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For most nonprofits, marketing is a game of keep-up. You’re constantly working to maintain the status quo. You hustle and sweat and just when you think you’re getting ahead, another hurdle—like diminishing resources or changing donor expectations—makes its way into your path.

You want to effectively move every donor through the marketing pipeline, but you just keep falling behind. Without a miraculous increase in time or manpower, how can you not only keep up, but actually get ahead? The answer: marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the use of software and technology to make marketing through channels like email, peer-to-peer fundraising, landing pages, and microsites easier and more convenient. It essentially takes the actions you do repeatedly (like sending emails) and does them automatically.

For nonprofits, marketing automation can give you the power to more effectively, consistently, and personally engage donors without further taxing your time.

How Your Nonprofit Can Use Automation to Improve Donor Communication

Here are a couple of ways you can employ marketing automation to help enhance donor engagement:

  1. Strengthen relationships through automated communication series.
    • Welcome series for new names – Use this series to cast your mission and vision, and gradually introduce people to what your nonprofit is all about.
    • Welcome series for first-time donors – Thank them for their contribution, show how their gift will make a difference, and give them next steps to stay involved.
    • Ongoing series for recurring donors – Repeatedly show your appreciation, the importance of the role they play in the organization and the cause, and specific ways they are helping to make an impact.
  2. Maximize engagement through custom content.
    • Content based on interests – Provide donors customized stories, information and appeals based on specific programs or areas they’ve shown an interest in within your organization.
    • Consumable bite-size chunks of content – Rather than overloading donors with infrequent and lengthy amounts of information, keep them engaged with regular, easy-to-consume bits of content.

    The efforts above can all be automated to deliver consistent, personal communication to your donors while reducing the time burden on your organization. These are just a couple of ways you can use marketing automation to work smarter, not harder, to keep your donors engaged.