No matter the product, businesses equally strive to convert leads to valuable customers. In order to do so, they foster their potential customers throughout their journey from awareness to conversion. Marketers call this process a ‘conversion funnel’ and the best conversion funnels are made possible by email marketing platforms that offer the best marketing automation software solutions.
Yet another industry where the automation of conversion funnel work wonders as a marketing strategy is matching gifts.
When it comes to the non-profit world, every dollar matters. At such a scenario, ‘matching’ gifts turn every dollar into two. To put it simply, matching gifts are donations that a company give to the same non-profit their employee donated to.
‘Matching gifts’ is a great way to show support, and to make the world a better place. After all, all it takes for a company to donate is a request from their employees.
But still, the question remains as of how you will get your donors to ask for a matching gift from their company. Marketing Automation!
Conversion Funnel Basics
Let’s begin with understanding the conversion funnel. Typically, a conversion funnel is differentiated into four or five stages based on which a company uses marketing strategies to guide target audience from finding of the company to taking the desired action which can be buying their services or asking their company for a matching gift. Many businesses also incorporate post-sale activities into the conversion funnel to keep the customers coming back for more services.
As we go forward through the marketing funnel, each stage grows narrower than the previous because not every individual who hears about your offering will be interested, and not every interested individual will go on to ask their company for a matching gift.
Stages Of Marketing Automation Sales Funnel & Matching Gifts
The first stage emphasis on activities that help you introduce your brand and your offer to your audiences. Segmentation is critical to this step because targeting the wrong audience can bring down your conversion rate alongside wasting time and blowing your marketing dollars away.
You can employ your website, newsletters, and leverage social media to position your brand. Nevertheless, make sure that you pique the interest of your contacts so that they take the desired action. Use proven templates and marketing automation software solutions as the layouts, copy, and graphics play a key role here in determining the success rate of this stage.
Matching Gift Pages
In order to reap the benefits of your donors’ matching gift program, you will have to invest in setting up an educational matching gifts page to your website. Through a matching gift page, you can provide your donors with the necessary background information about matching gifts, and the companies that will match employee gifts to nonprofits.
Include the following in your matching gift page:
- Benefits that matching gifts offer
- Statistics and data about matching gifts
- A list of companies that match gifts
The bottom line is that you keep your matching gift page a central hub of all the information that your audience requires and could refer to.
Another marketing strategy that you can adapt to spread awareness about matching gifts is to include them in your newsletters. Regularly incorporating information about matching gift in your newsletter can work wonders in bringing you increased matching gift request completions.
You don’t have to work a great deal on making your newsletter look extravagant. Rather, keep it simple with an effective headline, and explain what corporate matching gift programs are.
Remember to give a link that takes your audience to your dedicated matching gift page and include an engaging graphic there as it will make your donors feel compelled to know more about their eligibility.
With so much importance being placed on social media these days, nonprofits have made their appearance there to promote matching gifts. Building your presence on social media gives your donors an option to interact with you through their preferred medium other than email.
Additionally, as your loyal donors share information about matching gifts online, there are chances that people from their network who come across their feeds become your new donors.
Once you have gained leads from the first stage, it’s time you start cultivating an interest in order for them to move forward and buy your products and services. Use a marketing automation software solution to create attention-grabbing email campaigns such as email autoresponders and drip campaigns.
Though we did talk about leveraging social media, you shouldn’t shy away from using email campaigns because it is more effective than you actually think it is.
Your donors will be in the height of giving mood then they are in the donation process. They believe in your cause and want to support it no matter what. Grab this opportunity to send them a strategic automated confirmation or thank you email asking the donors to take a small extra step to take their donation further.
Try including matching gift plugin, or helpful images. Also, be clear about the instruction, and make it sound as simple and easy as it can be.
This is the stage that you have been working for up till now, the time of conversion when a lead decides to take the desired action that you have been guiding them to. This is when your donor asks their company to make a matching gift. As the marketing funnel is now slimming down to its narrow end, you need to bring your sales team in to give that final push.
Your job here is to make taking the action process as simple as possible. Provide clear instructions, and use a marketing automation software tool to send ‘abandoned cart’ emails to try and get back your donors to complete the process. You can also do the following to maximize the results.
- Send an incentive to tempt your leads to convert.
- Highlight statistics and testimonials from other donors
- Abandoned cart emails
Immediately after your donor completes the desired action and converts, you should start living up to the expectations that you had set up. Make sure that they stay satisfied, and do all that is there in your limit to maintain the relationship.
Fundraising Reminders & Invitations
Event invitations and reminders make donors happy just the way candies make children happy. Invitations for fun fundraising events are always something that donors enjoy receiving.
Keep your invitations compelling. Use a great subject line, and give a review of the past highlights if possible. After the fundraising events, send updates to your donors’ inboxes and follow up with them.
A perfectly defined sales funnel is a surefire way to increase conversions. Moreover, using automation improves financial metrics and presents your donors with a more satisfactory experience that won’t make them feel like they are being guided down a funnel.
This post was contributed by Luda Greko at ActiveTrail.
Luda Greko is the Head of Content Marketing at ActiveTrail, a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses. By day she writes for top online marketing sites about email marketing and marketing automation, and by night she is a lifestyle blogger and a social media enthusiast.