Over a quarter of marketing professionals don’t use all their annual leave

Research from The Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey1 has revealed that over a quarter of marketing professionals did not take their full allocation of annual leave last year. Over the last twelve months marketing professionals have come under increasing pressure to adapt marketing strategies to tight deadlines to take advantage of new technology for firms [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/09/over-a-quarter-of-marketing-professionals-dont-use-all-their-annual-leave/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=over-a-quarter-of-marketing-professionals-dont-use-all-their-annual-leave


6 Negotiation Strategies Every Marketer Should Know


There’s a reason why we love TV courtroom dramas. Beyond the shocking objections and confessions, it seems like there’s constant screentime for strong, powerful arguments.

As marketers, that last part is especially exciting. Whether we know it or not, we are unabashed nerds for all things negotiation — and it’s a skill that all of us should master.

That could be why we’re drawn to a well-written, televised version of a compelling argument. We love seeing people making a case for what they believe in, and wish we could do it as well ourselves, like when we’re trying to negotiate a budget allocation or a project.

But with the right strategies and skills, you can learn to negotiate. It’s practical, valuable knowledge that can be applied almost anywhere — especially in the marketing realm.

Why Do Marketers Need to Negotiate?

When I speak with marketers, it seems like there’s always something that has to be negotiated. A lot of the time, it’s the allocation of resources — budget, new hires, or time.

There are other marketing-specific times when negotiation is necessary, though. Maybe you’re working out a co-marketing agreement. Or maybe you’re trying to make a case for your own ideas.

Regardless, being prepared for these conversations is key. A big part of that is confidence — after all, 19% of folks don’t negotiate because they’re afraid of looking too pushy. We get it. Negotiating is kind of scary, especially when you’re new to it.

But arriving to these discussions with the right expectations and information can make them a little less intimidating. We picked six techniques that can be applied in a broad range of negotiations — at work, or wherever else.

6 Negotiation Techniques Every Marketer Should Know

1) Focus on interests, not positions.

In the context of negotiation, there’s a big difference between focusing on interests and focusing on positions. While interests refer to an outcome that will benefit you, positions refer to your stance on a particular issue.

Co-marketing, as we noted above, is a place where this concept plays out quite a bit. Let’s say a small business is trying to partner with one that has a larger reach.

  • The smaller company might think, “We want our names attached to yours.”
  • The larger might say, “Well, we already reach the same audience. What’s in it for us?”

Those are the positions of each company: “You should partner with us,” versus “We don’t need you.”

That’s where the smaller company has to think about the underlying interests of the larger one and how they might, in fact, need each other. 

“Larger companies may have a large reach, but what do they not have?” asks HubSpot’s Manager of Content Marketing Strategy, Lisa Toner. “Do they not have resources to create really great content for their audience?”

That could be an interest of the larger business: Gaining resources to create things like compelling design or apps. “It’s all about the pitch, and if you can offer an experience [your opponent] or their customers would welcome,” Toner says, “without them having to do the work.”

But determining these interests requires research and creativity, Toner says. And she’s not alone — in the book Negotiating Rationally, Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale note that “creative solutions can be found by redefining the conflict for each side, identifying their underlying interests, and brainstorming for a wide variety of potential solutions.”

So while your opponent might have a different position on the surface, you might actually have interests in common. Knowing what those are can help you frame the conversation in a way that sets you both up for success.

2) Have “if-then” scenarios — and a backup plan.

When you enter a negotiation, it’s valuable to have different scenarios and alternatives in mind. In business school, we were taught to frame these with an “If-Then Matrix”: A table with rows of “if”s — the things we wanted, but the opponent might say no to. Those were followed by columns of “then”s — the items that would become non-negotiable if the client refused the “if.”

Having options in mind can help to mitigate some of the fear that comes with negotiating. For one, it clarifies your priorities: A recent survey showed that 56% of women won’t negotiate a job offer because they don’t know what to ask for, which implies that a lot of people — male and female — haven’t considered what’s most important to them.

Maybe work-life balance matters more to you than salary. In that case, if your employer says no to your payment requirements, then flexible hours might become non-negotiable.


Do this with all of the “if”s that matter most to you. If flexible hours are also met with resistance, then what will your sticking points be?

And that’s where we also need to consider the BATNA — or, best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are for a negotiation, you might not reach an agreement. Then what? 

You’ll need to know the answer to that question before you even enter the conversation — that’s your BATNA. In fact, have multiple alternatives in mind — the more options you have, the less likely you are to feel completely helpless if your negotiation results in a stalemate.

