Every nonprofit has a contact list. However, what do those contacts count for if they are seldom if ever contacted or if those contacts aren’t cultivated in the grand scheme of things? Contacts are derived from what is also commonly called in the business world as a “lead,” but just having the lead saved in a database somewhere doesn’t result in anything. Ultimately, the goal of every nonprofit should be to convert those contacts & leads into donors & customers. However, many nonprofits struggle with converting contacts because they don’t realize that they are already sitting on a gold mine of contacts and they just need a contact strategy.
Let’s count the cost to obtain a contact or lead. According to Pop Up Smart, nonprofits have an average industry cost per (acquired) lead of $31. If you then do the math and consider how only a fraction of those contacts acquired will actually convert into customers or donors, you can see how vital it is to communicate regularly with your contacts and employ a contact strategy to cultivate and nurture those contacts. Nonprofits in many cases today however don’t value the contacts that they have in their database. They often will spend more resources to acquire more (net new) contacts instead of utilizing the gold mine of contact data that they already possess.
Employing a contact strategy can be simple and yet can quickly scale engagement when you assign a buyer persona to each contact. HubSpot defines it this way, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Some examples of buyer personas would be a volunteer persona, a major donor persona, or a constituent persona. Those example persona types are general in nature, but you can specify the persona name more around your audience and it will actually help you segment your contacts and form the basis of communication for building a contact strategy.
Once you have identified those persona types, the two main ingredients to building a contact strategy are: 1) knowing what persona your contact fits into and 2) knowing what content you can send to each persona. Organizing your contacts in this way frees you up from having to cast such a wide net with your content; you can actually get really targeted and then cultivate the gold mine of contacts that already exist in your database. Again, you can strike gold and it was right under your feet all along!
If your organization is looking for a golden opportunity to scale your nonprofit marketing and fundraising, schedule some time with our CauseDRIVEN Marketing experts! CauseDRIVEN is a certified HubSpot partner agency and helps nonprofits of all types and sizes build contact strategies that scale their engagement.