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August 25, 2020

Digital Marketing to Drive Donations: Part One

NP_Digital Fundraising


When it comes to your digital marketing efforts, four key areas hold the highest importance: your website, social media, email, and digital advertising.


We have addressed what your website needs and what social media strategies you can employ. In this section, we are going to discuss how email and digital advertising can help drive donations and increase engagement for your nonprofit.


Your website functions as the central hub of your digital marketing efforts. When you use digital advertising, you drive traffic to it. Your site provides content for your social media and email efforts, which then use that content to drive traffic back to your website.


You might be wondering how this encourages donations. Consider the following examples:


• An ad shows how your organization can help after a significant disaster and directs donors to the donate page on your website so they can provide financial support.

• A social post discusses upcoming volunteer events and encourages people to visit your website for more details on how they can participate.

• An email highlights a particular program that your organization needs more funding to implement and directs donors to your website to make a matched contribution.


What happens if a person clicks on your ad, the link in your email, or on your social post, but they leave your website right away without donating? That's where retargeting comes in.


Retargeting and Display Ads

Retargeting is a way to get your message back in front of people who have previously engaged with your content and encourages them to come back. Did you know that a person is 10x more likely to take an action on a website when clicking on a retargeting ad?


Pro Tip: Remember, the people you are serving ads to already showed interest in your mission—you just need to remind them you're there. Use your timely ads to push targeted users back to your website. For example: if they visited a page about your work in a specific country, serve them an ad that shows how their donation can help people in that country.


The principle of retargeting is also useful with display ads, which should also be a part of your digital marketing strategy. Using services such as Google Ads, you can create targeted digital ad campaigns to attract the type of audience you want to reach.


Email Marketing

When it comes to email marketing, you don't need to reinvent the wheel each time you send out a communication. In fact, the simpler you can keep the design, the better. A stellar nonprofit email should fit within the following parameters:


• Keep the same, consistent look that mirrors the rest of your marketing

• Be concise and include links to your website, donation page, and your about page in the event it gets forwarded

• Send monthly—try to avoid email fatigue by sending too many emails unless you are promoting a specific cause/campaign

Why email marketing? Statistics show that email-based marketing and promotional campaigns helped generate 28% of all online nonprofit revenue in 2017.


Your emails can be more than just your newsletter—there are a variety of ways you can incorporate email into your digital fundraising strategy.


Appeal Campaigns—mimic your direct mail appeals to reinforce the message

Thank You—send after an event or donation to show your appreciation

Remarketing—create a campaign that goes out after someone visits your website, but does not donate

Events—promotions, RSVPs, volunteer sign-up, and donation links

Success stories—share blog posts/news articles that highlight major donors or campaign milestones


There are a variety of easy-to-use email platforms available, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp.


Pro Tip: Some email platforms integrate with CRM systems like Salesforce or Blackbaud. Keep this in mind when looking at email platforms.


Looking for the best way to keep your prospects engaged? We can help with a FREE Drip Campaign Assessment to come up with a plan to keep your message and appeals top-of-mind this campaign season.

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