cultivating your constituents online - american marketing association

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Originally presented at the AMA Nonprofit Marketing conference in Washington, DC on July 11, 2007. Katya Andresen served as moderator, lead presenter, and primary author of this presentation. You can read her blog wrap-up of this presentation at The session at AMA was coordinated by Lynn Labieniec, CEO of Beaconfire Consulting. The public's intensifying relationship with the Internet means promise and peril for nonprofits seeking to deepen and strengthen relationships with clients, donors, activists, volunteers, and other supporters. Hear from the experts about the top 10 things you should be doing right now to maximize loyalty and longevity -- and then gaze into the crystal ball to contemplate five trends that may cause us all to throw the rulebook out the window. Presenters/authors included: - Katya Andresen, Vice President Marketing, Network for Good (Moderator) - Arlin Wasserman, Executive Director, America on the Move Foundation - Jonathon Colman, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, The Nature Conservancy - Jacob Colie, MercyCorps You can learn more about Jonathon Colman at


  • Cultivating Your Constituents Online Katya Andresen Network for Good Jonathon D. Colman The Nature Conservancy Jacob Colie MercyCorps Arlin Wasserman America on the Move Computer Man by SuzyQuzy, Flickr
  • Agenda
    • Ten Rules for Online Engagement Today
    • Where Were Headed: Five Trends to Watch
    • Q&A
  • Rule #1: Engage in online cross-channel promotion
    • Cross Channel Activities
    • In the mail, email your donors before they receive postal mail appeals
    • On the phone, give your donors the option to give online
    • Send email to your best donors
  • Rule #2: Make marketing a conversation.
    • Its not a monologue.
  • Rule #3: Be Accessible & Be Easy
    • All About Jayne and her family
    • Doing better, not good or bad
    • Small stepsand lots of them
    • On ramp to good health
    • The Challenge:
    • Maintaining Good Health doesnt always have visible results
    America On the Moves bulls-eye target is known as Jayne, a working, health-conscious woman, 25 59 with one or more children under the age of 18 living at home.
  • Rule #3: Be Accessible & Be Encouraging
    • Help people measure their own progress
    • Improvement from where you are, not specific goals
    • Incremental goals are easily reached
    • Regular feedback
    • Gain encouragement from a community of peers
  • Rule #3: Be Accessible & Be Intimate
    • More than daily communications via email or cell phone for six weeks
    • Two-way exchanges
    • Ask, not just tell
    • Respond in kind
  • Rule #4: Show accountability.
    • Defined: (of a person, organization, institution) required or expected to justify actions
  • Accountability
    • Design efficiency, Charity Navigator rating, ETC into the footer of your homepage
    • Create an Accountability Report and include it on your website
    • Feature the accountability theme in your other web marketing activities
  • Rule #5: Make it easy for people to find you.
    • Search engines bring in a high % of your visitors
    • At least 60 million American adults use search engines each day
    • 61% of all searchers find organic listings to be relevant for their queries
    • 92% of journalists use search engines for researching stories
    • Stock first page of search results with your site(s) and other friendly sites
    • Move critical or negative sites off the first page of search results
    • Saturate all channels with friendly content containing strong links back to your site
    • Good example: Pontiac
    • Bad example: Splenda
    Next: Secure your brands online reputation
  • Rule #6: Segment your way to success
    • Rule: Different strokes for different folks
    • Not all visitors are created equal!
      • Find common groups
      • Analyze their actions
      • Target your messaging
    • Sound complicated? It doesnt have to be
  • Segment by campaigns, visitor self-identification
  • Segment by geography, donor type
  • Segment by incoming referral source
  • Segment by demographics Flickr (left to right): idealterna, ehavir, davesag (all creative commons licensed)
  • Segment by real-world actions taken Flickr (left to right, top to bottom): grant neufeld, bulldog1, mishmosh222 (all creative commons licensed)
  • Mercy Corps FY07 Net
  • Email High
  • Crisis in Lebanon Help Us Respond $69,614 6/25/2006
  • Help Us Prepare for The Year to Come $66,505 12/27/2006
  • A Thoughtful, Caring Last-Minute Gift $56,157 12/20/2006
  • Email Low
  • Sowing the Seeds of Peace $4,610 9/28/2006
  • Preparing for Kosovos Future $3,630 2/1/2006
  • Helping Youth Solve Unemployment $1,115 2/1/2006
  • Email Segments No Gifts With Gifts No Gifts No Open
  • Tiers TOP MID MASS
  • Upgrade Paths Gift Annuities Monthly Giving Local Content
  • No Gifts With Gifts
  • Help Darfurs Displaced $25,274 4/26/2007
  • Send Mom a Mothers Day Bouquet $4,470 4/26/2007
  • Rule #7: Test, test, test.
    • Would you
    • Buy a car without going for a test-drive?
    then why would you make a design change to your site or e-mail without testing it?
    • Purchase an antique without verifying its age?
    • Gulp down a glass of old milk without first taking a teensy, weensy little sip?
  • But, but, but, but the excuses are many
    • I dont have time to test
    • I dont know what to test for in the first place.
    • I dont have time to test...
    • I dont have an analytics team in place.
    • I dont have time to test
    • Im not even measured on testing results
    • No, I really dont have time to test!
  • Testing can be easy, whether its e-mail
  • or testing web creative design: Test 1: Same campaign, different calls-to-action Test 2: Different campaigns
  • Rule #8: Make your supporters the messengers.
  • We are NOT the best messengers.
    • 76% of givers are motivated by friends and family, says Cone
    • Its okay to relinquish control of the message
    • Donors are experts at knowing how to speak about your cause to their friends and family
    • Friends-to-friends is great for online engagement
  • The messengers widget
  • Great messengers
  • Rule #9: Offer recurring giving.
  • Mercy Corps Monthly Donations .982 M $1.638 M
  • Rule #10: Dont only ask. Thank and inspire too.
    • What is the number one reason people stop giving to charity?
    WaMu ATM Error by Matt B., Flickr
  • Thanking your donors
  • Continuing the Conversation
    • Be your own hero
    • Be a leader
    • Be part of a community
  • Continuing the Conversation
    • Keep on giving
    • Keep in touch
    • Keep it 2-way
    • Highlight successes win a blog
    • Cultivate ambassadors and provide them with tools
  • Agenda
    • Ten Rules for Online Engagement Today
    • Where Were Headed: Five Trends to Watch
    • Q&A
  • Trend #1: Celebrity philanthropy.
  • Rethinking celebrity
  • Trend #2: Less control.
  • Trend #3: