Pregnancy centers often find themselves caught in the middle of effectively reaching abortion-minded women while helping donors and board members understand and support a strategy that ties into their overall mission. While many centers tread lightly and walk a fine line between the two audiences, bridging the gap and developing a marketing understanding can help improve your effectiveness and lessen the threat of losing support.
In order to help your pregnancy center bridge the gap and gain buy-in, we offer the following outline to help you approach the conversation with your board or donors. This is great information to share at fundraising events, board meetings and as you meet with individual supporters.
1. THE MESSAGING CHANGES, BUT THE MISSION DOES NOT
First and foremost, before discussing specific marketing tactics with donors or your board, explain the unchanging bottom-line: while your messaging may change, your mission never will. You are on the same team, and you rely on their partnership to support your life-affirming ministry and reach abortion-minded women. Even when they see client-facing material referencing abortion or women’s empowerment, they can trust that your mission is unchanging and your center will deliver life-affirming options, Christ-like care and compassion to every woman who walks through your center’s door.
2. DESCRIBE THE ABORTION-MINDED CLIENT
Based on your center’s demographics and experience, paint a picture of the typical client. Explain their general beliefs, attitudes, demographics, needs, and thoughts on pregnancy options. Illustrate to your donors and board members that the messaging that resonates with faith-minded individuals, will not land the same way with abortion-minded women who have no faith background. Instead, to effectively reach them, you need to meet them where they’re at online – answering their questions, handling any concerns, and speaking to them in a relatable way.
3. DESCRIBE THE COMPETITION
Based on the client persona, describe how the competitor, Planned Parenthood or another abortion clinic, successfully speaks to this woman to draw her to their clinic. For one, Planned Parenthood positions themselves as the industry’s thought leader and trendsetter. Outspoken on women’s issues and “rights,” they masquerade themselves as the “empowering” choice, when really they profit off each woman who comes in the door. They begin to target women as teenagers, as “America’s most trusted provider of sexual and reproductive health care” with their chatbot “Roo” to answer questions on puberty and more. They produce vulgar content, tying into current trends and promoting sexuality. One quick scroll through Planned Parenthood’s Instagram account tells you everything you need or want to know about their positioning. Here’s the sticking point: it works.
With local and independent pregnancy centers across the country, each with different names and service offerings, gaining community awareness among the client demographic requires marketing. Without the realization of the center as a viable choice, they would simply choose the top-of-mind option, Planned Parenthood. To truly compete, your center must speak in a voice that will resonate with clients, that’s trendy, empowering, and inspiring without vulgarity or a political agenda.
4. ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: ABORTION
Abortion is a real option for women. Donors and board members already know this, but they can struggle with centers using the word in their marketing. Before booking any appointments, women need to know pregnancy centers will talk with them about every option, free from pressure or judgment. Especially with pro-abortion advocates calling pregnancy centers “fake clinics,” clients need to see you do not exist to pressure them into any decisions. Acknowledging all options available will make clients feel more comfortable making an appointment, especially those suspicious of pregnancy centers. And, when they reach out to you, it gives them an opportunity to hear about life-affirming options, and talk with your staff and volunteers as they offer a picture of a hope-filled future for a woman and her baby. If they don’t find you first, they may not realize there are other options and their lives are not over, they are just faced with choosing a new direction that is different than the one they may have planned.
Additionally, using abortion terms in search engine marketing and on your website will help you reach women during their online search process. If they are curious about different types of abortion or the risks, it’s best they learn about it from your center’s website instead of an abortion clinic. It will help them make an appointment for a consultation at your center where they receive free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, giving them a chance to see the life inside them, and they will be given factual information on their pregnancy choices. Leaving out abortion term marketing could cause your center to miss serving clients seeking an abortion.
5. PRESENT THE BENEFITS OF STRATEGIC MARKETING
Now that you laid the groundwork and addressed the elephant in the room, you can present the benefits of strategic marketing efforts. These benefits will excite your donors and board members with how marketing can help increase your community impact.
Boost Local Awareness
Maybe your center has plenty of local awareness in the church and faith-based community, but this doesn’t guarantee abortion-minded women know about it. By engaging in awareness-based advertising and marketing campaigns, you can increase community awareness among women in your area, and put your center on the map to compete with abortion clinics. This will lead to more appointments, and more chances to save lives.
Build Trust through Professional Positioning
Abortionists have been attacking pregnancy centers through propaganda. They spew accusations, including centers are fake, staff doesn’t possess adequate training, and women will feel pressured into carrying their baby to term. Centers can combat these lies with marketing. Creating blog posts answering medical questions, posting about pressure-free care on social media, and displaying ads celebrating years of serving the community all build your center’s image and establish credibility. By doing this, you will gain the trust of women in your area to alleviate any fear or concerns about scheduling an appointment.
Proactively Develop Relationships
Marketing tactics like social media enable your center to build relationships with clients prior to pregnancy. By developing engaging and inspiring social media content and building local followership, you will become top-of-mind to women in their hour of need. Not only that, social media allows you to introduce your center, what you represent, and how you care for local women. Once women come to know your center on social media, they will displace the competitor in their minds as their go-to care provider, and even recommend your free or no-cost services to friends in need.
Intercept the Competition’s Clients
With a strong digital marketing strategy, you can intercept women searching for the nearest abortion clinic. As discussed earlier, abortion terms become vital in this process. Through Google Ads and keyword strategy, pregnancy centers can attract potential clients during their search for solutions. Pregnancy centers offer many things that abortion clinics do not, but “Free” or “No-Cost” services will always remain the most enticing incentive. Even if potential clients have never heard of your center before, they may choose your center for cost purposes. Successful marketing means delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. By doing this, you will gain more clients and appointments, increasing your reach and community impact.
6. BRING OUT THE NUMBERS
Once you’ve covered what successful marketing can do for your center, show them the analytics and numbers to back it up. How many women on social media reached out to you to make an appointment? What primary way did clients learn about you? Did any of these clients choose life? Showing donors and board members marketing in action builds the case for further investment and support. No one can argue with numbers, especially when they represent real human lives.
Please note: If your center has not implemented a marketing strategy or realized results at this time, we can help your center build a case. By working with pregnancy centers across the country, we have gathered metrics and can share typical results and success for you to present to your donors and board members.
7. CONCLUDE WITH A CALL TO ACTION
Every excellent presentation should leave audience members asking, “How can I help?” Present your upcoming marketing goals and ask for donor and board member support. At this point, you presented a strong and impactful case for marketing your pregnancy center. Donors and board members should now realize marketing’s positive potential, and be excited about increasing community impact as a team. Remember, your messaging may change, but your mission will not. Your ability to reach more abortion-minded women with marketing should not be overlooked. The results speak for themselves, marketing saves lives.
Choose Life Marketing exists to support pregnancy centers’ life-saving mission. We are experts in pregnancy center best practices, and know which strategies and tactics produce the best results. If you’re interested in working with us to help improve any area of your center’s marketing, please contact us today.