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Marketing Automation for Nonprofits

Marketing Automation 2 300x157 Marketing Automation for Nonprofits

Drive Donations While Decreasing Costs

Nonprofits thrive or fail based on their ability to optimize activities around the same dynamic as any other organization: maximizing revenue while minimizing costs. While nonprofit revenues are derived from a variety of sources, the most successful nonprofits present thoughtful solicitations to the most receptive potential and past donors via the most efficient means. As a result, marketing automation for nonprofits has exploded recently, as organizations of all sizes seek to exploit advances in technology to quickly develop and nurture their donor bases.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Nonprofits are typically understaffed and underbudgeted, which are almost always the limiting factors for more comprehensive fundraising campaigns. But there will always be opportunities for improvement. For example, a consultant may charge an arm and a leg to suggest personnel changes or Donations 300x281 Marketing Automation for Nonprofitspropose alternative financial models to increase long run margins. Internal fundraising teams may outsource creative in the hopes of improving campaigns’ effectiveness. All are viable options that will likely create long-term value for the nonprofit, but these solutions involve trade offs. Each requires a significant increase in costs before seeing the revenue increase by the target amount. The solution on which this article focuses does not have that trade off: it promises to reduce long-term costs (both fixed and variable) and dramatically increase revenue. The solution, marketing automation for nonprofits, simplifies and streamlines nearly every aspect of the fundraising process, empowering marketing teams to exceed their potential. It is by far the simplest change to implement and, as an extremely low additional fixed cost in the short run, represents the greatest potential ROI.

Marketing Automation for NonProfits– Why it Works

Marketing automation is the future of nonprofit marketing. It integrates a number of marketing channels (email, direct mail, landing pages, microsites, social media, etc.) into a single, easy-to-use platform, and then provides campaign analytics and the ability to personalize campaigns according to each donor’s provided information. This sounds great, but in practice how does it help? Let’s examine the specific nonprofit revenue drivers affected by marketing automation.   Nonprofit fundraisers know that there are two distinct ways to increase revenue: pull larger donations from existing patrons and expand the total number of donors. Each strategy has its own difficulties and associated variable costs. This section will focus exclusively on how marketing automation improves revenue streams – the next section will deal with how it decreases costs. It is helpful to disaggregate the two in order to illustrate the true value that marketing automation for nonprofits can provide.

Revenue Increase:

As stated before, there are two ways to increase fundraising: “upsell” existing patrons or find additional donors. Upselling is the process of convincing one time or irregular donors to become consistent, regular donors or moving a regular donor into a higher donation tier. The upsell technique revolves around understanding a donor’s profile and appealing to spending characteristics particular to his or her demographics and interests. Since this process varies for each individual client, it is difficult to reproduce on a mass scale. As such, nonprofit marketers have tended to focus the upsell method on large, reliable donors that have an established relationship with the foundation. They simply have not had the manpower to personalize campaigns for each small donor. Marketing automation changes all that. The software’s ability to create personalized campaigns, content and incentives without the extended involvement of marketing personnel means that every donor can feasibly receive a personalized campaign geared towards increasing his or her contributions. The software uses data gathered on each individual past donor, and then automatically personalizes the content directed at those individuals. This data may be gathered from landing pages, past transactions, or simple click-through records. By optimizing the use of this information for each individual donor, marketers have the power to “upsell” every lead they have, not just the ones that are lucrative enough to warrant devoting personal attention. In this setting, marketing automation effectively maximizes the dollar per donor figure – something that every nonprofit dreams about.

IncreaseRevenue 300x157 Marketing Automation for Nonprofits

In addition to the ongoing effort to improve the revenue per donor metric, nonprofit marketers must continually find new patrons to continue revenue growth.   This strategy involves a completely different skill set than the upsell strategy. It requires broad appeal, cross-channel campaigns aimed at generating the most responses possible. Many nonprofits use simple email-only marketing software, and will supplement those campaigns with occasional direct mail blasts. For nonprofits strapped for cash, this may seem like the only option to expand their donor base. Marketing automation for nonprofits, however, is the rapidly emerging alternative. It allows organizations to touch prospective donors across many types of media, a method proven to get results. By allowing marketers and fundraisers to easily reach consumers across many different marketing channels, marketing automation shows enormous potential for increasing revenue.

