By Eric Griego
As Kerri Moore of Booster pointed out in an op-ed on TriplePundit, more than 87 percent of consumers say they would choose a product that supports a good cause over a direct competitor’s product that didn’t offer the same benefit.
But how will consumers be aware of the philanthropic currency of your product without proper communications?
That’s why it’s vital to the success of your cause marketing campaign to have the most up-to-date communications strategy. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Upgrade your existing email marketing campaigns
Some studies show the average American spends upwards of 6.3 hours per day checking their email inbox — and that number doesn’t even include response time.
The point is: It’s important to communicate your cause marketing ideals. And given email’s continued prominence, it is an expedient and effective means to that end.
All of that being said, your current email strategy could probably use a revamp.
Not to worry — we have some of the quickest, most actionable tips around:
a. Make sure your emails are being sent from an actual person.
Pick someone from your team like “Jimmy Marketer.” Input his name (and his position in the company) in the “from” field. Then, when someone receives your email, they’ll see it as a friendly message from “Jimmy Marketer, Director of Marketing at [Your Company].”
Subscribers are dozens of times more likely to engage with an email that’s from an actual human being rather than a large corporation.
b. Write as though you were addressing one reader.
People want to feel as though they’re having a one-on-one conversation with someone – not that they’re receiving mass marketing.
So, make sure that when you start crafting an email marketing message, you’re keeping one individual reader in mind. Build an audience profile to help you visualize your average subscriber.
c. Embed little extras like videos or donation buttons.
Your business should also invest in engaging extras like premium video content and donation buttons to help support the cause you’re championing.
The best videos are ones that are to-the-point. They last no more than a minute, and they have a clear purpose and message.
Easy-to-use donation buttons allow recipients of your emails to give directly to the cause you’re helping to support.
Adding these two useful and informative tidbits will surely boost your cause marketing communications.
d. Bump up your use of the personal pronoun “you.”
One of the best ways to engage with your readership is to speak to them in a personal way. And you can easily achieve this by shifting your language from “I” and “we” to “you.”
Ramp up your use of the word “you,” and frame your advertising narrative around how your customers are the ones making the impactful waves in society.
If you keep these four tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to email cause marketing success.
The point is: Make sure that your emails are as fresh as possible, chock full of engaging extras, and stuffed to the brim with “you.”
2. Boost your cause marketing through social media.
Your social media strategy should be a top priority.
How do you take advantage of social media sites to boost your cause marketing efforts? So glad you asked!
We’ve got some great answers for you right here, sorted by the top three social media sites with the most monthly active users:
a. Facebook (1.65 billion monthly active users)
As we mentioned earlier, video content adds an undeniable “something extra” to your emails. The same is true of videos on Facebook.
Because people are able to intake and comprehend videos thousands of times faster than they are the written word, video content is the most shared, liked, and commented on content on Facebook.
Thus, the best advice for capturing attention on Facebook is to invest in video cause marketing.
b. Instagram (400 million monthly active users)
Since being acquired by Facebook, Instagram changed up a few of its primary features.
For one thing, the platform incorporated an algorithm that boosts the posts of more active users. What this means for your business: In order to remain relevant on Instagram, you have to participate.
The second major change was adding a feature akin to Snapchat’s “My Story” option. It allows users to share instant updates in the form of videos and pictures that disappear shortly after being viewed. This ephemeral content provides your business the opportunity to share multiple updates a day without overwhelming potential customers.
The bottom line is: You have to be an active participant in all aspects of Instagram in order to get the maximum benefits of the site.
c. Twitter (313 million monthly active users)
If you can, you should absolutely share content on Twitter that’s eye-catching and engaging — content like stunning photos or captivating videos.
But, in addition to the attention-grabbing bonuses, you should also focus on the language that you use in your tweets.
The best cause marketing tweets aren’t preachy. They get the point across in a way that’s informative, if somewhat informal. Twitter is the place to showcase some personality.
Be true to your brand and your voice on Twitter, and you’ll be sure to make a splash.
Although it may seem like a passing fad, social media is actually one of the most impactful tools of the current century. And that’s why it’s worth paying attention to — and worth getting right!
The point is: Learn the ins and outs of each unique social media site in order to get the most out of this incredibly pervasive communication platform.
3. Look into newsletters as an alternative communication
We’ve already spoken in-depth about the benefits of revamping your existing email marketing strategy.
The other piece of that puzzle is creating a newsletter — with an email component as well as a physical (paper) counterpart.
While it may seem as though paper correspondence is “dead media,” the actual ROI of most traditional media efforts, such as FSI (Free Standing Inserts), is as high as 11:3.
That means that for every $3 spent on resources, the company sees $11 in return for a net total of $8.
Now, of course, not every piece of paper promotional material is that lucrative, but it’s certainly hard to argue that print media is dead in the face of such staggering numbers.
Here’s a great example of a direct mail flyer that has ties to digital outreach:
The flyer has three key elements that make it outstanding for its purposes:
- It uses bright colors and images effectively.
- The flyer highlights two distinct ways for recipients to get actively involved.
- Its message is clear and focused on making tangible change in the community.
Your business can easily replicate these three tactics in your own communications.
The point is: Make print media a part of your overall strategy to help elevate your other efforts.
4. Include the voices of your supporters in your efforts
One of the most amazing facets of the human race is the natural inclination to collaborate.
We love to form teams, and we really love to share our ideas with one another. It’s a large part of why social media is so ubiquitous.
Take, for instance, these school fundraising ideas. They wouldn’t be nearly as effective if not for the input of the trifecta alliance of the PTA, the organization that brings together teachers, parents, and students.
Incorporate the ideas of your supporters into your communications by starting with outreach to any and all existing contacts. Let them know that you’d like to hear their voices and amplify them in your future communications.
Send out a survey that lets them express their thoughts and feelings about the direction of your cause marketing campaign.
Once you’ve received a sufficient number of responses, sift through them and look for the best ideas to eventually incorporate into your marketing efforts.
The point is: In the end, you’ll extend your reach well beyond your current communications, simply because your hand will be on the pulse of the community.
Curious about more ways to involve individuals in your cause marketing? Take a look at Booster’s fundraising ideas.
5. Optimize all cause marketing communications for mobile
In this day and age, mobile devices are a force to be reckoned with.
Mobile searches now significantly surpass desktop and laptop searches — which means that, whether you like it or not, all of your communications must be mobile-responsive.
Mobile-responsiveness simply refers to a website’s or email’s ability to load well on a smartphone or tablet screen.
For a long time, the Mobile Giving Foundation cornered the market on all things mobile, especially with regard to mobile fundraising. But luckily, the advent of next-generation mobile giving service providers has allowed for a greater diversity in the market.
Which, in short, means your business has a wider variety of fantastic mobile communication and fundraising packages to choose from.
Through these packages, you can give consumers the option to donate quickly on their mobile phones to the causes that you’re marketing.
For instance, if you’re supporting the Disaster Relief Fund, you can disseminate information via mobile email about the cause, and you can include an email donation button, like so:
That way, recipients know all about your latest humanitarian efforts, and they’re able to do something about it straight through their mobile devices!
The point is: The future (and present) of communication has gone mobile. Your business should, too.
As this article points out: The top barrier to integrating social impact is poor storytelling. With the tips you’ve likely gleaned from this post, you can rest assured that that will never be your business’s issue.
Image credit: Thomas Lefabvre via Unsplash
Eric Griego is the Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. He has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of Nonprofit & Church organizations.