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How CX Plays a Role in Non-Profit Marketing

So far, in our Customer Experience (CX) Analysis series, we’ve done a deep dive into the customer experiences of Bed Bath & Beyond, Nike, and a variety of other retail brands. Now, however, we want to pivot away from retail to focus on how non-retail brands—specifically, non-profits—approach the customer experience and non-profit marketing.

Why non-profits? They need to develop quality marketing strategies as well—perhaps even more than for-profits. Plus, we wanted to shine some light on what non-profit marketing entails and how non-profit brands are currently raising awareness for their causes.

Over the three weeks of our first-hand research, we aimed to determine if the difference between “get” (retail) and “give” (non-profit) impacts marketing channel usage, message types, message cadence, and other marketing factors. And, if it does, what are some steps non-profits can take to ensure they don’t get overshadowed by promotional marketing?

To get a glimpse of what non-profit marketing looks like, we zoomed in on one brand. We knew a donation would be a part of our research and, because we believe in their mission to advocate and promote social leadership, community activism, and citizenship, we decided to research DoSomething.org.

Our DoSomething.org Customer Experience

In the attached analysis we illustrate the research process in a timeline to demonstrate when and how DoSomething.org shares their non-profit marketing messages.

Over the three weeks we received:

  • 12 messages total
  • 9 emails (1 welcome, 1 transactional, 7 promotional)
  • 3 SMS messages

Not only were we keeping an eye on how many messages we received, but what the content of those messages looked like.

Right off the bat, we received a warm welcome email from Anthony, DoSomething.org’s Digital Engagement Manager. This email had a high level of personalization, including our name in the subject line and body copy. We were also sent a welcome SMS with clear opt-out instructions.

Another win? During sign-up, we had selected causes that we cared about, one of which was animal welfare. Within the first week we received an email with an animal-related cause (which you can learn more about here), clearly tailored to our user profile.

As time went on, however, we started to notice a dwindling level of personalization. We had signed up for multiple newsletters including “The Breakdown” and “What You’re Doing, “ both of which were sent on a weekly basis. While the newsletters were well constructed and aligned to an overarching weekly campaign, we were missing the personalization we had seen in the welcome and campaign-specific emails.

The personalization skeleton is there, but there is the opportunity for DoSomething.org to further flesh out their strategy to deliver a seamless, individualized cross-channel experience for their users. See more in the analysis below to learn how non-profit marketing can create a great experience for their customers and the causes they care about.

DoSomething.org CX Analysis

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