Cost Decrease:

Budget size is always an area of primary concern to nonprofits, so any effort to cut costs without sacrificing revenue is quickly embraced. Marketing automation is extremely effective at reducing these costs, both fixed and variable.

The logic for reducing variable costs through marketing automation for nonprofits is simple. If a campaign is focusing on upselling past donors, the marginal cost of launching an additional personalized campaign with marketing automation is negligible, if not zero. Compare that to launching personalized campaigns donor-by-donor “by hand” – marketers will invest enormous amounts of their valuable (and expensive) time on each donor, skyrocketing the campaign’s variable costs. Alternatively, if a nonprofit is looking to find additional donors, the use of marketing automation software’s cross-channel marketing capabilities will reduce the marginal cost of every new lead targeted. Bundling email, direct mail, lading pages, social media marketing and more into a single automated software package inevitably makes using each individual channel less expensive than if each had been purchased separately. Thus, the variable costs of a cross-channel campaign done with marketing automation software will be far lower than those of a cross channel campaign done without it.

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Fixed costs, in the long run, also decrease with the use of marketing automation. This concept revolves around the idea that software reduces time spent building and administering campaigns. Although marketing software inevitably carries with it a monthly or annual fixed cost, the cost of the hours of labor saved turn out to be far greater than the software’s price. The slight increase in the nonprofit’s technological fixed costs are more than offset by the associated reduction in labor fixed costs. In the end, it all comes down to this: the less time spent by marketing teams handling tasks that can be handled by a computer, the lower a nonprofit’s costs will be. The fixed costs per campaign decrease, marketers have more time to do what they do best and the nonprofit’s margins increase noticeably.

Marketing automation for nonprofits offers precise control of branding initiatives, content marketing campaigns and fundraising blasts


Amidst these discussions of increasing margins, it is important not to lose sight of the nonprofit’s true goal: to best serve the cause or foundation it represents. How a nonprofit positions itself around its defining cause inevitably establishes its brand, whether intentional or not. Even in an examination of a nonprofit’s strategy from 30,000 feet like this, the impact marketing can make is clear. Marketing automation for nonprofits offers precise control of branding initiatives, content marketing campaigns, fundraising blasts, and more. It allows for considerable inter- and intra-campaign control, guaranteeing carefully tailored and consistent brand positioning across various segments of the donor population.

Depending on the size of the nonprofit, different marketing automation products are available. Small to medium organizations will prefer a “lightweight” marketing automation platform – software that is uncomplicated and cost effective. Nonprofit marketing agencies also tend to prefer lightweight marketing automation platforms, as they recognize that a vast majority of their clients are underbudgeted and understaffed. The larger nonprofits may find greater value in more expensive platforms that offer practically limitless analytics and campaign options. Whether large or small, all nonprofits will soon recognize marketing automation as a substantial, reliable, and fast-acting return on investment.

pURLs In Direct Mail: A Marketing Best Practice

pURLs In Direct Mail – Powerful Integrated Marketing 

Marketers today know that using pURLs in direct mail is a marketing best practice, but are unsure of how to use them effectively in their direct mail campaigns. pURLs are unique, personalized URLs that serve as the foundation of a variety of marketing campaigns that use direct mail, email and mobile channels. So, how do pURLs work? pURLs send recipients to a personalized landing page or microsite with customized content. This content will contain more information about a product or offer and will most often include a form or call to action. Once the recipient goes to the pURL, marketers can easily track results and the details of campaign response and actions on a one to one basis, rather than aggregate information gathered from typical web or offline data analysis tools. pURLs in direct mail campaigns help connect the offline and online channels into one powerful integrated marketing solution.


