I’m sure you are looking forward to getting back to normal. All of us are wondering what “normal” will look like. We long for the days before the pandemic, social distancing, and the challenge of finding toilet paper, sanitizer, and the masks you needed to meet with your clients.
At the same time, we encourage you to look ahead with hope and anticipation of the new normal and the blessings in store. Through every trial, we learn so much. At Choose Life Marketing, we have seen positives come out of this huge challenge for centers across the country. Mainly, we have seen incredible strength in all of you – you were tenacious in staying open and serving clients, you endured much hardship juggling protecting your staff, maintaining your finances and still meeting client needs. You have come out so strong – with new practices that will help you engage more with both Gen Z and your supporters.
Last week we discussed ways pregnancy centers all over America are pivoting to adjust to changes brought about by COVID-19. Changes such as being more strategic with marketing and looking at best practices as you minister to those you serve. In this week’s guide, we discuss ways you can pivot to keep your donors engaged, inspired, and active in the life of your pregnancy center.
Send Strategic Emails
Many of you likely already send emails to your donor base. It’s a great way to reach a larger group of people all at once. You can deliver powerful stories, share statistics, update them on the status of your events, and so much more. But are you fully utilizing your email list? Have you looked into creative ways to grow it? And are you following up and seeing the results you’d like from the emails you send?
It’s good to send regular update emails to keep your donors informed on what’s happening at your center. They need to hear and rejoice with you when lives are saved and when God moves in people’s hearts to receive the gospel. These are important emails and you should carve out time to send them at least once a month.
Include a Call to Action
As you engage with your supporters through email, it’s important to invite them to continue to partner with you. All of your emails should have a call to action. Is your baby boutique constantly running low? Do you need to hire a new staff member or purchase new equipment? Strategic and segmented email campaigns can help you raise money and supplies for these necessary operations. And the strength of your email list is key for the success of these emails.
To grow your email list, you can ask for people’s email addresses at events you attend or host, at churches where you share about your center, and by doing polls on Facebook that include capturing contact information. You can include information about how to sign up on all your printed pieces. Think creatively and strategically about how you can constantly grow and then engage with your list.
Use Email to Promote Your Events
A strong email list will also help when it’s time to promote your online and in-person events and fundraising campaigns. The strength of your list will massively determine the strength of your campaign, so make sure you send engaging and thoughtful emails to keep people tuned in and paying attention.
When you send emails as part of a campaign, don’t be afraid to resend emails through segmenting your lists. You can resend to people who haven’t opened emails in your series, and send the same information in multiple ways to people who aren’t clicking the links in your emails. This is part of email marketing and is an effective way to reach people who are busy but want to stay engaged.
Use Social Media Strategically
Social media is a great platform to use to reach your donors. Everyone is one it! Your presence in this space is critical and your primary social media strategy begins with Facebook and then Instagram. Most of all, you need a plan. It’s not enough to log in and post randomly when you think about it. To see success with social media, you must have a plan.
Begin by deciding how often you will post. You can post as often as once per day or up to 3-4 times per week to be present in your donors’ feeds with messages about your pregnancy center.
So many share that they feel “technology challenged.” If you aren’t personally comfortable with technology and social media, find someone on your staff who is and ask for them to own this initiative, working with them to give input on messaging.
Have Separate Pages
As things are opening up and people are adjusting back to life outside of their homes, now more than ever, you need to continue to build awareness with both clients and donors. You want to remind them you are there! As you know, you have two very different audiences – clients and donors. Because you are communicating two very different messages, you will want to have separate pages for these two audiences. Your clients need to see posts that share about the services you provide and messages that you’re there for them. Your donors want to know the impact of their support and the impact of your work. Posts about your faith, your mission, special events, and how donors can help will be a turn off for clients in crisis.
Invest in Advertising
Has your giving been impacted by COVID-19? Many of you have had to create online events, move your walk and banquet, and in general walk in faith through an uncertain economy. We know that God will provide for your every need. Be encouraged and remember that not everyone’s finances were impacted by this pandemic. However, it’s always good to increase your supporter base. One effective way to grow your donor base is to use social media advertising, running ads to raise money and increase your contact list. These are especially effective around your events and the end of the year when people are wanting to make donations to worthy causes.
Use Social Media to Grow Your List
It’s great to have a lot of followers on social media. It’s even better if you can have those people on your email list. You can strategically use social media to grow your email list so if the platform is ever down or for some reason goes away, you don’t lose the people you’ve invested in cultivating online relationships with.
Upload your current email list to your Facebook advertising dashboard and Facebook will create a lookalike audience of people with similar interests as your donors. Then you can run advertisements directly to those people asking them to partner with your pregnancy center.
Follow this up with an email campaign. Strategic, segmented email campaigns are highly effective at raising money and keeping your donors and supporters engaged. There isn’t as much noise or distraction in a person’s email inbox as there is on social media, and if you’ve done a good job of connecting with people online, they’ll want to open your emails to read what you have to say.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Events
Finally, as you approach another event season, make a plan to incorporate social media and emails to promote your events. Whether they are live or virtual, a successful event has a strong online presence, both on social media and in your emails. Using videos, beautiful images, and client testimonies that share the impact of your center, you can capture a large audience through your posts, motivating them to both get involved and give.
As you walk into this new season post COVID-19, we encourage you to constantly look for ways to build your online presence, both with your current supports and potential supporters. A strong, large, responsive donor base will carry you through challenging times. It is a powerful way to reach right into supporters’ homes and lives – making them aware of the life-changing work that you do.
These are all online tactics you can use at any time, but they are especially important as we continue making adjustments after COVID-19. Take the time to map out and invest in your strategy to engage with people in online spaces so they’ll be engaged in the important work you do. As always, we’re here to help you navigate these marketing tactics and strategies so you can reach more abortion-minded women in your community!