Is your nonprofit on the rise? As your organization spreads its wings, make sure your marketing efforts can keep up with technology that helps you make better decisions, reach more people and keep campaigns on track. Think beyond the basics with growth tools that will take your communications to the next level.
Sure, there’s a lot that you can do with fundamental tools like a solid website, a CRM or donor database, an email marketing service and Google Analytics. But you can also power your marketing with advanced services that offer additional insights and help identify new opportunities for growth.
Growth Tools for Nonprofit Marketing
Explore eight types of growth tools you can bring on board as your nonprofit enters a new phase of marketing. While some are free or have nonprofit discounts, others are paid services that we think are worth the investment, depending on your goals.
Find and target your audience with the Facebook pixel
The Facebook pixel allows you to better connect what’s happening on Facebook with what’s happening on your website (and vice versa). You can also gather details about your audience and the actions they take so that you can create a more informed Facebook ad strategy—even if you’re not ready for ads just yet. It’s free to use and simple to install, especially if you use Google Tag Manager. More on that below.
Get nonprofit ad inspiration from AdInboxMe
Whether you’re serious about paid ads on Facebook or are just a little curious, it’s helpful to see what other nonprofits are doing and what their spend looks like. You can find this out manually by looking at the Ad Library for specific organizations. Or, even better, you can automate the process by using a free tool called AdInboxMe. Simply tell them what Facebook accounts you want to know about and they’ll send you an email about new ad activity.
[Update: As of 2021, AdInboxMe is no longer in operation.]
Capture more attention with OptinMonster
Website pop-ups continue to be an effective tool when it comes to growing email lists and directing attention to important calls-to-action, like urgent fundraising campaigns. We often recommend OptinMonster to our clients because they make it easy to create and implement pop-ups according to best practices and with a high level of control over how, when and where they show up. It’s not free, but the pricing is reasonable if you use it regularly (and there might be coupon codes available).
Measure your work with Google Tag Manager
Google Analytics is an incredible tool for monitoring website performance. It gets even better when you use Google Tag Manager to keep track of what visitors are doing on your site and where they came from without going down a data rabbit hole. There’s no cost to use it and you don’t need to know any code. Dig into the pros/cons and then see how it works with the free Google Tag Manager Fundamentals course from Analytics Academy.
Improve the website user experience with Hotjar
You could make a lot of guesses about how people are getting around on your nonprofit’s website. Or you could gather some real data with Hotjar. With tools like heatmaps, recordings and form analysis, you’ll be able to see actual behavior and identify trouble spots that, when addressed, can lead to better conversions and accessible experiences. Apply as a nonprofit to get a free Business-level account or discount on a higher plan.
Test your marketing power with Google Optimize
Is one call-to-action more effective than another? Should you change that photo on your homepage? Is one donation page more appealing than the other? Take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions. Setting up short-term website experiences and A/B tests is free and easy with Google Optimize. Once you set up your account and install the code on your website, you can run different types of tests for up to 90 days and see the results in Google Analytics.
Discover ways to increase your reach with Moz
While there are free SEO tools like the SEO Analyzer, Yoast plugin and Moz’s own Domain Analysis, SEO work is a long-term effort with a lot of variables that are hard to follow over time. That’s why we love Moz Pro, which monitors organic search traffic to your website and updates your SEO performance every week. Research and track keywords, learn how to better optimize content, and uncover opportunities to build links to grow traffic to your site. Start with a 30-day free trial and then sign up with the 75% nonprofit discount.
Funnel new visitors to your site with (free) Google Ads
Alright, don’t groan if you dipped your toes into Google Ad Grants and haven’t gotten far. With ongoing maintenance (3-5 hours a month) and by following best practices and policies, it’s possible to spend a good chunk of the $10,000/month grant. (No time? Try smart campaigns, a.k.a. Google AdWords Express.) The main perk of Google Ads is the ability to get your organization in front of a new, yet relevant, audience that’s searching for information related to your cause—even if they don’t know your name. Sign up for Google for Nonprofits to apply for the grant.
Get Ready to Grow
Evaluating growth tools and software can be challenging, even if you’re excited to get started. And even when it’s free or cheap. To be strategic about tech investments and avoid common nonprofit growing pains, keep these tips in mind:
- Have a strategy. Before you bring on a new tool, audit your existing technology to determine what’s working and what’s not, the kind of data you already collect and would like to, plus what tools you might no longer need or could be combined.
- Integrations. Consider if/how it will integrate with tools you’re already using, like your email service or CRM. Data integration will only become more important (and tricky) as you bring on new tech.
- Scalability. Will this tool grow with you (and your audience size) over time? Choosing technology based on where you are now could cause a lot of unnecessary headaches as you grow.
- Read real reviews. Sites like Capterra offer reviews from people who’ve used the tool that you’re interested in. Look for pros and cons that relate to your own organization’s needs, goals and pain points.
Wondering how to help your nonprofit organization grow? There are tons of growth tools out there that can take your nonprofit marketing to the next level. The hardest part is probably choosing one or two tools that will have the greatest impact on your efforts without cannibalizing your time and budget. Over time, your selection of nonprofit marketing tools can grow and expand along with your organization.
What growth tools does your nonprofit use to get more out of your online marketing? Any tips you want to share about evaluating new tech? See you in the comments!