An “If-Then” matrix can be helpful here, too. Know which factors will be at play if you don’t reach an agreement, and what the implications will be for your customers, your company, your team, and yourself. Don’t focus on defeat — focus on what you can do, and the actionable items that come with it. 

Remember: Negotiation isn’t an all-or-nothing process. Think about your interests, then determine your options based on the ones that are most important to you.

3) Use creativity to your advantage.

When it comes to negotiation, creativity is key. 

In one study of MBA students, participants were divided into two groups for different workshops — one that focused on systematic problem solving, and the other on solutions that directed students to “have fun,” “refrain from criticizing your ideas,” and “look for new possibilities.”

Each group then had negotiate a budget allocation. The students that underwent the creative training — the one that emphasized unconventional ideas and outcomes — executed the task better than the one that went through a more traditional workshop.

Studies like that show the value of creativity in generating unique alternative solutions and possibilities, and that is a lesson that you should think about when creating your negotiation agenda. You see, if an agenda resembles an itemized list with strict topics like budget and personnel, it tends to put the focus on positions, like “I need 35% of the budget,” or “I need 10 employees reallocated to our team.” But it doesn’t address why those needs exist — the interests behind them.

To combat that, try to focus on more open-ended things like goals and concerns. In that case, you’re leading with the why — the underlying interests that are at the root of each side’s position.

Maybe your opponent is concerned that her team can’t handle its growing workload, and that’s why she wants to add 10 people. With that perspective, her interest isn’t really about personnel allocation, as much as it’s about preventing her employees from burning out. That opens the door to discussing more creative solutions.  

4) Think about what matters most to your opponent.

I know what you’re thinking. “We know. Focus on interests. We get it!”

It’s true. Understanding your opponent’s priorities can more quickly uncover those underlying interests that I keep harping at. And yes — they’ll also help you align their interests with yours, and determine mutually beneficial outcomes.

But thinking about what matters most to your opponent can also give you an idea of what kind of questions he might ask. And you can prepare responses for those questions, gathering the data to support your answers in advance.

That will also help you figure out which questions you want to ask during the negotiation. When my colleague, Juliana Nicholson, was writing an ebook, she really wanted to include a certain organization as a case study. But they were hesitant to be featured, she said, because they were “very sensitive to how we framed them.”

At the same time, she told me, they “really wanted the exposure.” Knowing that was important to them helped Nicholson figure out the best questions to put them at ease, and gave them a sense of control in the process — questions like, “Can we use your real name and logo, so that we can link back to your site and drive traffic there?”

Notice how she cited a benefit in her question. She was asking for permission to do something — to use real identifiers of the organization, instead of a pseudonym — while immediately noting the positive outcomes of doing so.

And by posing it as a question, instead of stating it as a fact — “Doing X will result in Y” — Nicholson gave her opponent a sense of control over the process. Because she knew how much that mattered to them, she was able to phrase her questions in a way that addressed their interests in both control and exposure.

So don’t be afraid to relinquish a little bit of jurisdiction during a negotiation, especially when it comes to your opponent’s priorities.

5) Understand cultural elements — and how other cultures negotiate.

When you enter a negotiation, you’ll want to set the stage for a positive, proactive discussion. It goes without saying, then, that you probably don’t want to offend your opponent.

But accidentally offending your counterparts might be easier than you’d expect, especially if you’re negotiating with international peers. And that’s becoming more and more likely in business. HubSpot, for example, has offices in five different countries — that definitely shapes the way we do business.

It wouldn’t hurt to brush up on the business etiquette of your opponent’s native country. Here are some categories to consider when preparing for an international negotiation.

Physical Cues

In researching other cultures, I’ve learned that there are things I do naturally and unconsciously — like elaborately moving my arms when I talk — that would offend my colleagues in other countries. So in addition to doing my intellectual homework, I would have to physically prepare for a negotiation for my Chinese counterparts, and practice sitting still during a conversation.

My colleague, Leslie Ye, breaks down some do’s and don’ts on physical behavior in each country here


In the U.S., we often joke about the discomfort of an awkward silence. So it makes sense that other cultures — like Japan — use silence with the “hope the other side will speak,” writes University of Hawaii Professor John Barkai, and end up revealing something valuable, for the sake of saying anything at all.

But instead of letting the silence get awkward, use it to reflect. And if you do decide to speak first, take advantage of the quiet to think carefully about what you’re going to say.


