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Some Personal News
#37 Making a MarTech implementation ROI-Positive, my remarketing strategy with P-Max and some writing tips that will improve your CVR
Happy Sunday. To those I spoke to this week or spent time with in-person - thank you. A very warm welcome to all the new subscribers. I’m thrilled to have you as readers and truly appreciate your feedback and support.
Let’s dig in.
9 Copywriting Recs to Improve CVR.
In nearly all aspects of life, communication is the most important skill.
That and making a decent martini.
Here are some copywriting recs - they all sound basic, they’re a LOT harder to execute - that have considerably helped improve my conversion rates over time:
#1. Make it about them
Don't just talk about your mission. Instead, talk about what’s in it for your audience.
“Contribute to a brighter future for our community.”
#2. Make it relatable
Shortcut comprehension - relate your mission to something that they already understand.
#3. Cut the fluff
Remove words that don’t add value. Hook their interest as succinctly as possible.
“Missed the bus? Grab a Lyft.”
#4. Use simple words
Don’t use a $10 word when a $0.05 word will do. Don’t use industry jargon either.
“Deliver more good in less time.”
#5. Be specific
Don't make donors do the work. Spell it out for them.
“Your Donation is 100% Tax Deductible. Give Now.”
#6. Use active voice
Active voice results in shorter, sharper sentences. Making it easier to follow and finish.
“We empower communities through sustainable development projects.”
#7. Make it punchy
Steal concepts from poetry. Use literary devices. Chop up sentences. Add rhyme and rhythm.
“One scoop. Once a day. Every day.”
#8. Handle objections
Identify the most common objections that come to donor’s mind and proactively handle them.
“93% of every dollar is invested in delivering care to those in need.”
#9. Be bold
No one identifies with wishy-washy statements. Take strong stances to find your tribe.
“Most non-profits suck at donor onboarding.”
Implement this approach in your ads, posts, blogs → increase donor comprehension and your fundraising revenue.
Part 2: Making MarTech Implementation ROI-Positive – Who’s Doing the Doing?
Let’s say that last week you picked HubSpot as your tool of choice and BestHubSpotCo as the implementation partner. Now you just throw it over the fence to your CT/IO – and your job’s done!
Not so fast. Your Tech counterpart flooded you with use cases, wrote a 100-page long data security addendum, and told you the only way you can use this tech is if you learn how to integrate the Kanban dashboard into Agile planning sessions.
I don’t want to be diminishing here – the CTO, and especially CIO, is usually my best ally in the C-Suite. They understand the Donor data as well – if not better – than I do. But they have different objectives. Their KPIs are usually data cleanliness, security against risks, and minimizing disruptions to the core services – those are the website and donation platform. Nowhere in their annual review will they be assessed against an increase in revenue from the core donor base.
Building a cross-functional team accountable for implementation – internally and externally – is unavoidable. In last weeks edition #36 of SPN we identified several objectives for a successful MarTech launch:
$1.08M budget for the first-year license and external implementation services.
$220k budget for the first-year internal team cost.
$1.8M in the first-year revenue gain – coming from Cash to Monthly conversion rate increase of 20%.
[new] Data security – meeting the regulatory standards and not getting us into trouble.
[new] Stability – maintaining the speed of other platforms and parts of the tech stack without interruptions.
The latter 2 the tech team will need to take care of – but they are important to remember. I would assemble the following team to achieve these:
Note the main “lead” on the project – that should be the person in charge of Fundraising, NOT Technology. The end user should have the final say and bear the ultimate responsibility.
Another important part is who manages the external partner. Tech teams have the best PMs usually – tap into that!
Mapping the 5 objectives above to key people on the project, I suggest the following:
$1.08M budget for the first-year license and external implementation services – Project Manager Lead
$220k budget for the first-year internal team cost – Project Manager Lead
$1.8M in the first-year revenue gain – coming from Cash to Monthly conversion rate increase of 20% - Audience, Email, and Reporting Leads
[new] Data security – meeting the regulatory standards and not getting us into trouble – Technology Person-In-Charge
[new] Stability – maintaining the speed of other platforms and parts of the tech stack without interruptions – Technology Person-in-Charge
Given a tight internal budget of $220k, an internal project manager must be harsh on everybody. You won’t have more than 25% of anybody’s capacity to stay within those figures. So set those targets – and move on. Proper team assembly will already take care of 4 out of 5 objectives above, don’t spend too much time on it. An objective requiring most of your ongoing attention is #3 above – let’s dig into it.
$1.8M in the first-year revenue gain – coming from Cash to Monthly conversion rate increase of 20%. The main blocker for this objective will be timelines. I touched on Bad Processes planning last time, but it should be reworded as Bad Sequencing.
CRM implementation will include multiple workstreams such as Discovery, Implementation, QA, Training, and others – all taking up multiple weeks, being delayed because of PTOs and sick leaves, and many other unforeseen circumstances. Let it run its course – and you will find yourself at a 12-month mark with no understanding of incremental revenue and, likely, no incremental revenue at all. That is why I visually separated the fundraising team on the diagram above – they should operate on their own timeline, making sure that revenue-generating objectives are not left to be done after the implementation – they need to be done concurrently with it.
