The Top 5 items to consider when looking at Marketing Automation

You Betcha, Marketing Automation is applicable for Nonprofits! Call @smartnonprofit for help. Whether you are a Fundraising Nonprofit or Member Based Nonprofit you need to market yourself, just as businesses do. That’s why marketing automation software is an essential tool for both businesses and nonprofits. In this article, we wanted to address 5 items which we believe need to be factored in when evaluating marketing automation software today.

Obviously, Nonprofits and Member based associations have special needs when it comes to marketing. It’s vital to retain current members and donors, in addition to attracting new ones. Marketing automation software can make it easy to run multi-channel campaigns that target specific groups at specific times. Below is a list of 5 worthy of considering:

Five Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for Marketing Automation Software

  1. Software Can’t Replace a Marketing Plan

    Even the best software is only as good as the marketing plan it supports. In fact as many as 1/3 of marketing automation software users say they are dissatisfied. Why? In most cases it’s because they don’t have a fully developed, implementable marketing plan.To get the best results, draft a thorough marketing plan in advance. Then choose software based on the plan.

  2. Integration Is a Must

    A solid marketing plan uses many avenues to reach past, present and future members and stakeholders. Look for software that will integrate with your constituent management software (CRM, AMS, or Donor) online marketing efforts, including website content management software, on-line display ads, SEO and social media. The system needs an open and extensible API. Be sure it does!

  3. Look for Sophisticated Segmentation

    Members are the life-blood of most nonprofits and associations. Over time, members are likely to have multiple statuses, sometimes multiple statuses at once. At any given time an individual member could be lapsed, dues paying, a board member, a major donor, or a past donor. Look for software that can engage members (past, present and future) based on sophisticated segmentation.

  4. Respect the Old, Embrace the New

    Marketing changes with technology. Look for software from a company that respects mature marketing channels which are often referred to as Outbound Marketing  but also has strong Inbound Marketing capabilities. In addition, you want marketing software that can be updated as new marketing avenues become available.

  5. Expect Exceptional Ease of Use

Marketing Automation Software is a complex product and a significant investment of both money and staff time. Look for software backed by a company that has developed a very easy to use interface. Content Creation (Forms, Email Templates) is the life blood of the system so you better be sure that you can easily set those up and/or they have some great starter templates to use. Further, you need to be able to get around the system easily. A nice dashboard which will show you the KPI’s your tracking (Recently Sent items/success, Recent Responses, Downloads, Who’s visited your website) etc. need to be easy to get into.

Obviously, this just scratches the surface of what you may need. That noted, if you would like to learn more about marketing automation software or how it may or may not be a fit for your nonprofit, please Contact Us.


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Top 5 Ways Twitter can be enhanced by Marketing Automation Software

Social Media and Marketing Automation is killer

Social Media is no longer optional. In this article, we wanted to explore ways in which Twitter and Marketing Automation can play a role in your nonprofit or association right now.

Top 5 Ways Social Media can be enhanced by Marketing Automation Software 

If your nonprofit has been around a while, chances are that you’re pretty experienced with email marketing automation. You have got a handle on segmenting your association membership list into different categories and sending targeted emails to donors depending on their engagement levels. But have you thought about using marketing automation in other areas? Social media is ripe for keeping connected with your donors and constituents.

Here are some ideas derived from nonprofit executives for handling your Twitter feeds with the same professional panache.

1. Ramp up for upcoming events

A great way to engage your community is to give them regular reminders for upcoming events. Set up automatic tweets about the event when the registration goes live, just before the early registration deadline, then two months, two weeks, and two days before the event. If there’s an option to attend online, make sure to tweet about that as well.

2. Don’t automate everything

Yes, it’s good to set up a schedule, but if something cool happens at headquarters, don’t hesitate to tweet. Nonprofit organizations rely on keeping that human connection, so send a picture of the summer staff picnic #wishyouwerehere.