Being on time is one of those things that starkly varies according to country. Just look at this guide to international business etiquette from my colleague, Lindsay Kolowich — how many countries have punctuality listed as important?

It’s important to know when you’ll be expected to be on time, and when you can anticipate the opposite from your counterpart. In France, for example, “you’re considered ‘on time’ if you’re 10 minutes late,” writes Kolowich.

Knowing how each culture treats timeliness will help you plan for and keep your negotiation efficient — and leave out the element of surprise if your guests arrive later than the scheduled start time.

6) Prepare your team.

You are so totally prepared for this negotiation. Great! What about the people sitting next to you at the table?

Even if you’re the one doing all of the talking, prepare any colleagues who will be present for the negotiation. Transparency is crucial here — your team should be briefed on any information that might arise during the negotiation, and privy to the same cultural and behavioral context that you’ve researched.

When your team has information, it gives them the opportunity to add their own valuable insights. When we become deeply ingrained in an issue, it can be difficult to look at it objectively. So make sure your team is equipped with the same armory you have — their perspective of it is an asset.

When it comes to preparing for any meeting, there are a few basic things you can do to prepare your team that also apply here.

  • Set clear ground rules: Make sure your team actually understands what the problem is here, and what the most desired proposed solutions are. Also make sure they know when it’s okay to contribute to the discussion, and what they should avoid bringing up.
  • Discuss non-negotiables: Your colleagues should be aware of the If-Thens. Prepare them with a list of things for which your side is absolutely unable to compromise — and let them know how to handle those objections.
  • Let them ask questions: Now is the time to clear up any uncertainties. If your team is caught off-guard, it will probably show. That can make your side look unprepared, which lends power to your opponent.

Ready to get started?

If you do all of these fabulous things to prepare — homework, research, introspection, and planning for less-than-desirable outcomes — then please, feel good about the conversation you’re about to have. We have a tendency to expect the worst (I know I do, anyway), and sometimes, numbers are the only thing that make us feel better.

So know this:

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Negotiating is kind of scary. But even if the worst case scenario actually plays out, by following these steps, you’ll be covered with a backup plan.

You’ve got this. And we’re always here to help as much as we can. Do you have a negotiation question, or story? Share it in the comments.

Marketing Ideas to Generate Business

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/negotiation-strategies-for-marketers

Are You Actually a Good Listener? [Flowchart]


When you listen to someone speak, are you really listening to them … or are you listening to the voice in your head?

Hearing someone and listening to someone are two very different things. It’s all too common for people to wait for their turn to speak or think about what to say next instead of truly listening to someone. 

But being a good listener is a sign of emotional intelligence and social awareness. It means really, truly paying attention to what people are saying — and it’s a skill that’ll set you apart in both your professional and personal life. The good news is, becoming a good listener isn’t all that difficult — it just takes some practice (and self-awareness).

So, what do you think: Are you really a good listener? Quiz yourself by following the flowchart below from CT Business Travel. Then, keep reading for nine helpful tips for improving your listening skills.


free ebook: leadership lessons

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/good-listener-flowchart

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Only Create Content for Your Specific Target Audience – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Knowing what content to create is one of a marketer’s most difficult jobs. It’s all too easy to imagine your target audience and what they already appreciate, then create more of that. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why that’s a bit short-sighted, and we should have a broader vision.


Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This one comes to us via submission from email. This is a question from Michael. No other details given, which is totally fine, Michael. So he wanted to know, since he’s working on a content strategy, working on a new blog and having conversations with his manager and his team about, “Hey, should we be writing only extremely focused, narrowly focused content for our specific target audience, or should we be trying to branch out and broaden so that we can reach a bigger audience or a new audience?”

I think this is a fair question, a great question that happens all the time in content strategy and actually in link building strategy discussions around the SEO and content world. So I think it’s actually a pretty bad idea most of the time. Not all the time, but most of the time it’s a pretty bad idea to be extremely narrowly focused on exclusively your audience, your paying customers or the audience that you’re trying to get to pay for your products or services, and I’ll explain why.

General goals of content in SEO & web marketing

So general goals that we usually have around content marketing and content as it relates to SEO and web marketing more broadly is that we want something that potentially

  • Directly converts some customers, convinces people to buy from us, convinces them that our products or our services or our knowledge, or whatever it is, is the best in our field.
  • Helps us earn press, amplification, and links, certainly so that we can rank higher for all sorts of things, so that we can reach new audiences, so that we get influencers on our side.
  • Reach brand new audiences, broad, hopefully new audiences so that we can capture among that new audience some segment or sliver which is going to turn out to be great customers for us, now or in the future, or might be influential to our customers now or in the future.
  • Grow our brand’s awareness and authority. We’re just trying to get seen by more folks, more people aware of us so that we can do all sorts of clever things in the future, like have higher click-through rates because people are familiar with us already so that we can do retargeting and remarketing, so that we have more brand credibility of all kinds in all sectors.

