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Marketing ideas for virtual events and online fundraising

October 19, 2020By
Traction employee holding an umbrella for a customer at a booth

How to Apply Signal Driven Marketing Strategies to Your Virtual Events and Online Fundraising Campaigns

Today, it’s no secret that virtual events are the norm. With the mere idea of in-person events falling into the not-possible-for-a-very-long-time basket, marketers and event managers are looking for innovative strategies and ideas to help drive registration and attendance for their online events.

Forbes recently shared that virtual events have increased by over 1000% in 2020. On top of this, LinkedIn reported a 2196 per cent increase in posts during COVID-19, and Facebook announced total messaging had increased up to 70 per cent.

Putting it plainly; with more online events, comes more marketing noise and more competition for your audience’s attention. Now more than ever, organizations need to re-think their online marketing strategy to ensure campaigns and events break through the wave of COVID-related digital noise.

So what can you do to win the online event battle? According to our in-house expert, Jerome Lodovisi, Marketing Automation Architect, it’s simple; personalization.

The Power of Personalization

What is personalization?

Personalization is where data and content meets. It gives you the ability to personalize or customize communication with constituent data. Although it’s the classic example — personalization can be more than including a first name of a constituent in an email.

According to 80% of respondents would be more likely to give and volunteer if nonprofits provided a personalized experience.

Personalization is about being relevant and showing the constituent you care about their experience and appreciate their support.

For example, if a fundraising team has incentives based on fundraising levels, personalization can drive donations. You can use donation data to trigger communication based on how much they've raised or how far they are from the next fundraising level. Combine this with other incentives — such as unlocking prizes from an online store — and you now have a personalized, incentivized email communication that is relevant based on constituent data and behaviour.

How to Create Moments of Value

We often speak about creating a journey for our constituents and volunteers, this applies now more than ever. Start thinking about how you can optimize constituent journeys by creating true moments of value that are:

Relevant: Know who the constituent is and what they want to know

If you’re welcoming new donors it’s important to acknowledge who they are, how they gave, and what’s next.

Outside of using first name personalization, you can be relevant by knowing and using the donation amount of the constituent. Does that donation amount fall into a major giving threshold? That content is going to be much different than content for a one-time donation of $25. Using Marketing Cloud segmentation and Journey Builder decision splits, you can send the potential major giving donor down a nurturing path and prompt the major giving team to contact this generous individual. Then, you can send the one-time donor down a separate path so they can learn more about the mission, understand how their donation will be used, and ultimately convert them into a monthly donor!

Timely: React to constituent actions/signals and external factors

As consumers see thousands of promotional messages each day on their various devices, it’s important to react quickly when a constituent gives you a signal.

For example, perhaps a constituent has viewed your upcoming event page three times but has yet to register. While your event is top of mind, it’s important to trigger a timely message and nurture that constituent to sign up for the event. This is possible through Marketing Cloud’s web listening tools and Journey Builder (1:1 marketing automation tool).

Engaging: Deliver dynamic content that’s targeted to the constituent and delivered through the best channels

If you’re running a team event, it’s likely you will be communicating with team leaders and team participants. Your communications will be much more meaningful and impactful if you deliver content tailored to these roles. Collaborate with your IT team to ensure you have this data available and that it’s actionable.

Also, offering a different channel, such as SMS opt-in upon event registration can help break through the noise and reinforce messaging they’re seeing through the email channel. Even combining email or SMS with online and social ads is an effective way to ensure constituents are keeping your organization top of mind.

Surround Sound Messaging

While many marketers know the importance of distributing messaging across multiple channels, such as email, social media, newsletters etc, it’s important to understand that we should also be applying this surround sound messaging uniquely to each demographic.

Studies have shown that a combination of marketing channels is most effective overall — an online retailer found there was a 22 per cent increase in likelihood to purchase if a customer was in a combined segment of email online ads.

For example, for a fundraising gala targeting an older demographic (i.e. Boomers and Seniors), more traditional channels such as direct mail and email can be most effective. In contrast, younger audiences (Millenials and Gen Z) prefer to receive their information through social media and websites.

Your Event Toolkit

Traction Gather

Traction Gather is Traction on Demand’s virtual engagement hub and is built on Salesforce’s Experience Cloud Platform. With Traction Gather, organizations of all shapes and sizes can effortlessly bring their virtual events, live streams, classes, programs, tours, and on-demand content into one digital hub.

By leveraging Salesforce Experience Cloud, organizations can use powerful data insights to drive more personalization and engagement with customers and constituents alike—wherever they may be.

Learn more about Traction Gather here.

Tailoring Marketing Ideas for Your Virtual Events and Online Fundraising

If you're looking to develop and implement a tailored marketing strategy to ensure your events or online fundraising initiatives are a success, get in touch with one of our nonprofit Marketing Cloud experts.

For more nonprofit marketing inspiration, check out our Nonprofit Marketing Ideas for 2020 or Top Five Fundraising Trends for 2020 blogs.

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