Alyssa Jarrett is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Iterable, the growth marketing platform that powers true omni-channel relevance at scale.
The summer season is more than the perfect time for beaches and barbecues; it’s also when non-profit organizations, government agencies and other advocacy groups are working hard to fundraise and get out the vote. In the run-up to midterms, primary elections are taking place around the U.S., and advocacy professionals are increasingly looking for innovative ways to engage their constituents and supporters.
Effective outreach begins with a robust growth marketing strategy. In order to win support, you must develop and send messaging that is personalized to each individual—across all channels and at massive scale.
Easier said than done, of course! Whether you represent a local grassroots group or a leading charitable organization, you can benefit from tried-and-true tactics to improving engagement.
Here are 5 tips for building successful omni-channel advocacy campaigns that make a real impact.
1) Focus beyond fundraising. It’s no surprise that increasing donations is the primary objective for most advocacy professionals, but nobody parts ways with their hard-earned money without building a brand relationship. People want to feel valued by the organizations they support—not treated like an open wallet.
World-class businesses understand that increasing customer lifetime value starts with an effective onboarding campaign. When you gain a new subscriber, make a good first impression with a multi-touch welcome series that integrates both online and offline channels.
A simple workflow could trigger a targeted email campaign with FAQs and information regarding their unique interests—take it to the next level by automatically sending a personalized postcard straight to their mailbox post-signup.
2) Mobilize your audience with mobile. Email and direct mail are obvious choices for outreach, but you don’t need an app to take advantage of the power of mobile (though it certainly helps!).
Because 95 percent of text messages are read within three minutes, an SMS campaign can be highly effective in keeping subscribers active. Use SMS to remind your supporters to sign petitions, keep them notified about nearby events, and request the occasional donation. You can even test sender name to determine whether a text from local representative boosts their motivation to act.
Just remember to leverage this intimate channel sparingly and responsibly to avoid mass opt-outs. Keep each message clear, concise and catered to their specific communication preferences.
3) Keep those lists clean! Maintaining proper list hygiene is especially important for many political and non-profit organizations, as their highly visible and often divisive nature can attract more bots, trolls, and spammers than your average e-commerce business.
Start by regularly scrubbing for any fake or invalid email addresses to decrease your hard bounces and avoid potential spam traps. Sign-up forms with email validation and double opt-in campaigns can prevent these critical deliverability issues.
Your domain reputation involves more than removing every instance of email@example.com. Achieving desired inbox placement also requires removing your unengaged subscribers, preferably every 6-12 months but often more frequently for high-volume senders.
And, of course, never purchase or harvest a list from a third party—this mortal email sin is a lose-lose-lose: for the users who never consented to communications, for the company whose sender reputation will suffer, and for the ESP who will inevitably leave you for breach of contract.
4) Evolve toward individualization. In a recent report, Forrester Research explains the challenges of old-school segmentation tactics. People want more personalized experiences and are willing to share more information in exchange for added value.
The analyst firm declares that individualization is the “new North Star” for customer-obsessed businesses. All professionals, regardless of industry, must respond to consumer or constituent needs in real time, using behavioral data to increase conversions and engagement.
Consider each marketing campaign a 1:1 conversation with every subscriber to evolve toward an individualization strategy. You can achieve this level of personalization by consolidating user data into a single repository and leveraging a universal identifier, like an email address, to identify your supporters across all channels and deliver seamless experiences.
5) Invest in the right technology. 72 percent of marketers today are pursuing omni-channel relevance but only 9 percent can currently engage their audiences across channels on a consistent basis. This disconnect is typically attributed to a variety of technical roadblocks, which require costly professional services or an army of developers to overcome.
If you’re merely tolerating your legacy marketing automation solution, then it’s time to invest in next-generation technology that is easy to use, can respond in real time, and deliver career-boosting ROI.
When conducting your due diligence during a vendor evaluation, refer to this growth marketing checklist. It lists the five major things to look for when migrating to a platform your whole team will love.
Move Mountains and Ignite Movements
Advocacy that makes a real difference can be achieved with effective omni-channel campaigns. Iterable’s enhanced integration with Crowdskout enables marketers to track campaign performance across email and SMS for powerful outreach. Using Crowdskout and Iterable together makes it possible to close the loop between your advocacy efforts and action.