You know how important sales are, right?
And you know that fundraising is, more or less, the nonprofit word for selling, right?
Without sales/fundraising, your business/nonprofit doesn’t grow, and without growth, your business/nonprofit dies.
So it makes sense to learn as much as you can about finding, developing and nurturing leads/prospects so you can convert as many as possible into sales/gifts.
This is true no matter what industry you’re in, whether you’re for- or non-profit.
The folks at Get CRM have taken a look at best practices and years of data to come up with 56 Sales Statistics You Must Know in 2017 & Beyond.
Much of this data is directly applicable to social sector businesses, so why not be smart and benefit from inquiries and examinations being done by those with the resources to invest in market research?
Let’s take a look at five key take-aways and how they can help you. The Get CRM folks have provided a visual guide for easy reference.
1. Social Media Influences Buyers
The more active you are on social media, and the more you engage influencers as your advocates, the more likely you are to drive philanthropy.
Did you know that:
- 82% of donors visit your website before they make a gift to you? (Source: Hubspot). And, of course, many of these folks find you via links on social media.
- 43% of consumers are more likely to buy when they hear about it from friends on social media? (Source: Nielsen). This plays right into one of Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence and Persuasion – social proof.
- 81% of American’s online purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts? (Source: Market Force). Don’t you think the same influence may come into play when it comes to making choices about which charities to give to?
2. Referrals are Gold
Social media is online word of mouth. If folks give you the thumbs up, it kick starts the relationship between you and your “lead” by engendering trust – the foundation of all long-term relationships. So it’s little surprise that:
- The lifetime value of referred customers is on average 16% higher than that of non-referred customers (Source: Wharton School of Business).
- More than 50% of buyers consult third party sources before consulting a company’s sales force (Source: Avande). So use testimonials from clients and other donors liberally, rather than expecting prospective donors to take your word for it.
- In a survey of 3,000 business people, over half of respondents indicated they got 70% or more of their customers via referrals (Source: Ivan Misner). While this is not a social selling statistic, it’s important to keep in mind when considering best ways to find new donor prospects. Ask your insiders!
3. Don’t Overlook Email
It’s easy to forget that email was the original social medium. It’s by no means dead, so don’t neglect this as one of your core nonprofit marketing and fundraising strategies. Keep in mind, too, that email can be an essential connector between social media and nonprofit donations.
And use best practices that work today. For example, 40% of emails are opened on mobile first, and the average mobile screen can only fit four to seven words max in the subject line (Source: ContactMonkey).
Take advantage of other best practices too:
- The best times to email prospects are between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Source: GetResponse).
- Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% (Source: Aberdeen Group).
- Subject lines should not be an afterthought. 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone (Source: Convince and Convert).
- Make the subject line relevant to your reader. 57% of email recipients consider a message to be spam if it isn’t relevant to their needs, even when they know the sender well (Source: Scripted).
- Send fundraising emails more than once. You never know when you’ll reach someone at an optimum time. 23.63% of email opens occur within the first hour of delivery (Source: GetResponse) and only 23% of sales emails are opened (Source: TOPO). Give your message a few chances.
4. Sales are Going Digital
The digital revolution has changed business as usual. Fundraising is not exempt. While the majority of donations still come in offline, this doesn’t mean they aren’t influenced by online activity. Though I don’t believe automation will replace the human touch in fundraising, other data should give you pause – and impact where you invest marketing resources moving forward.
- 67% of the buyer’s journey is done digitally (Source: SiriusDecisions). People are going to research you online, so it just makes sense to take charge of the process and become proactive with your nonprofit content marketing.
- CRM system adoption increases sales by up to 29% (Source: Salesforce). If you don’t yet use a CRM to help manage your donor’s journey, this is the year to reevaluate. Yes, it’s an investment. But if you use it wisely, you’ll more than make up the cost in increased fundraising.
5. Lead Nurturing is Critical
Going digital doesn’t just mean slapping up a Facebook page or setting up a Twitter account. You’ve got to actively engage to cultivate prospects and steward donors.
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (Source: The Annuitas Group).
- Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects see a 451% increase in qualified leads (Source: Annuitas). For nonprofits, this means segmenting your markets so you can set up email follow-ups that are relevant to different constituencies. The more personal you are, the better your results will be. For example, if a donor gives to children’s services, and you persist in emailing them content about senior services, you’re not likely to build a strong relationship.
Study these statistics, learn from them, and implement them in your own fundraising and marketing strategy to more effectively grow your nonprofit.