Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Multichannel Communications - Management & Tips

A point I've been harping on for some time whenever I speak to groups of nonprofits is the importance of communicating to your supporters the way they want, not the ways you're used to. In other words, while some of your supporters may still be looking for that annual holiday letter in the mail, others want to hear from you on Facebook, or by email, at an event, or even by the old telephone. This is what we mean by multichannel communications.

This guest post is from Madeleine Hammond. Maddie is a marketing executive at Skeleton Productions - One of the UK's leading video production companies. Here’s what She has to say about managing multichannel communications...

Multichannel marketing is not a trend likely to end soon - and for good reason. With the constant evolution of new technologies, new social platforms, and new ways to communicate with your audience, nonprofits are currently able to enjoy a whole plethora of potential communication options. Managing these various outlets however is where things can get a little... messy, especially if you’re a charity doing this on the cheap.

To successfully manage all your data, you really need to understand the information you are receiving. So with that in mind, here are some tips that can hopefully help you in the management of your various channels…

1) (Social) Network, Network, Network!: Now, this one is a biggy. According to studies, email open rates are on the decline with more people of all ages switching to social media as their primary form of communication. This means organizations have to think about not only growing their presence in relevant social networks, but they also have to think about growing their “lists” in these environments—much like you think about growing your email list. The great thing about social media is that - mostly - it is free, and you can reach a ha-uge potential audience with some persistent marketing. Make sure to have Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin profiles for your nonprofit. Managing them is simple, especially if you make use of their mobile features - just don’t forget about them!

2) Don’t Forget About Emails!: Yes bringing emails into the equation after talking about social media’s superiority may seem like a contradiction, but just because it’s not 1999 anymore doesn't mean email appeals are no longer relevant. It does mean you have to get more creative however. An email blast to your entire list with the same plea won’t work - in fact, you’ll be lucky if it gets read at all & not marked as spam. Segment your database & create specific templates for those segments, matching the profiles of your supporters. Always test these groups with various content & measure the response. You can even create filters within your inbox so you can monitor responses more successfully. By creating filters & recipient segments, it is easy for you to keep on top of your email campaigns.

3) Keep Track: Tracking is a crucial factor in understanding how your channels are working for you - If you are not measuring what is working via unique tracking links for your petitions and fundraising pages or using Google analytics, you are not listening to what is working for you and what is working against you. As the ol’ social media saying goes; ‘measure, listen and adapt’. Remember its important to connect and communicate with your supporters based on what you know about them, so track and measure what is working and adapt and adopt appeals to suit your audience needs accordingly.  It needn’t cost you much either, as tools like Google Analytics are free.

4) Have a Strong Profile: Creating a strong profile for your nonprofit is essential in targeting donors and audiences. Creating supporter profiles will also help target your audiences in different channels more effectively. Each customer profile has different needs, and your channel of communication should adapt to that. Different channels should be used to translate different communications to different audiences. This may take time (and some saint-like patience!) but it could make a huge difference to your campaign.

No comments:

Post a Comment