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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.