Download our FREE checklist to create a Direct Mail pURL Campaign.        Download Checklist


Why Should You Use PURLs in Direct Mail Campaigns?

pURLs in direct mail campaigns give consumers what they want – a place to go online to learn more about an offer. pURLs serve as the most effective way to add personalization, track a consumer’s behavior and connect with them on an online channel. Traditionally after your company sends a direct mail piece, your marketing team has no way of knowing if the conNew Car Postcard pURLs In Direct Mail: A Marketing Best Practicesumer actually received the piece. Additionally, if the piece does not use a pURL, the recipients of the content do not have a safe place to go online to learn more about the offer. By giving direct mail recipients a personalized landing page or microsite to respond to an offer, the brand is able to connect with the consumer on a one to one basis and track the level of interest of each target individually. Simply adding pURLs in direct mail pieces gives your company the benefit of a detailed analysis of exactly who has or has not visited the page and when each target responds. Your marketing and sales teams will receive email alerts when a target visits a pURL landing page or completes a form (and provide the form data). Your team can simply export the activity for your direct mail campaign to Excel is use in following leads and also for generating subsequent targeted campaigns. Using pURL’s in direct mail is a marketing best practice, as they are the best way to increase response rates and drive sales.


How do you create pURLs in Direct Mail?

Using pURLs in direct mail is simple to do – and with a marketing automation platform, marketers and agencies can easily set up a campaign for their brand, small business or clients. The Boingnet platform has been used in thousands of pURLs in direct mail campaigns over the years, so we’ve seen just about every scenario that exists. Here are the 6 easy steps to create pURLs in direct mail campaigns.

Step 1 – Create Compelling Content

Any direct mail piece starts with the content itself. While the timing of this process depends on if you use an in house designer or outside firm, you want to make sure that your piece is creative, captivating and delivers relevant information to the target consumer. It is important to make the pURL a prominent part of the direct mail piece using a “call to action” with an offer if the pURL is visited.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Mailing List With Personalization

Set up your mailing list the way you do today, with your customer’s name and address information. With your smart marketing automation software, you now have the power to enhance this list to leverage it within your landing pages. Variable data is an innovative feature that allows you to enter in new data columns, such as past purchases or product information. Add in new variable data columns to your list to personalize landing pages even further.

For example: A car dealer has information on past clients car year, model and color. Their mailing list might look like this:

First Name Last name Address City State Zip Year Model Color
Joe Smith 55 Accord Park Dr. Rockland MA 02370 1994 Ford Explorer Green
Adam Russo 321 East Ave. Nowhere MA 02020 1999 Ford Escort Black


Step 3 – Build a Landing Page Template

Within your marketing automation software, navigate to the template manager area to build a landing page template. A good template editor will give you all the tools you need to quickly create an effective landing page. It is important that your landing page presents your clients with  variable data, survey questions, data gathering forms, pre-filled forms, coupons etc. Using pURls in direct mail will ensure the recipient will receive this personalized and customized landing page.

In our car dealer example above, we might build a simple template that looks like this:

new car 2 pURLs In Direct Mail: A Marketing Best Practice

By mapping your data into our known fields, a sample landing page would look like this:

new car 1 pURLs In Direct Mail: A Marketing Best Practice

Step 4 – Create Your pURL Campaign

Once you have your mailing list complete and template for your landing page pURLs, you are ready to create your campaign. Do this by navigating to your marketing automation platform’s campaign creator and follow the step by step process to generate your pURLs. Once complete, you will be presented with a modified mailing list file you can download. This modified file will contain all your mailing list data as well as a new column for your pURLs.


Step 5 – Send and Track Your Mailing

Send out your new mailing list file with pURLs to your print provider as you normally would and send out your mailing piece. The pURLs in direct mail allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your campaign, as you can immediately track your campaign activity with instant notifications sent to your email as well as run a variety of reports during the campaign.


