Thursday, March 29, 2012

Social Media Omnibus

I am happy to share with you Decisive Point Marketing’s first ever Omnibus post! What is Omnibus? It’s a post containing several different themes in one – for this post there will be two topics. So, without further ado, here we go:

How should you go about Social Marketing (SM)?

SM is an ever-growing platform with a seemingly endless array of services you can use to engage with your audience – this includes Facebook, G+, Twitter, and Pinterest among many others.

My quick take: focus your resources on the platform your strongest at – then expand slowly. For us, we started with Facebook and our blog site, only recently have we begun using Twitter (join us at and we will launch G+ in a few months.

Might seem weird for a marketing company to go about it this way but the point of SM is engagement, not merely presence. Content for content sake is disposable; quality is loyalty, brand recognition and ultimately, greater business success. It’s tougher and takes more time, but it’s worth it.

Use Facebook (FB) as your Mobile Site

For many nonprofits, having a mobile friendly website is very expensive. FB, with their apps, gives you an alternative. Fifty percent of FB traffic comes from mobile devices, which is much higher than the average, so chances are you already get a lot of mobile traffic exposure to your brand.

Take advantage of it by installing apps such as causes ( to enable donations on your page. There are also other apps you can install, such as the ones I use to the left to show my Twitter feed and latest news. There are many companies out there that provide these apps for free, I used Tradablebits, but I encourage you to check around and find the best fit to customize your page.

That’s it for today - follow on Twitter and have a happy Monday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How NOT to run an Email Campaign

I wanted to share a quick, real world story involving me trying to volunteer my services to an election campaign. I’m not going to say who this was for, only that it’s for a Senate race and that the State he’s running in borders Maryland , West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. And his last name is Kaine. As in Tim Kaine. But other than that, his identity will be a mystery.

Anyway, I wanted to volunteer my services as a search engine marketer to plan and execute campaigns for Google, Yahoo and Bing. I went to his official site and signed up under the “Volunteer” section of his website – see screenshot.

I did this almost three weeks ago and I have yet to receive a reply that was not a canned response for donations or to check out where he stands on the issues of the day.

This upset me quite a bit, and it will upset anyone who goes to your site and takes the time to write to you, only to get onto a mailing list that was not explicitly stated on the sign up page and not even get the courtesy of a response. Even something as simple as “we already have a person leading our search marketing efforts, but thank you for inquiring”, would have been better than nothing.

Obviously Tim Kaine is not personally running these campaigns, his staff are the ones who dropped the ball, but this still reflects poorly on him as a brand – as it will for you too if you do the same.

This is not the only mistake, they also do a poor job of segmenting the names to make the emails more personalized. I just got an email thanking me for my “generous donations” to his campaign – I’ve never donated to his campaign. They should be able to match my name to a database that shows if I donated or not and then send the proper email content. At minimum, the emails won’t seem as wooden and artificial, at best, they will probably increase their donation rate.

Learn from the mistakes of the Tim Kaine Campaign - respond to emails quickly and start segmenting your email database to make your blast more personalized and effective.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Don’t forget about Microsoft!

In my earlier posts I’ve mentioned Google several times in reference to its non-profit services - which is free to use. Now, I want to talk briefly about Microsoft (MSN).

Unlike Google, MSN does not have anything like the Google Grant, which allows for free in-kind advertising on However, they do provide donated or license free software for many of their products including Sharepoint, Office Professional (excel, PowerPoint etc), Communicator and many other applications.

Here is Microsoft’s Nonprofit Homepage:

Here is the eligibility parameters and how to apply:

Here is a Nice slideshow presentation showing what you get and how to use it:

My recommendation is to check it out and map out how the MSN products can integrate into some of the other free or low cost applications out there such as Google.

Stuff like communication and collaboration may seem less exciting than things about donations or creating email or newsletters, but don’t ignore it, streamlining and lowering costs in all areas of your business adds up – and can enhance the services you provide to your constituents.