Keeping Up With the Jones'

I don’t know about you, but with all of new online marketing tactics, it can sometimes get confusing. I mean, just because one organization was able to leverage Twitter to raise $250,000 does that mean that tactic will work for everyone? Not hardly. Here are some tips to help you think strategically about your online marketing efforts:

  • Start with the end goal in mind. I know it sounds very obvious, but sometimes in the haste of trying to jump on the latest technique for leveraging your Facebook page, we lose site of our end target. For NPOs it is usually always one of three things:

    More Names
    More Donors
    More Dollars

    Start with these high-level goals and the form more specific objectives and targets. This will help you stay focused on the prize as you dive into the minutia of tactical execution.

  • Select your tactic based on who you are trying to reach. I worked with an organization that wanted desperately to tap Facebook, but when we stopped to consider their intended audience it became very clear that this was not the right approach. In the end we developed a plan to leverage E-Cards which ended up producing amazing results. I suppose the maxim here is, fish where the fish are…and use the right bait!

    BTW, if you don’t know who exactly is your intended audience, try using Quantcast to get an idea of the types of visitors that frequent your web site.

  • Test your way into it. One of the greatest features of online marketing tactics is that you can usually start small and roll out based on results. If you are launching an SEM campaign, start with a small sample budget and test different landing page options. If you are sending out an email, carve out a sample group and test different subject lines, designs, layouts, and copy. The point here is to start small so that if/when you roll out on a larger scale you can maximize the results.

  • Track EVERYTHING! When it comes to online marketing, there are really no good excuses for not tracking everything. At a bare minimum, use Google Analytics—it is free and powerful when wielded correctly. For instance, you can integrate it with your ecommerce system to track revenue for different referral sources, and you can use the URL Creator to create custom clickthrough links that gives you detailed reporting for landing pages, banners, and email campaigns.

  • Try not to get sucked into the hype. Often, the new kid on the block gets all of the attention when it comes to marketing tactics. However, it is the old reliable tactics that continue to do the heavy lifting brining in the lion’s share of revenue. When it comes to online fundraising, email is still king. Before you develop a new Facebook strategy, take a good hard look at your email program. How is your deliverability? What do your open and clickthrough rates look like compared to industry averages? Is your email file growing? Are you integrating your channels effectively?

Keeping these points in mind will help you to think on a strategic level when it comes to adopting new ways to get more names, more donors, and more dollars so your organization can have more impact.