As a nonprofit professional, you might think of marketing automation as something that for-profit companies do. But today, nonprofits are using it, too.
Commercial organizations have long used powerful marketing automation tools as part of a strategy to track customer data and drive highly personalized, automated customer engagement across email, web, social media, and other channels. Similarly, nonprofits also can (and are!) using it to streamline processes and deliver better donor and constituent experiences.
Let’s look at an example. As part of the boom in pet adoption and foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic, an animal rescue agency experienced a sharp increase in calls from potential fosters and adopters. The organization needed a way to field the inquiries more efficiently.
They decided to automate the initial steps of the process to filter out the most promising adopters. They worked with Heller Consulting to use Pardot, a marketing automation tool from Salesforce, to automate the process.
Read more about how nonprofits are using marketing automation in our guide: Formula for Nonprofit Marketing Automation Success
The nonprofit collects information from people via an online form to determine if they qualify as fosters or adopters. The process automation uses data, such as other pets in the household and willingness to take a training course, to assess those who qualify, those who might qualify, and those who do not qualify. The automated process then sends appropriate messages to each audience.
The result of this process automation: The organization now quickly screens applicants to filter out those who are not willing to make the required commitments and do not qualify. The automated process also moves qualifying applicants more quickly through the initial process, giving these supporters a better experience and giving staff more time to focus on one-to-one phone and in-person communications with the most promising adopters.
This is just one example of one process automation at one nonprofit organization. Marketing automation has the potential to transform how nonprofits of all kinds do their work – especially at a time when many are adapting to new ways of operating. Some other examples:
Any organization can employ marketing automation to operate more efficiently and provide a better experience for their donors, volunteers, and constituents. Ultimately, this can lead to greater donor and volunteer retention and better use of staff/volunteer time.
Learn more about how marketing automation can help you streamline processes and improve the donor and constituent experience: Read our toolkit, Scale Up Your Fundraising – Now: How to expand your fundraising right away with nonprofit marketing automation