Step 6 – Analyze Your Results

After your pURLs in direct mail campaign is complete, you can run full reports and charts to analyze how well the campaign performed and even compare these reports with past campaigns. Detailed data reports will show you the actual form information submitted based on what you developed for a landing page. You may also download this data to use for lead generation and to help in planning and building subsequent campaigns.


How to Create pURLs in Direct Mail in Boingnet

boinger300.243 pURLs In Direct Mail: A Marketing Best PracticeCreating pURLs in direct mail is just that easy to do in Boingnet. Within Boingnet’s lightweight marketing automation platform, our easy to use software quickly generates pURLs and landing pages for a direct mail campaign. Check out our Help Article now in the Boingnet Knowledge Base with a step-by-step guideline.

Help Article


Do you want these helpful steps on hand when you create your next Direct Mail Campaign? Download our FREE checklist to set up a Direct Mail pURL Campaign.

Download Checklist

Meet the Boingnet Team: Get to Know Chas

Final Graphic 2  Meet the Boingnet Team: Get to Know Chas

Meet Charles “Chas” Rubino, a Business Development Evangelist at Boingnet. A dedicated member of the Boingnet team, Chas is looking forward to a great 2015 for work and in his personal life. Read more to learn about Chas’ love for outdoor sports, his favorite places to go around the South Shore and see why he plans to wear more Hawaiian shirts in 2015.


Chas Picture  Meet the Boingnet Team: Get to Know Chas

How did you get started working for Boingnet and what is your role? 

I was recruited to work at Boingnet while I was working at a local Marketing Agency where I was using different marketing automation solutions. I had some expertise in marketing automation, something that our CEO Dennis Kelly strongly believed would be beneficial for a position in business development. So as a Business Development Evangelist at Boingnet I am in charge of a lot of the day-to-day inbound and outbound sales activities. What’s unique about my evangelist role is that I can speak with authority and offer advice to our clients because I have been in their shoes at one point or another.


What do you like best about your Business Development role at Boingnet?

I really enjoy engaging with people, starting a conversation and eventually getting to the point where they are running successful marketing campaigns. It’s great to see a project through from conception to completion. I enjoy the whole process- brainstorming and strategy to the deployment of different Boingnet campaigns.


What are you most excited about for the company in 2015?

I am looking forward to watching the company grow in a number of ways. It’s always exciting being here and watching the product grow, as we are constantly building out different software features. I love using our software on a daily basis and testing it on my own business development campaigns. I’m excited to watch our company grow in size of employees and to acquire new customers.


Speaking of the New Year, do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2015?

Well, every New Year’s day my friends and I do a charity polar plunge and jump into the ocean. Since we are in the Boston area, it is always so cold and the water is freezing. Our tradition is to wear Hawaiian shirts to the after-party of the plunge. From this, we decided that our New Year’s resolution is to wear more Hawaiian shirts in 2015. And of course, health, wealth and happiness.


What are your favorite interests outside of work?

My favorite interests are mostly sports and anything outdoor related. I coach lacrosse for a club program year round and I coach my former High School lacrosse team in the spring. As far as outdoor sports go, some of my favorite things to do are ski during the winter and then surf, boat and fish in the summer. I also enjoy following all of the Boston sports teams.


If you had to pick one, what is your favorite Boston Sports team?

I would have to go with the New England Patriots because I find football to be the most enjoyable to watch. But next would be the Celtics and the Red Sox.


Where can we find you on the weekends in the winter?

If I have the time I like to go up to my friends condo at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. If not, you can probably find me spending time with friends in the South Shore or coaching lacrosse.


What’s your favorite place to hang out with friends around the South Shore?

Since I am from Scituate, I love going to TKO Malley’s – that’s kind of everyone’s favorite spot around town. For going out to dinner I enjoy Riva and a new place called The Galley.