Usually, most content goals fall into one of these or several of them.

Now, there’s overlap between them. I haven’t perfectly illustrated this with a great Venn diagram. But in here there is lots of overlap between these different goals. You could have a piece of content that is both designed to earn press and amplification and links and is reaching a broad new audience. Or you might have some content that is directly converting customers that maybe also has some link amplification sorts of overlap. It’s pretty tough to overlap anything else with directly converting customers, but the other three definitely easier to do overlap.

However, most of the content you’re going to produce is going to have a hard time doing anything more than maybe one or two of these. If you’re trying to do three or all four at the same time, you’re going to struggle significantly. This is why folks who say, “I want content that’s going to go viral, that directly converts my customers, that also reaches influencers and helps me reach a broad new group of folks,” you’re asking too much from the same piece of content. It’s going to be a real, real challenge.

Risky business

If you’re only doing that content that’s hyper-specifically targeting these directly converting customers, you’re going to run into some big problems. First off, heavy competition. It tends to be the case if you’re trying to earn that audience’s attention, so too are all your competitors, and they’re probably trying in very, very similar ways. It’s often a competitive advantage to actually be a little bit broader and to branch out of that.

You are usually ignoring great link opportunities from websites and press and blogs and events and all sorts of places that you could have earned had that content had a broader focus or just a broader appeal in general. It could be because you hyper-focused your data or your study on too narrow a market that only served your specific customer set, when in fact had you gone a little bit broader, there would have been a lot of press and industry coverage sites that might have written about you. It could be that you’ve only written about your customers’ problems, when in fact if you had written about the problem a little more generally, you might have had the chance to reach bloggers and people on Twitter and folks on LinkedIn and folks through Facebook and those types of places.

Finally, you’re probably missing potential customers and influencers that are outside what your current sphere of influence is. Whatever that sphere is, the content that is most targeted at your audience is going to have a very tough time making this any bigger than it is. The content that’s more broadly-focused, especially if it does well, is going to help expand this sphere so that you reach more of these people over here with that new expanded sphere.

All the right moves

My recommendations, instead of making your content way narrowly focused, I would try and think broader, and I would think about it in these ways. First off…

  • Nail down the actual content goals with your team, your manager, or your client so that everyone agrees, “Hey, we want to do some of this, we want to do some of this, and we’re looking to do a lot of this.” If that’s what we know our content is trying to do, it’s pretty easy to have the conversation about why we shouldn’t just create content here.
  • Try and distribute those broad versus narrow versus hyper-specific content efforts. Distribute meaning say, “Hey, we know that we’re going to be producing this amount of content. This is how much of it we want to put effort into to target this segment versus this segment versus this other segment.”
  • Establish some cadence, some channels, some of the promotion efforts that are actually going to fit the goal and the target audience, because you’re going to do different kinds of promotion. It’s not just a creation of the content itself and the content strategy, it’s the promotion and the targeting. It’s the channels you use, it’s how often you put it out there, and it’s where you put it on your site. It could be that you have a hyper-specific focused blog and then you have articles that are broader, or your blog is very broad and then you have white papers that are very, very focused on your target audience. Both ways are totally fine.
  • Use the right metrics to measure your progress against these goals. If you’re trying to reach a broad new audience, you’re using thing like visits and exposure and engagement. If you’re trying to grow press, amplification, and links, well, you’re looking at links, you’re looking at coverage, you’re looking at mentions. If you’re trying to directly convert customers, you are going to be looking at conversion events and whether that content falls somewhere in the conversion path over the course of time.

You do these things right, I think you’re going to have a much more successful conversation when it comes time to say, “Should we create broad content or specific, hyper-focused content?”

All right, everyone, look forward to your comments and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

from The Moz Blog http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/4314189

How to Link Instagram to Your Facebook Page in 6 Simple Steps


Visual content garners a huge amount of engagement on social media. There’s a reason why 71% of online marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing: People respond to it.

Being able to share this content across multiple platforms, then, is an asset. And one of the best ways to do that is to link Instagram to Facebook — that increases the number of eyes on your visual content. Download our complete guide to using Instagram for business and marketing here.