In response to last weeks edition, some of you said I should have factored in gradual revenue growth YoY – e.g., $1M in Y1, $1.8M in Y2, and $2.6M in Y3 to get to the 3-year total of $5.4M. I usually don’t do that – front-loading the cost but back-loading the projected results leaves you at the mercy of assumptions.
Our goal for this whole project is to grow the CVR by 20%, but it’s not all-or-nothing. One of the most frequent mistakes I see fundraising teams make is to treat “implementation” as a 0/1 state – the new tool is either “implemented” or “not implemented.” All the beautiful use cases planned out for the end state – automated emails, personalized content, sequenced messaging for different donor personas – are all right. The thing is, they can be done manually.
In the CRM automation scenario, I would keep my fundraising team accountable to reach the 20% CVR growth target already in Y1, regardless of the complete implementation. Only then will I be certain the new tool will succeed long-term. Note the below schematic example of how to use the tech implementation progress to recognize partial gains:
The key message is this: Your Tech counterparts’ key target is to implement the “new” workflow within the first year. The Fundraising team should revamp the manual process in the meantime. Then, and only then, will you get to the set revenue gain targets. If you want to chat about specific ideas – tap my email!
Remarketing with P-Max.
You use Performance Max campaigns, but should you still run remarketing campaigns? Let’s get tactical in this post and I’ll break down my remarketing strategy with Google Ads.
Performance Max does some remarketing yet you have 0 control:
→ No control over audiences to retarget
→ No control over ads per audience
→ No control over remarketing spend
With dedicated remarketing campaigns, you control all of these. You decide which audiences to remarket to, what ads you’re showing them, and how much you spend.
On top of that, you get far better insights in audience and creative performance. So yes, in most cases, you should still run dedicated remarketing campaigns on top of pMax.
Take back control with a full-funnel remarketing strategy
Before you set up remarketing campaigns, align on the strategy. Generally you want to apply the following:
Pick the right campaign types
Set up your campaigns for success
Target high-intent audiences first, then the rest
Create ads for every stage of the funnel (if possible)
Exclude recent donors to reduce wasted ad spend
Let’s take it step by step.
1: Pick the right campaign types and structure
If you want to retarget website visitors on Google inventory, you have 3 options (excluding Search and Performance Max):
They all work well and mature accounts should have all of them.
The biggest advantage of Display campaigns is Dynamic Remarketing. This allows you to show highly relevant ads that dynamically insert, for example, the program page a prospect user visited.
2: Set up your campaigns for success
The next step is to build the right campaign structure. The best tip I can give here: keep it simple. The best remarketing campaigns have a basic structure.
• One campaign (per campaign type)
• Multiple ad groups segmented by audience
• Ads tailored to the specific audiences
Unless you have specific budgetary goals per audience segment, there’s no need to overcomplicate it.
3: Target high-intent audiences first, then the rest
The biggest mistake I often see is when there’s only one “all website visitors” audience that is being retargeted. The problem: this list is invariably too big and mixed with donors showing different donation intent.
Fix that problem by creating audiences for every stage in the funnel.
This is what a basic remarketing funnel looks like:
Create different audiences for:
All website visitors
Category (eg Education) page visitors
Program (eg School) page visitors
Cart/checkout page visitors
Retarget high-intent audiences first (cart/checkout page visitors), then work your way up the funnel (program page visitors, category page visitors). If performance is good, you can expand by retargeting all website visitors.
Ideally, you layer recency on top of your audiences, meaning you create variations of all audiences for 3, 7, 30, 90 and 180 days. The time periods you use should be based on your goals and audience sizes. If you have small audiences, you may want to stick to a minimum of 30 days, otherwise the audiences might be too small to retarget.
Shorter time period = warmer audience = higher chance of conversion.
But also: shorter time period = smaller audience size = potentially too small to retarget.
Play around with it and create the best audience structure based on your own goals and data.
4: Create ads for every stage of the funnel
Not every website visitor should see the same remarketing ad. Create unique ads for every stage of the funnel.
If someone is lower in the funnel, your ads can be more transactional. For example: if a person has put a donation in their cart, they’re closer to converting, so receiving a Match ad for a first time donor might work well.
If someone is higher in the funnel, your ads need to be more intriguing. For example: if a person only visited a category page, they still need some convincing, so you can show them the benefits of that specific category in the ad.
Final thought: the best way to increase ad relevance is by enabling Dynamic Remarketing (in your Display campaign settings).
Good Reads this Week
The new IAB report shows Digital Ad spend in the UK grew by 11% last year to £26 billion - down on the 41% over the previous year, but holding onto that pandemic growth is an achievement.
Great example of clear thinking: There is No AI.
Multitouch attribution is out, Media Mix Modelling is back, but on its own isn’t enough.
Agency Publicis Sapient shared interesting Generative AI Use Cases for the Travel and Hospitality Industry.
State of the Media Market - cautious optimism and innovation play to a discerning consumer.
Jobs and Opps
American Advertising Assoc: SVP, MarTech
Charity Navigator: VP, MarComms
Hindu American: Director of Social Media
Human Rights First: Digital Director
National Geographic Society: VP, Membership
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How can I help you? I use my experience, expertise and network to help mission-driven organizations solve interesting problems and grow.