

KIT helps you uncover patterns and trends in your donor data. It keeps you abreast of any changes in your donor behavior so you can adjust your strategy and stay on track to meet your goals.

Keep in mind that using marketing automation tools doesn’t mean putting your marketing strategy on autopilot completely. Instead, it spares you time so you can think big picture and gather useful information that can help you get creative with your nonprofit marketing, communication, and fundraising campaigns. 

Consider getting a marketing automation tool for your nonprofit so you can improve your workflow and work smarter as a fundraiser. A smart workflow can be the key to taking your nonprofit organization to the next level of impact and success. 

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