3. Use a social platform

Leading Marketing Automation platforms provide a social platform to monitor effectiveness and catch trends. In the same way that email automation software tracks response, open rates, click-throughs and other relevant data, you will want to monitor activity within groups of your Twitter followers, what hashtags are active, etc. This will help in planning your future automated tweets, and also give you the chance to jump into a particularly active conversation with a retweet or comment that keeps your nonprofit in the forefront of your constituents’ minds.

4. Twitter Prospecting Twitter prospecting

Many Marketing Automation tools today have integrated Twitter Prospecting capabilities into their offering. Marketing Automation prospecting capabilities may lead you to that ultra-relevant tweeter member or donor who needs your help or is ready to give a donation– right now. Using targeted search terms, you can search Twitter to quickly find people who are tweeting about topics relevant to your membership group (medical, law, plumbing), conference or offer. Your entire staff can see what’s top of mind with them and respond appropriately. Increase your traffic. Build new relationships. Drive donor and non-dues revenue.

5. Retweet your Posts with Marketing Automation

Blogs can still be relevant, weeks after they are written (and, of course, tweeted at the time!). If there’s something going on in your industry that relates to an old post, retweet that post and make the connection to the news.

It does sometimes seem like Social Media is taking over the world. However, take a deep breath, and recall that Twitter and marketing automation software are simply tools in your arsenal to help engage your members and donors. And, when applied to uses which increase value, can be awesome!

To learn more about various social media automation software tools available today, and/or how they may help improve both visibility and constituent engagement at your nonprofit organization, contact us today.

How to Get Social with Inbound Marketing in Nonprofit Associations

Inbound Marketing is tailored made for nonprofits and associations

Nonprofit and for profit organizations should consider implementing a strategy for Inbound marketing on social media.


By going with social media for your inbound marketing, you will have the option of reaching a lot more people. This is a great way to increase the number of followers you have and reach those you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. So how do you get social with Inbound marketing? Take a look a few quick tips!

Interact with Donors, Members, and Vendors 

One of the most important things you must do when using social media for inbound marketing is to interact with your members, donors, vendors. We live in a digital world where we connect with people more on-line than most face to face interactions. So, being “snooty”, crass, or even being rude will get you nowhere. When your donors, members, & followers talk to you, talk back. When you see them post stuff, comment on it. The power of “Thank You” is far underrated. You must interact with them to make it on social media.

Have a Call-to-Action Post Every So Often

In order to be successful with inbound marketing on social media, you have to give. Which means you will need to do a call-to-action post ever so often. An example of this would be to offer an incentive (Gamification) to those who share your post. Another example would be to hold a drawing for all of those who shared your post. This is a great way to get out there in the social media world because people love free things and incentives.

Keep Your Social Media Pages Updated

This third tip cannot be stressed enough. It is dire that you keep your social media pages updated. This is for your followers and the new followers you may gain. Your followers want to see new content on the page often. They want to know what is going on with your organization. Potential followers will turn away if they see that you don’t care about the content of your social media pages. If you haven’t updated your page in three months, why would they want to follow you? So provide fresh content and valuable information on your social pages often.

Get some help through Software

Whether you are a small nonprofit association or a large one, it’s always useful to find software tools to help automate social media for your organization. Many Marketing Automation platforms have just what you need to help in this area. Today, some of the common features available are scheduled posting of content, keeping track of specific members on social media, tracking dialog between members and donors, custom templates for responses, and storing/reviewing “search terms” relevant to your organization. And, more good news! There is a fit for every budget.

Caution: You can’t do one thing! 

As with most marketing activities, unfortunately, there is no “silver bullet”. And, Inbound marketing is not the only tool which should be used in your tool box. Inbound marketing should be instituted soon (if not already) because it is a great way to reach out and gain new followers. Don’t be afraid to use every valuable option that is available to you.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss Inbound Marketing or other marketing automation options for your association or nonprofit today. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.