Marketing

Easy Come, Easy Go: More Lessons from HubSpot’s Email Purge

Last week, I wrote about HubSpot’s surprising decision to cut 250,000 email addresses from its marketing roles and what we could learn about increasing our email open and click rates. To be clear, I haven’t spoken to anyone at HubSpot, I’ve only read about the company decision to make this move in some of their blog posts like this one by Pamela Vaughan

HubSpot's move was a big step, the kind of marketing decision that, down the road, people will hail as genius or will condemn as idiotic. 

Here’s why I believe it will have a happily-ever-after ending, why HubSpot was able to do this, and one of the things that we—in the nonprofit sector—should learn from them.

HubSpot's Bold Email Purge and What Nonprofits Can Learn About Email Calls to Action

In a very bold move this week, Hubspot, a leading online marketer, purged more than 250,000 email addresses. As I’ve previously written, email addresses are very valuable to your organization. According to Blackbaud’s annual Luminated study, in fact, each individual email address is worth an average $12.46 in donations.

So one might think that purging 45% of your company’s email list is either truly inspired or totally crazy. Then, again, it might just be completely practical.

Thinking About Social Media Advertising

Thinking About Social Media Advertising

Should we use paid social media advertising?” a friend who is an Executive Director at a nonprofit asked.  “My Board of Directors has been suggesting that I look into it,” she continued.

My first question for my Board, if they asked me to consider social media advertising, would bewhy.  To what end would we be advertising? Would we simply be working to “raise awareness” or would we have a more specific call to action in mind? If our purpose was to “raise awareness” to what end would we be doing that? 

Reporting Impact

Reporting Impact

Part of our responsibility to our donors after receiving a gift is to report back to them about what the donations they’ve entrusted to us have accomplished. We know they want to hear from us about the impact of their donations.

If we’re good at donor stewardship, we do this in multiple ways and in an ongoing fashion.  

  • We call our donors and say things like, “Hi! The tractors arrived on site today and started clearing for the new building and I was just thinking about you and how you’ve made this possible.
  • We invite them to our campuses and show them work in progress or programs in action.
  • We meet them for coffee and bring them pictures of something that happened last week that they wanted to see. 

Informally, the updates are regular.

But every once in a while, we do formal updates through Annual or Impact Reports as well.  As many of us plan this time of year to write and design our Annual or Impact Report, what should it convey?

6 Ways to Make Email Subscribers Out of Your Social Media Followers

6 Ways to Make Email Subscribers Out of Your Social Media Followers

Given that it is so valuable to have email addresses, to have people on your eNews lists (because email open and conversion rates are so much higher than social media reach and conversion rates), one of your social media goals should definitely be to convert your social media fans, likes, and followers to email subscribers.

So how do you do that? Here are 6 Ways to find the email addresses and receive the permission of followers to be added to your email lists:

7 Groups of People Who Can Contribute Content to Your Nonprofit's Blog

7 Groups of People Who Can Contribute Content to Your Nonprofit's Blog

Ever visited a nonprofit's blog page to find...well, nothing? The Blank Blog is all too common on nonprofit websites.

A lot of nonprofit organizations resist beginning a blog or, if they have a blog, they let it languish because they can’t imagine how to keep it full of content. They don’t know what they could possibly say that would be interesting to their readers OR they are so overworked and understaffed they can't figure out how to complete one more task (e.g. writing blog posts).

The good news is that the people who love a nonprofit organization—donors, volunteers, board members, clients—would be interested in reading several things about the nonprofit, things that a nonprofit staff leader—especially one that has served a long time—might take for granted and see as routine and a nonprofit staff leader doesn't have to do it all himself.

Should Nonprofits Blog?

Should Nonprofits Blog?

As I was leaving the building, a few workshop attendees approached me in the parking lot. One said, “A few of us wanted to talk to you because we were puzzled. You said it was really important to blog but we had just attended a fundraising workshop, before your workshop, on major gifts and the workshop presenter had said "Blogging is a complete waste of time. It won’t raise major gifts for you and you need to be getting major gifts.”

Wow.  Great to know what the confusion was about. We were able to have a terrific discussion. My only regret was that we couldn’t all have the discussion with the other presenter with us.  We could have had a really interesting exchange because I understand why he said what he said and in a way he is right. You certainly don’t ask for or receive a major gift because of anything you’ve written in a blog or posted on your website. 

HOWEVER, I think he has missed the point. 

Travel Season and the Nonprofit Journey

Travel Season and the Nonprofit Journey

It’s vacation season.  Time to pack up the suitcase and jump in the car, head to the airport, or hit the highways.  Many of us are enjoying pools or beaches or hiking on shaded mountain trails.

Most people are in the mood to travel.  So why not take your volunteers and donors on a journey?

We’re All Weird - #AFPFC Wrap-UP

We’re All Weird - #AFPFC Wrap-UP

Note:  This blog post is part of my #AFPFC wrap-up, a series of posts writing about my take-aways from the 2015 International Fundraising Conference of the AFP in Baltimore last week. We're All Weird is one of the messages imparted in the plenary session from speaker Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow, Tribes, and about 3 or 4 other dozen other books on marketing and entrepreneurship.

When he came on stage, the young woman in her twenties sitting next to me said, “I don’t even know who he is.  I’ve never heard of him.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” I said.  “I was more excited about hearing him speak than I was about hearing Whoopi Goldberg—no offense to Whoopi—she’s cool and all, but I read Seth’s blog and follow him online.”

“Really?” said the girl next to me.  “Why?”

“So young!” I thought.

So I explained.  I’m sure I sounded like a lunatic babbling.  “You know! He’s the author of ‘Purple Cow!’ and ‘Tribes!' He’s that marketing guru with the bald head that says ‘click my head’ who wears the colorful rimmed glasses!” 

I’m excited and out of breath and uproarious clapping begins to drown me out.  I can see the young woman’s response in her eyes:  “So old,” she’s thinking. 

3 Great Reasons Companies Should Sponsor You

3 Great Reasons Companies Should Sponsor You

ponsorships can make the difference between an event being successful and an event being a failure.  Sponsorship dollars are critical.  Fortunately, sponsorship dollars are something that are easy to raise (yes, you read that right) – easy because they are a win-winCompanies receive several benefits from sponsorships:

  1. Corporate sponsorships provide companies benefits with their customers
  2. They increase employee productivity and loyalty, and
  3. They offer traditional marketing benefits like name/brand recognition in the community.