By: Karin Tracy, VP Marketing, Fíonta
If you do a little research into Pardot and Marketing Cloud, you’ll quickly read that Pardot is for Business-to-Business (B2B) communications (for example, a company marketing their products or services to other companies) and Marketing Cloud is for Business-to-Consumers (B2C) communications (for example, T-Mobile selling phones to actual people).
Well, neither of those comparisons are particularly useful for nonprofit organizations or associations and…both Pardot and Marketing Cloud can be transformational for nonprofits or associations. This blog focuses on the ways nonprofits and associations can use Pardot to communicate with donors, members, staff, volunteers, and others.
Before we dive in, let’s get one thing straight…the pronunciation of Pardot. It’s par-DOT with a hard T, not PAR-dough. Be fancy if you want – I spent the better part of my 15th summer calling Target, tar-ZJAY – but know that it’s pronounced exactly as it’s spelled.
Most nonprofit organizations fundraise and depend on the generosity of individuals and/or corporate donors. Pardot is a perfect fit for organizations looking to automate funding asks, to reach out to the right individuals at the right time, and to track the success of fundraising campaigns.
In addition to email marketing and customer journeys (described in more depth below), Pardot offers prospect grading and scoring. Scoring is an indication of how interested the prospect is in your organization, while grading measures how strong a fit the individual might be based on their profile. Every action or interaction a prospect takes can be scored both positively and negatively. As they provide information or insight into their behavior, their score may rise or fall. Grades are based on explicit information about the prospect like job title, organization, location, or custom fields that are relevant for your organization.
Your development team decides at what point a user has a high enough score to merit any particular interaction – from a phone call, to an in-person meeting, to an invitation to a coveted event. With the power of Salesforce behind Pardot, the development team can view all interactions along with donation history right at the record level.
Pardot has a built-in connector with Eventbrite, the easy-to-use event management tool. If your nonprofit hosts in-person events – fundraisers, capacity-building workshops or training, volunteer events – and uses EventBrite, then you should use the Pardot connector.
All activity and engagement captured by Eventbrite, including RSVP and attendance, is written to the individual’s Pardot record and synced to Salesforce. Engagement can be used to inform future communications. Even knowing that an invitee did not RSVP or didn’t attend an event can be helpful to know, as it may suggest an event didn’t hit the mark or wasn’t of interest.
Event attendees can easily be dropped into an engagement path to receive follow-up communications. And, to tie this back to fundraising, your development team can see whether a potential or recurring donor has attended events before reaching out for an ask.
3. Managing volunteers
Volunteers are often the lifeblood of a nonprofit organization and volunteer managers can find themselves doing repetitive work in support of their volunteer teams. Repeatedly answering the same questions, sending the same documents, following up with volunteers: wash, rinse, repeat.
Identify volunteers by either syncing a custom field in Salesforce or uploading a CSV file to Pardot directly. With these individuals identified, you can easily create dynamic criteria-based lists. All the other information associated with that individual’s profile is helpful, too. You may want to target all volunteers in the Washington, DC area or volunteers who have a special set of skills, for instance.
Use Engagement Studio to place volunteers on an onboarding journey. Once a person has been identified as a volunteer, they begin the journey by receiving a welcome email. The email can be personalized with any number of elements like first name, last name, city, organization, and more. A set number of days later, you may want to send a volunteer an email that answers some commonly asked questions and provides a link to the volunteer feedback section of your website. Use Engagement Studio to “listen” for changes to the volunteer’s record, such as when they complete their first volunteer engagement. Pardot can automatically send a thank you or a feedback email a few days thereafter. You can use it to gently prod volunteers who haven’t been as involved as expected or schedule check-in emails at a regular cadence. In short, automate common tasks and free up time for your volunteer coordinators with Engagement Studio!
4. Impact reporting
Nonprofit budgets – especially for operations – aren’t usually huge. Every dollar spent needs to be accounted for, development and marketing need to understand what the return on investment (ROI) was, and the executive director expects to understand how impactful marketing communications have been. At the very surface, Pardot’s email reporting looks quite similar to that of a MailChimp or Constant Contact. Opens, clicks, unsubscribes…these statistics are present and displayed in a graphical manner, easy to quickly digest.
Where Pardot shines, however, is in closed-loop reporting. Closed-loop reporting is tying constituents back to the initial touch. How did that person find your organization, what did they do on your website before they gave you their email address, what local or online events did they participate in, what action precipitated their eventual conversion? With this 360-degree view of constituents, development and marketing can determine the actual dollar cost per person and make determinations about the success (or not!) of an individual campaign.
We haven’t even discussed the power of having your Salesforce data connected to Pardot. Imagine combining campaign impact reporting with any set of fields (data) in Salesforce.
Example queries may be, “How well did our online fundraising events do in Q1 and Q2 with donors who have historically donated between $250 and $500 a year?” or “Did we increase the number of volunteers in the Los Angeles area by greater than 15% over the previous year?”. If you can imagine a question, you can get answers with the power of the data captured in Salesforce and Pardot.
5. Webinars / Training
Many nonprofits communicate at scale with volunteers or staff and save a ton of staff time with recorded webinar or training sessions. There’s no limit to how creative you can be with a recorded webinar – you can provide software training, convey best practices in donation management and fundraising, or educate staff about the organization’s history and values. For constituents, bring an Annual Report to life with video and narrative, show how donations are spent on mission, enable capacity building with focused topic areas, and so on.
How does this tie in with Pardot? Using one of Pardot’s webinar connectors (WebEx, ReadyTalk, or GoToWebinar), all activity surrounding the webinar will be recorded to the individual’s record. Were invitations opened or clicked on, did a constituent register for a webinar, attend, stay until the end, respond to followup emails or a survey? Did that person take an action in the days or weeks afterward that ties in with the webinar topic? Just as you can measure campaign success (as described above), measure the return on webinars or training sessions.
These are just a few of the ways that Pardot can demonstrate a measurable impact on your nonprofit organization’s fundraising and communications efforts. And that’s true no matter how you pronounce it!
For more information, visit fionta.com/pardot.
About the Author
Karin Tracy has been a communicator and storyteller for as long as she can remember. Equal parts left- and right-brained, her creativity is matched with a high attention to detail and a love of data. She then joined the executive team at Fíonta following a successful 10-year stint as the owner of a graphic design firm, preceded by years of agency experience throughout the DC area. Some of her proudest moments at Fíonta have included her work with Greater Than AIDS and Women’s Refugee Commission. After 6 years managing Fionta’s award-winning web design and development team, Karin became a Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant and assumed responsibility for all corporate marketing initiatives and the development of Fíonta’s Pardot practice.
Karin lives in a renovated loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles with her husband, three dogs, and a cat who believes he’s a dog. In her spare time, you can find Karin at the gym or on a mountain, knitting or crafting, while listening to a novel or podcast. Karin also acts as a mentor to local low-income high school seniors as they apply to college and for scholarships through Kid City Hope Place.