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Comments Off on What Does the Future Hold for Email and Social Marketing?

What Does the Future Hold for Email and Social Marketing?

2013 has arrived, and with it comes thoughts and ideas of how email and social marketing will evolve. While we can’t predict what will become the next big social media channel this year, we can give you some tips to help you stay ahead of the game.

Mobile Design – This may be the most important thing to consider for your email marketing this year. According to Litmus, 36% of emails are opened using a mobile device/tablet, and they predict it’ll be 50% by year’s end. Hence, mobile design is something you definitely want to take this into account when crafting your emails, and it’s not as hard as you may think. With a few minor tweaks, your email will render clearly for readers on a variety of devices or platforms, just follow these tips:

  • Keep the design slim – Around 500-600 pixels
  • Use call-to-action buttons
  • Use a simple, single column layout
  • Include links that’re large enough to “click” i.e., touch
  • Have a text-only email back up
  • Give your email the “touch screen” test (is it easy to navigate with your finger?)
  • Ensure your email renders/downloads properly on an iPhone

Social ROI – Remember the tag line from the movie, Field of Dreams? “If you build it, he will come.” It also applies to social media, as well as baseball fields. Once social media was built, people came in droves (hint: So get on it, if you’re not already!). And, social media no longer pertains to a certain age group or demographic; everyone’s on it. The key now, is to keep people continuously engaged with your business on social, and to do so, you simply need to keep at it! Here are a few engagement-inducing ideas:

  • Content is king – Share links, post videos and/or images (According to Facebook, posts that include a photo generate 120% more engagement).
  • Add value – Share useful information and tips, even if you’re sharing from other sources.
  • Interact and engage – Don’t just post and leave your page unattended – Answer questions, make comments, and ask questions.
  • Post on a regular basis – This could be multiple times a day, or several times a week depending on your customers and the content available.
  • For more social media engagement related posts, read: “Want Better Facebook Engagement? Stop What You’re Doing” and/or “What Motivates People to ‘Like’ or ‘Unlike’ Brands on Facebook“

You can actually track ROI on social media; you just need to set up some key tools. Facebook Insights is a great start for monitoring progress on your Facebook Page. Google Analytics (GA) will also track where people come from when they visit your website, plus it tracks activity on your social accounts. And, if you set up goals in GA, you can track conversions from social interactions. If you’re sharing links from your site, or sharing from another, using Bit.ly not only shortens long URLs, it also gives you tracking information about the people clicking on your links. Even if you aren’t tracking, don’t overlook the power of social engagement. SocialBakers has been tracking exactly this and find that more engagement on social creates more reach, more click throughs, and ultimately more conversion. So keep sharing great info, and it’ll pay off in the end!

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Comments Off on 3 Tips for Nonprofit Viral Marketing

3 Tips for Nonprofit Viral Marketing

By Joanne Fritz, nonprofit specialist, About.com

Word-of-mouth is the original “viral” marketing. When you are Twittering and Facebooking, don’t forget to make it possible for your supporters to spread the word about your organization by talking (voice-to-ear) to their friends. We often think of Facebook and Twitter when we hear the word “viral.” But, while you’re mastering social media, don’t neglect the simple, old fashioned word-of-mouth things you can do.

Here are three ways to facilitate face-to-face, phone-to-phone, and email-to-email transmission of information about your cause.

1. Provide an inexpensive brochure or handout wherever your volunteers, users, patrons, or supporters gather, pass through, or stop in.
I am a fervent user of a nonprofit community center…especially its exercise classes for people over 50. Unlike commercial gyms, this organization really likes and takes care of its older patrons.

Since I was going to a gathering of people who are in this age group, I stopped by the organization’s front desk recently, on my way from an exercise class, and asked for some flyers I could give to people at the function I would be attending.

Did they have anything? Nope. The best they could do was a bulky folder that is used as an orientation for new members. That was not what I needed. A little bi-fold brochure would have worked, or even a simply printed flyer. I could have taken several and passed them around to my dinner companions. I, like many people, am a great ambassador for organizations that I like and use. It is worth it to make that informal boosting easy for people like me.

2. Make reminder calls to people who have signed up for an event. Make follow-up phone calls to no-shows.
It’s a great idea to make all kinds of phone calls. For instance, have volunteers make a reminder call to people who have signed up for a special event. Even leaving a short message on people’s phones will work wonders to increase your attendance. It may even provide an opportunity for those who find they can’t attend to let you know and make arrangements to support you in some other way. This won’t work, obviously, for events that involve thousands, but it would for smaller, more intimate gatherings.

Go further, and make a follow-up call to those people who didn’t make it. Recently, I could not make it to a small event at a local nonprofit. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested, I just had to make a choice at the last minute to do something else important. No one called me to find out why I was a no-show. Just a “we missed you” would have sufficed. If they had called, I would have apologized and asked when their next similar event was. Or, they might have even gotten me to volunteer for something. In any case, I would have appreciated the follow-up. It would have let me know that I was important to the organization.

3. Send an email immediately after you gather a person’s email.
Yes, that’s right. Gathering email addresses is an ongoing task if you ever hope to develop a viable email marketing or fundraising campaign. But, when I give my email, I never know if that email address actually gets put into a system and acted upon. Sometimes, my email is entered on a form of some sort, but more often it is a legal pad passed around and then tucked into someone’s purse. I always have a sinking feeling that my email address is going nowhere.

Why not dash off an acknowledgment email immediately to thank the person for their email address? It will first of all confirm that you do have an accurate email for them (if it bounces, make an effort to contact the person another way to correct the email address), and the recipient will know that you are on the ball. Furthermore, they won’t be surprised when they get your email newsletter or some other communication at a later time. Haven’t you sometimes wondered how someone got your email? That happens if it’s weeks or months between providing your email, and getting a communication.

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