Biomedical nonprofits often see online and offline donors as two separate audiences: Offline donors tend to be older and give consistent amounts on a regular basis, while online donors may be younger and tend to give larger, one-time gifts. While these categorizations are largely true, it is difficult to reach your Leadership Marketing goals (such as building trust) when your marketing messages aren’t consistent.
Here are 3 very good reasons for integrating your donor communications between online and offline channels:
Integration can grow your donor base
Online donors are younger donors, and they tend to give larger donations than their offline counterparts. However, they also tend to give once and call it good, regardless of how many follow-up emails you send. Unless you quickly shift new online donors to offline renewal, odds are you will lose them. Integrating your online and offline marketing communications can help solve this problem by treating EVERY donor as having offline giving potential. From the moment an online donor chooses to give, your biomedical nonprofit can begin sending e-newsletters and updates to their inbox as well as to their physical mailbox. If the messaging is consistent, they will come to trust that 1. Your biomedical nonprofit will meet them wherever they search for information and make giving as convenient for them as possible, and 2. Your brand and mission is the same in the “real world” as it is online.
Integration shows brand consistency
While it’s true that the majority of older donors may not be acquired online, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t technologically savvy enough to visit your website. As of April 2012, 53% of American adults ages 65 and older used the Internet or email. 70% of those users accessed the Internet regularly (Pew Research). If your offline donors receive your newsletter in the mail and decide to visit your website, wouldn’t you want their experience with your brand to be consistent? If your website’s homepage is highly scientific and not donor-friendly, how will they feel when they visit? Do you keep an archive of the newsletters you mail out online, and would it be easy for casual Internet users to find them? When online and offline communications are integrated, offering a consistent brand experience is simple.
Integration can take your content farther
One of the best ways to position your biomedical nonprofit as an industry leader is to consistently show the value of your research. Sharing studies, insights and breakthroughs in newsletter or blog posts is a great way to do that. Integrating that information will have the greatest impact. For example, assume you’re sharing an inspiring story of how your research has touched someone’s life. Typically, you might choose to send it out as a part of your monthly “snail-mail newsletter.” But once that newsletter has gone out, how will that story touch your online audiences? If you think of every piece of content as a cross-channel opportunity, you are more likely to find creative ways to share it. For instance, you might distill the story down to one powerful image with a short, informative caption and a “donate now” option. Donors captured in this way could automatically receive the longer, newsletter version in their mailbox. Now when they receive your newsletter, they are familiar with the image and actively interested in learning more. They already feel connected to your nonprofit, making them more apt to sign them up for offline renewals.
If you have questions or you need help integrating your marketing channels, please contact me, Karan Cushman, by calling 866-960-9220 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.