5 Ways to Use Data In Your Marketing Communications

Hi! Welcome to the latest episode of The High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas. I’m Julia McDowell, Marketing Strategist for Five Ones. The High-Five is my video series of marketing strategies and tactics for nonprofits and associations.

Today, we’re talking about the wonderful world of data. Whether you love numbers (or hate them) they’re incredibly important in marketing. For starters, they give you great insight into your audience’s preferences, so you’re able to tweak your marketing strategy.

But, I’m going to niche down even further today and focus on how you can use data to improve your marketing communications. In any organization, your communication strategy is key to reaching, connecting, and ultimately receiving donations from your audience. In fact, 53% of marketers claim that there is a high demand for customer-centric communications. So, if you’re going to use data in one aspect of your marketing, make it your message.

Here are 5 ways to use data to amp up your marketing:

Use Available Personal Data

In your marketing database, I’m assuming you have different fields filled out for each person with various things about them. The first and last name is an obvious one—always use them when reaching out to someone. In an email to subscribers, add this tag *|FNAME|* so that their first name is included and *|LNAME|* for their last name. When an email or communication is personalized, it feels a lot more, well, personal! Another easy way to make things more personal is to communicate with someone where they want to be communicated! Have you ever started a job and a new boss said, “Please refrain from emailing me urgent requests and contact me via phone instead?”. It’s the same thing here. If someone likes snail mail, send them a brochure. If they love email, email them a PDF version. If you don’t have this information, send a quick survey out and ask!

Look at Demographics

Demographic data is also common information you may be collecting. This could include a myriad of things like location, gender, and race. When you’re drafting communications, it’s important to consider these demographics. For example, if someone lives in the area you can invite them to a local fundraiser or volunteer event. Whereas if you’re a national (or global) organization, it doesn’t make sense to email someone in California about a local event that is taking place in New York.

You can also use demographic data to start conversations about issues that affect certain genders or races. For example, women might be more comfortable expressing their opinions in a women-only forum versus one that involves all genders.

Understand Giving Patterns

Nonprofit organizations and associations rely on fundraising, so it’s important to understand a donor’s typical giving patterns. If someone is a recurring donor, you don’t need to email them monthly asking for donations—they’re already giving regularly! But if someone has donated consistently during the holiday season for the past few years, send them a note at that time reminding them of all that you do, what you use funds for, and asking them to donate.

Focus on Loyalty

Along the same lines as giving, consider someone’s loyalty. If they’re an active donor or volunteer, you don’t need to regularly send requests for help. Instead, send them updates on the impact the organization—and ultimately their contributions—have.

However, if someone is less engaged, use a drip campaign to slowly inform them of what you do, your impact, available volunteer opportunities, and how to donate.

Segment Your Audience

If it’s not perfectly clear already, data allows you to segment your audience. By sending communications that are directly related to the person, their interests, and their preferences, your engagement rate should increase accordingly. A few ways to segment your audience are:

  • Engaged vs. not engaged
  • Donors vs. volunteers
  • Local residents vs. non-local residents
  • High income vs. lower income
  • Older vs. younger
  • Email vs. regular mail
  • Loyal vs. less loyal
  • Female vs. male
  • And any other data you have!

Thanks for joining me for today’s High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas! While data isn’t always the sexiest of topics, numbers can really make or break your marketing campaigns. Have a question—data-related or not? Email me at julia@fiveones.com.