Before you move forward with your Instagram strategy, you’ll want to connect these accounts. Sharing your posts with your company Facebook Page, rather than your personal profile, is just a matter of changing your settings — and it only requires six simple steps.

How to Connect Instagram to Your Facebook Page

1) Start with your Instagram profile.

Your first step is to pull up your own Instagram account on your phone and select the profile icon in the lower right corner. Then, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner. (This might look like three vertical dots if you’re using an Android device.)

Instagram profile

That will take you to your options, where you can adjust a number of your preferences, including social settings.

Instagram Options

2) Set up (or update) your linked accounts. 

When you get to your options, you’ll want to scroll down to where it says “Settings” > “Linked Accounts.” That’s where you’ll configure where else you want your Instagram photos to show up on social media.

Instagram settings

Tap “Linked Accounts,” and you’ll see all of your options for which social networks you can link with Instagram.

Instagram share settings

3) Connect to Facebook. 

In the image above, you’ll notice that HubSpot’s Instagram account is already linked to Facebook — if you’re not already linked to that network, you’ll have to go through the permissions to share content there. You’ll need to be logged into Facebook on your phone for this step to work — once that’s done, tap “Facebook” on your Share Settings screen.

You’ll be asked to continue as yourself — tap that button.

Log in with Facebook

Next, you’ll be asked for your privacy preferences. Since you’ll be just be sharing your photos on a business page, you can select “Friends” — the people who will actually be seeing your photos are the ones who like the page you’ll be publishing to, which we’ll get to in later steps.

Facebook Instagram privacy

Once you hit “OK,” you’ll be taken back to your Share Settings, where Facebook should now be selected. If not, make sure you select it — the logo should appear in blue to indicate that you’re now sharing your posts on Facebook.

Instagram share settings

4) Pick where you’re sharing on Facebook. 

Once you’ve linked Facebook to Instagram, you’ll want to use your Share Settings to determine where on Facebook you’ll be sharing Instagram posts. If you’ve only just now authorized Facebook to link with Instagram, images will be shared on your personal Facebook profile by default.

 Facebook share to

Tap “Share To” — that will display all of the places on Facebook where your Instagram photos can be posted. It includes your personal timeline, or any business pages where you have an administrator role. 

Instagram share to

Here, we’ve chosen HubSpot. Once you’ve chosen the Facebook page where you want your photos to be posted, go back to your Share Settings.

Facebook share settings

Now, it should be specified that your Instagram photos are being posted to your Facebook business page of choice.

5) Make sure you’re sharing responsibly.

If you’re using Instagram for both personal and business accounts, remember: You’ll have to modify these settings every time you want to change where your photos are being posted.

If you’re really concerned on the possible drawbacks of using the same Instagram account for both — and we’ve all seen how multi-tasking on social media can go wrong — you might want to set up a company-specific Instagram handle that’s completely separate from your personal one. 

If that’s the case, you’ll have to follow the same steps to link your Instagram account to Facebook. The only drawback? Whenever you want to switch between your personal and business accounts, you’ll have to log out of — and back into — Instagram every time you want to change which one you’re posting with. 

6) Start sharing!

You’re all linked! Now, you can go back to your home screen, and choose which photo you want to post.

Instagram share photo

When you’re ready to share your photo, just make sure you have Facebook selected as one of the places where you want your photo to be posted. 

How to Use Instagram in Connection With Facebook

Now that you’re linked — and you’re in good company, as 73% of brands post at least one photo or video per week on Instagram —  what kind of content should you be sharing?

At the most basic level, you should be posting content that’s relevant to your brand and to your target audience. That includes things like behind-the-scenes peeks at what your brand is doing to delight customers, quotes that inspire them, and humor. HubSpot’s Lindsay Kolowich has written about the different ways brands pull that off — check out her ideas here.  

That’s It!

Sharing your Instagram photos on a Facebook business page allows you to bring strong visuals to multiple platforms with a few simple clicks — and gives you the opportunity to showcase the personal side of your business. That can go a long way when it comes to engaging with your target audience — visual content is over forty times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.

When have you linked your social accounts for business? Share it with us in the comments.