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

I think that would be a 50-50 fight between pasta and pizza. I don’t think I have ever been sick of either pasta or pizza and I’m always happy to have either when anyone suggests it. Already I probably eat pasta twice during the week and pizza at least once over the weekend.


What’s one important thing you have learned so far working at Boingnet?

Software. I had only worked with software from a user’s perspective in the past. Now I can confidently tell people about our “Robust API” (Company Joke).


What do you think are some of the keys for a successful career at a startup company?

I guess the biggest thing is that everyone needs to work together and be on the same page to help each other and the company grow. It is important to have the ability to take a step back, look at what’s been done and adapt if necessary. In a startup, you are literally creating the process.

Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015

The Mobile Content Marketing Revolution

 Mobile Content Marketing Image 300x300 Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015It’s Unanimous – Content Marketing was the marketing buzzword phrase of 2014 and mobile content marketing will lead in 2015. According to the latest research from Content Marketing Institute,  77% of B2C and 86% of B2B organizations are using content marketing and 69% of B2C and 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. Companies overwhelmingly made content marketing a priority in 2014 – and the research proves that content marketing isn’t going away any time soon.

With everyone doing it, how does a business stand out from the crowd? The key will be how effectively they plan their content marketing strategy in 2015. Over the past month, marketing experts have revealed the biggest marketing trends they expect to see in 2015, from digital, social media, and content marketing.  Out of these predictions, the two biggest takeaways we found are:

Content marketing will continue to be a huge initiative in 2015, and

Marketers need to make mobile marketing a priority

As businesses focus on creating a more effective content plan for 2015, we believe that the most important part of this strategy will be how to optimize content marketing for the growing mobile world. We are eager see what mobile trends will emerge in 2015 and how marketing will continue to adapt and grow to take advantage of them.


Mobile + Content Marketing = The Future

Mobile Content Marketing Boingnet  Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015While you may have avoided the Black Friday shopping madness this year, odds are you found yourself shopping online at some point on Cyber Monday. And why not? You were hit with great deals in your email inbox and from ads on the websites and social media pages that you visit every day. What came out of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday craziness (besides the awesome deals of course) was the prevalence of mobile use, as data from IBM revealed that 41% of Cyber Monday online retail traffic in the US came from smartphones and tablets. Even Black Friday online sales grew dramatically, with smartphones driving 34.7 percent of all the day’s online traffic. As researchers predict that mobile online shopping this holiday season will be at an all time high, how are businesses adapting to this shift to a mobile world?

Let’s look at the facts. According to Exact Target’s Mobile Behavior Report of 2014, consumers consider mobile an essential component of their every day lives and the average person spends around 3 hours a day on their smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, the top three activities on mobile devices are email, texting and online search. Since consumers are becoming more dependent on mobile, it’s now up to businesses to take advantage of mobile marketing. As companies start to plan their 2015 marketing strategy, they need to understand that mobile comes first. Thus, we think that the future of marketing in 2015 is to optimize mobile content marketing. Here are our predictions on how mobile content marketing will evolve in 2015.

Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015


1. Personalized and Targeted Mobile Email Marketing

When thinking of marketing for the mobile world, most marketers’ first thoughts will go straight to email marketing. And why wouldn’t they, when research states that consumers still Boingnet Smartphone 262 Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015prefer to engage with brands via email. In a recent study from Strongview, 61% of the marketers surveyed plan to increase their email marketing budgets for 2015. Consumer and B2B customers now have high expectations that the emails they receive will contain relevant and useful content. This is forcing businesses to evolve by deploying more advanced marketing automation systems that focus on targeting and segmentation as well as an increased focus on user experience.  Since 72% of adults are sending or receiving personal emails via smartphone each week, it’s crucial that brands optimize their marketing emails for mobile use. Email marketing will continue to be one of the strongest campaign channels for B2B and B2C businesses in 2015 and it’s up to marketers to create more targeted and personalized mobile email campaigns.

