As purposeful marketers prepare year-end campaigns, it’s important to set our sights on what success looks like. What behaviors do we want and how can we orchestrate our efforts now to set the table for this desired engagement?
Conversions are a fundamental metric for measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts and ensuring resources are utilized efficiently.
Cindy Starkie, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Starlight Children’s Foundation, joined us in the Good Marketing Unplugged studio to share how their team increased conversions by 50 percent through shared, earned, paid, and owned channels. Here are some take-aways to increase conversion for future campaigns.
Four Keys to Increase Donation Conversion Rates
1) Embrace the Power of Simplified Messaging
To connect with donors and improve engagement, Starlight took a data-centric approach over the last year. They conducted brand research, A/B testing, and focus group research to gain insights into their audience's motivations. As a result, they simplified their messaging, emphasizing the tangible outcomes of their programs. This shift led to a 50% increase in website conversion rates and an 81% increase in social media engagement year over year.
2) Go Beyond Utility to Value
Starlight's success in their marketing campaigns is rooted in their ability to move beyond utility and focus on the value their programs bring to the beneficiaries. For instance, they shifted their messaging from touting the entertainment value of a gaming station in hospitals to highlighting how it helps children regain a sense of control and familiarity in a challenging hospital environment. This approach allows donors to see the real, meaningful impact of their contributions.
3) Leverage Emerging Trends in Nonprofit Marketing
Cindee identifies AI as an emerging trend in nonprofit marketing. Starlight is exploring AI to improve efficiency and enhance relationships with donors. AI can help analyze donor responses, enabling organizations to craft more targeted and engaging messages. However, Cindy emphasizes that AI should not replace the human touch but rather complement it.
4) Activate All Channels
Year-end giving is a crucial time for nonprofits, and Starlight is preparing for its "Give Happiness" campaign. They aim to unite their community to make a difference in the lives of hospitalized children during the holiday season. To do this, Starlight will activate all channels, including paid, earned, shared, and owned, to engage their audience effectively.
Shared channels, such as corporate partners, hospitals, and influencers, play a vital role in Starlight's year-end campaign. They create toolkits with templatized content that their partners can customize and share through their channels. In addition, to boost the impact of paid channels like social media, Starlight has shifted from static ad content to engaging storytelling. By focusing on human-centric stories and engaging content, they aim to connect with donors on a deeper level.
The experiences and insights Cindee shared serve as a valuable guide for purposeful marketers looking to transform their approach and drive meaningful change in the world. By embracing innovation, simplifying messaging, and leveraging all channels, nonprofits can effectively engage their communities and inspire them to make a difference.