TSL Marketing is a HubSpot platinum partner. Download their free guide to B2B social media here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

how to use instagram for business

how to use instagram for business

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-to-facebook-company-page

YOC Continues Its Expansion In The UK With the appointment of Adam Gilsenan As Country Manager

Adam Gilsenan to lead UK operations with a new senior management team to accelerate YOC’s business plans YOC (yoc.com) the mobile advertising company, today announced the appointment of Adam Gilsenan as UK Country Manager. He will lead YOC’s operations with a focus on building sales and market share in the UK. Gilsenan has a proven [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/09/yoc-continues-its-expansion-in-the-uk-with-the-appointment-of-adam-gilsenan-as-country-manager/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=yoc-continues-its-expansion-in-the-uk-with-the-appointment-of-adam-gilsenan-as-country-manager

5 Tips to Improve Your Nonprofit’s Email Strategy


Email’s relevance and impact for nonprofit organizations continues to grow. According to the M+R Benchmark 2016 report, email lists for nonprofits grew by an average of 14% in 2015, outpacing their average churn rate of 11.4%. 

The same benchmark report also found that email action metrics, like open and click through rates are all down.

Subscribers are growing, but they’re engaging with emails less? Huh? 

Don’t take your list subscribers for granted. Getting them on your list is just the first step. If you want them to join, volunteer, or otherwise become active members, your emails need to inspire them.

Follow These Five Tips for a More Effective Email Strategy

1) Know your Personas

It always starts with your personas, right? You can’t send compelling, motivating emails if you don’t know what inspires and motivates your personas. Recognize that different personas may be more motivated by different messages, so tailor content that appeals to your personas’ varying interests. If you haven’t created your personas, or it’s time to freshen them up, check out these persona templates developed specifically for nonprofit organizations.

 2) Get Email Addresses the Right Way – Don’t Buy Lists

Bad, aged information. Low conversion rates. Is the member application rate return on a cold list ever worth the squeeze? No. Even less so when you consider how you could have used that effort and resources to attract warm prospects into your database.

Attracting people to your organization and into your prospect database is why you publish all that great content. Instead of wasting money and energy on a purchased list, take a hard look at how your content is performing. Are people sharing their email addresses with you to access your best content? If not, then you need to reassess what you’re publishing.

Perhaps your inbound list is light because traffic to your website and blog is light. Your gated content converts well — you’re just not generating enough traffic to see the prospect growth you need. That should trigger a harder look into your SEO and PPC strategies

You have many inbound marketing options to pull potential volunteers, members, and donors into your database, and all of them are better than buying a list.

3) Segment Your Email List — Not all Constituents are at the Same Level of Commitment

Your prospects and members are touched by different stories and messages. That’s why you want to tailor email content by persona and behavior. They also differ in the level of commitment, financial or otherwise, they’re ready to make right now.

While financial means are part of this equation, also keep in mind length and frequency of donations. Someone who made donation a month ago probably isn’t ready for another fundraising email. 

If you’re trying to nudge semi-active members to increase their activity, then customize your emails highlighting past and upcoming events similar to those that have interested them in the past.

Whatever the nature of a specific email campaign, tailor the content based on the subscriber’s expressed interests, taken from both their online and offline activity with your organization.

4) Make a Compelling Offer

The M+R Benchmark report found that nonprofits send their subscribers, on average, 50 emails a year, 19 of which are fundraising appeals.

You can use your non-fundraising emails to encourage other types of engagement, which strengthen the relationship the prospect has with your organization. Ideally, this leads to more engagement down the line. 

In the meantime, you want your emails to each have a compelling call-to-action (CTA). You can offer new content that continues to tell the story of the work your organization is doing. You can ask them to share some links to your website through their own social media profiles. Are you looking to increase your volunteer ranks? 

Whatever the email’s CTA, make it the sole focus of the email and use action-oriented language on your CTA button.

5) User their Behavior to Trigger Relevant Follow up Emails

Once you have a prospect in your database, you can continue to gather data about their digital behavior. You’ll know which emails they open and click through, and which they don’t. You’ll see which emails they open but which inspire no action.

You can find more email best practices in our ebook, A Crash Course on Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits >>

Use this information to design campaigns targeting your most engaged users. Are some of them ripe to make the jump from content consumer to member? Target them in a membership drive campaign. Are some members consistently attending your events, but don’t share your content? Maybe you can run an ambassador campaign and ask them to share some content you provide in the email? Don’t overlook the unengaged. Test out some re-engagement campaigns. 

And don’t forget your thank-you emails! Whether they attended an event, subscribed to a new membership service, or volunteered – any offline or online action should trigger a tailored thank-you email.

As you master these tips, it might be time to test out automating some of your email campaign work. Then you can really scale your email fundraising. But first, work these tips to find out what sort of segmenting, triggers, and messages really move your people.

Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits Crash Course  

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/5-tips-to-improve-your-nonprofits-email-strategy