2. Rise of SMS Marketing

While SMS marketing has had a slow adoption curve, this year there was a greater need to communicate with consumers via the SMS channel. Recent data from eMarketer states there will be over 1.91 billion smartphone users worldwide next year and 2 billion by 2016, and marketers are beginning to understand tTexting Boingnet 262 Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015he best way to reach the consumer is through mobile marketing. The success of SMS marketing speaks for itself, as 91% of consumers that opted-in to a brand’s SMS texting in 2014 found the communication helpful and useful. Users can receive deals, loyalty rewards and alerts right in their hands while they are on the go or even while shopping in that brand’s store. Communication with the customer is no longer a single channel experience and brands are eager to increase customer reach across a variety of mobile channels. As more advanced SMS marketing evolves in 2015, marketers will take advantage of the SMS channel as a way to deliver thoughtful content straight to the consumer.

3. Prioritizing Mobile Responsive Design

Responsive design icon1 Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015Marketers can all agree – a customer’s overall brand experience is undeniably intertwined with its digital marketing. Consumers today have high expectations for how they interact and communicate with brands. With this in mind, companies in 2014 that focused on how consumers were engaging with their brand successfully implemented responsive websites and email campaigns optimized for the mobile user. Plus, since mobile friendly websites increase Google search results, responsive design was crucial for both B2C and B2B companies in 2014. Looking ahead to next year, businesses will need to understand that mobile responsive design is a key component of the overall user experience, as 83% of consumers expect a seamless experience across all their devices. But responsive design goes beyond just a mobile friendly website. Businesses must deliver responsive emails and landing pages with relevant content in order to keep consumers engaged with their product across all channels. In 2015 mobile responsive design will become an even more crucial tool in the marketing toolkit.

4. Optimize Social Media For Mobile

As marketers everywhere know, it is essential for businesses to communicate with potential leads and existing customers across a wide variety of marketing channels. Social media sMobile Phone 262 Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015tands out as a unique platform where B2B and B2C marketing teams can distribute content and immediately track engagement, view results and engage in conversation with customers. According to research from Jeff Bullas, 71% of social media users are accessing this content on a tablet or smartphone. Businesses and brands must put mobile first and should expect that their content will have a mobile viewership. Social media marketing is only on the rise, as companies in 2015 will focus on integrating all aspects of the marketing funnel, from social, mobile to web. Content marketing and social media will only become more intertwined in 2015, and optimizing this content for mobile is mandatory for success.


5. Use of Integrated Cross Channel Automation

Consumers want to be in control. From researching a product online all the way through to the final purchase, customers are driving how they engage with brands. Today, 84% of consumers rely on mobile devices in stores to compare prices,  Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015search for discounts and read product reviews. But with effective mobile content marketing, businesses can provide consumers with the right information at the right time to keep their business, all while making them satisfied customers. The key to successful mobile marketing is the use of integrated cross channel automation. Today’s marketing campaigns live across a variety of channels, from email, direct mail and mobile. Automation helps target prospective customers during every stage of the marketing funnel and across all of their preferred channels. As more people will rely on mobile in 2015, it’s imperative that automation platforms work across channels to make mobile a priority and deliver personalized and relevant content straight to the consumer.

How Mobile Content Marketing Works with Boingnet

Heading into 2015, marketers will need to think mobile first. Mobile content marketing is evoboinger4 Top 5 Ways Mobile Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2015lving, and now is the time for businesses to develop an effective content strategy to reach consumers in the mobile world. That’s where Boingnet comes in. Our lightweight marketing automation platform provides agencies and small businesses with the tools to build successful cross-channel mobile marketing campaigns. Boingnet helps marketers create integrated campaigns with drip marketing and lead nurturing capabilities that run across email, direct mail and SMS. With responsive landing pages, microsites and QR codes, every Boingnet campaign is optimized for mobile. Our campaigns are lightweight, meaning they are fast to set up, easy to use and affordable for SMBs and Agencies that support them. Sign up for our 60 day no-risk free trial to see how mobile content marketing works with Boingnet.



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