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Tech tips for impact professionals. Do well at doing good.

How to Organize Your Marketing Ops for a Successful Giving Tuesday

Hello! Consider this your friendly reminder that Giving Tuesday is only 7 weeks away.

Some orgs prep for this day months in advance. So if your org defied the odds of 2020 and already has a complete plan, I tip my hat to you.

Credit: Giphy

But if that’s not your org, don’t worry. That’s why we’re talking about this now. 

Let’s talk marketing ops.

We all know Giving Tuesday campaigns take many forms & channels. There’s no shortage of blogs out there on how to launch them all.

Which is why we won’t cover any of that today. Instead, we’ll hone in on something equally important but far less flashy: your marketing operations.

Marketing operations refers to the processes, people and tech that support a marketing effort. If you’re curious, this blog from Ziflow does a great job at explaining the core principles.

This is a hat many of us wear in the sector without realizing it. And yet, a thoughtful marketing ops plan is the backbone behind any successful campaign.

So if you’re the person segmenting lists, scheduling emails, or keeping staff organized in any way this Giving Tuesday….you’re doing marketing ops. Let’s do it right.

How to Organize Your Marketing Operations
for a Successful Day of Giving

Source: Pexel

1. Plan thoroughly

Treat Giving Tuesday like any other in-depth project. (Even if you’re not the lead stakeholder, you can still jump in to facilitate the process of getting this baby out the door.)

Schedule a kick-off meeting with stakeholders across every team: marketing, design, fundraising, program and tech.

Include goals, strategy, roles and deliverables as items on the agenda.

From that meeting, build a project plan. Include deadlines & assignees for every task: from copy review, to lists, design and final sends.

In that plan, include the marketing calendar for all your pre-Giving Tuesday cultivation emails, follow-up pushes, and post-donation thank you’s!

Email plans can be tricky. Here’s a post outlining how to build an email plan from start to send.

Decide when & how the team will check in together

2. Prep your org’s personalization

It’s best practice to personalize Giving Tuesday asks. But your data & systems will determine the extent to which that’s possible. This is where marketing ops comes in.

Have a conversation with your data person to understand what’s in your system. (If you are the data person, set time with the proper stakeholders to give them the scoop!)

Work together to see what fields can be used/refined for the written copy. Some ideas of what your org might do:

  • Use first names to address recipients, in your email body or subject line
  • Include that person’s last gift amount, to tell them what it meant to your org
  • Include a specific ask amount, based on that person’s last gift to your org
  • Send different asks to different types of constituents (ex. volunteers vs board). You’ll need to touch base with both your writer and list builder for this one.

Need a custom donation online form? Sit down with your Tech team like yesterday. These things can take more time to set up than you think!

Finally, plan ahead. Set up mechanisms now for collecting/refining donor data that you can use next year. (For ex. you want to set up a new field that captures whether a donor came from Twitter vs Facebook.)

Extra reading: For more tips on how to personalize your outreach, check out this quick post by marketing consultant Leeann Alameda.

3. Review your segmentation strategy. 

A stellar Giving Tuesday campaign is nothing without the right lists. Yet lists rarely get the credit or attention they deserve. Let’s change that.

With your data person or stakeholder, determine which segments make the most strategic sense. Consider list size, staff capacity and potential return on investment.

Then figure out which segments are feasible to build. This will partly depend on the reliability of your data.

Leave ample time for you/your data person to segment those lists. It’s easy to mess this up when you’re rushing.

Make sure there isn’t any overlap with recipients (unless that’s part of the strategy). Some email platforms have a suppression feature that can help with this

Label your list names to match your emails / mail slips. It’s a small, extra detail that can dramatically lessen the likelihood of mistakes.

Naming conventions are super helpful here! If your org doesn’t have one, here’s a starting point.

Extra reading: While these aren’t Giving Tuesday-specific, I love this post on donor segment ideas by Causevox. Give it a scan and head back here for the final part of our checklist.

4. Get your systems ready

Remember, part of marketing ops is your tech stack. Get your CRM/donor database, email marketing platform, gift processing software, etc…all in tip top shape.

Skill up on your email platform. Make sure you’re using every available feature to help with segmentation and personalization: like dynamic content or suppression. 

These days, many email service providers offer a data-based, dynamic content feature (like Mailchimp). See if your platform has something similar.

Set up your campaign tracking mechanism. This is most likely a record you need to add to your database that gets tied to donations. But even a carefully crafted spreadsheet can work.

Set up your reporting mechanisms too. Build those revenue and donor acquisition reports, so your team can see your progress in real time.

Clean up your database as best you can. That means scrapping any obvious bad records, removing those inactives and getting a handle on duplicates.

Conclusion: In this time of uncertainty, don’t let Giving Tuesday add to the chaos.

We’re all having quite the year. So for some of you, Giving Tuesday might be the last thing on your mind.

And frankly, that day will be a giant question mark for the entire sector! TBD on how much the pandemic and political climate will harm (or help) individual giving this year. 🤷🏻‍♀️

But the one thing we can control? How we prepare to execute these campaigns.

You’ve still got time to put together a thoughtful and organized Giving Tuesday/end-of-year plan that won’t stress everyone out. Take advantage and start getting organized.

Thanks for reading!
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