Cameron Ripley  |   |  Google Ad Grants  |  0 comments

The VINE Method – How to Fuel Your Nonprofit Marketing Funnel with Google Ad Grants

10 min to read ✭ This post will explain to you the Community Boost VINE Method and give your organization the strategy and tools to understand and implement a plan to convert cold website traffic into actual donors and peer-to-peer fundraisers. The Community Boost VINE Method was first introduced and apart of Classy's The Nonprofit Guide to Google Ad Grants.

Understanding Cold Traffic vs. Hot Traffic

If your organization is effectively maximizing the $10,000 Google Ad Grant, then your nonprofit can generate over 5,000 new qualified website visitors to your site every single month. However, more than 85 percent of ad grant-generated site visitors are what we at Community Boost refer to as “cold traffic.” Cold traffic consists of visitors who are brand new to your mission. Oftentimes, these potential supporters are in a learning and discovery mindset and are not yet ready to make a donation.

traffic

 

Introducing the VINE Method

Here at Community Boost, to move new visitors to active contributors, we use a four-step process called the VINE Method. During this post you will learn how to apply the V.I.N.E. Method so your nonprofit can systematically drive more revenue and ultimately scale its social impact.VINE stands for:

VINE-Method

 

V: Visitors to Your Mission

Goal: Understand the visitors coming to your site from Google.

Once your Adwords campaigns are operating effectively and sending upwards of 5,000 visitors to your website, the next step is to dive in and begin to understand what your traffic looks like. What kind of searches and mindset led them to your website? After you gather at least one month of AdWords data, enter AdWords, click on the Keywords tab, and spend some time analyzing and determining trends in your organization’s most popular and most relevant keywords.

When analyzing the Keywords that drive visitors to your website, filter by the most clicks so you can see what is generating the most traffic. If people are searching and clicking your ads because they searched for “donate to veterans,” well by all means send those extremely qualified, hot visitors right to your donate page. However, again the majority of your ad grant traffic will be from cold and warm visitors looking for something else, who are likely not currently in the mindset to donate online.

In March of 2015, Moms In Prayer International, a faith-based nonprofit, spent $9,621 of their $10,000 Adwords budget. During this month, MiP’s Google Ad Grant sent 6,393 visitors to their website. After looking at their keyword data, it was clear that the majority of the cold traffic their Google Ad Grant was generating was from parents looking for specific prayers for their children. MiP’s most successful keywords for this month were “prayer for children,” “prayer for daughter,” “pray for kids,” and many other variations of this theme. With your organization, beginning to understand the mindset of their visitors and what they are in search of, you can begin to craft the rest of the marketing funnel and now move into the next phase.

 

I: Inspire Visitors to Convert

Goal: Create landing pages and offer content that moves your visitors to convert into contacts.

We believe your organization’s greatest digital marketing asset is your email list. Your email list is by far the most scalable, customizable and cost-effective way to communicate with your organization’s constituents. This often is the most effective way to promote events, volunteer opportunities, programs and, of course, fundraising efforts.

What is the secret to hooking new visitors to convert and subscribe to your organization’s content and email list? Provide value. Real value. Value that benefits their life, their own personal needs and mission, and most importantly, provides immediate value to the search query that brought them to your website in the first place.

With Moms In Prayer, for example, thousands of visitors a month were looking for “prayers for children.” People searching these terms not only meet MiP’s potential donor/fundraiser persona, there is tremendous cold traffic volume behind it, as thousands of people a month were visiting their website looking for prayer inspiration for their children. When you know the intent behind the searches that brought people to your site, you can build email lead boxes and landing pages that inspire visitors to convert.

We recommend first creating a lead pop-up box across your website or on relevant pages that offer the value your new visitors are looking for and would be excited to download. Creating an email pop-up that loads after 20 to 30 seconds is something your team can likely produce very quickly on and requires fewer resources than building a landing page. A powerful and compelling email pop up can convert 2 to 5 percent of visitors into email subscribers.

The landing page your ad sends traffic to is also the perfect place to offer relevant content. For Moms In Prayer, now their Google Ad Grant sends thousands of visitors a month to their Prayers for Children Landing Page. Typically, more than 10 percent of visitors chose to download the resources they offered and join their email list. This value-packed lead magnet generates over 1,000 email subscribers a month for MiP.

Many lead box and landing page tools integrate well with all types of websites, including WordPress. These tools make it easy to perform A/B tests on your landing pages and lead boxes, which show you what text and design elements are most effective at driving conversions. You can refine your forms and landing pages each month to maximize new contacts and potential donors.

 

N: Nurture Subscribers to Care

Goal: Strengthen your relationship with visitors by offering relevant content and inviting their feedback.

At this point, it’s time to build a system that nurtures your new subscribers to want to get involved with your online giving and fundraising efforts. It’s important to revisit who is subscribing to your list and how. With Moms in Prayer’s visitors who downloaded their 31 Days of Scripture prayer guide, we must think about what other emails we can send to this audience that will nurture them to really care about MiP’s mission and social impact. Now is the time to take a step back and think about the stories and programs that consistently move and inspire your inner circle to donate and make a stand for your organization.

At Community Boost, we are big proponents of encouraging nonprofits to talk to and generate direct feedback from nonprofit donors. If possible, interview five first-time online donors to discover what inspired them to give. After five interviews, it is likely you will have some common themes. You can then integrate these themes into your automated email series to engage new contacts.

Whether your organization is looking to move this person into becoming a first-time donor or leading a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, with the end goal in mind begin to map out the stories and email sends needed to nurture this potential donor lead (aka. email subscriber) into your desired end goal. What is the secret to hooking new visitors to convert and subscribe to your organization’s content and email list? Provide value. Real value. Value that benefits their life, their own personal needs and mission, and most importantly, provides immediate value to the search query that brought them to your website in the first place.

  • What stories of impact can you share with your new subscriber?
  • What videos will give goosebumps to your potential donor?
  • Would your new subscriber be interested in being invited to your social media channels or even a private Facebook group?
  • How often do you think your new subscriber is willing to hear from you if what you are sharing feels relevant and of strong, important value?
  • What facts and statistics are imperative for your new contact to realize and understand?
emails

Once you have mapped out the nurture emails, including the timing, content and respective calls to action for each send, now is the time to automate it. The vast majority of email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and more, allow for your organization to build automation flows so this nurture system can be set up and left to run, and still move people to care about your work.

Now that your organization has built a system to nurture cold visitors into warm email subscribers who care about your mission, now we must empower them to donate and fundraise.

 

E: Empower Subscribers to Donate/Fundraise

Goal: Move our subscribers to get involved and support your organization’s bottom line.

Now is the time to ignite your warm visitors and transform them into hot ones by making your ask. The majority of your nurture emails will contain links and calls to action, but that’s not their primary focus. Their focus is on nurturing your new subscribers to care about your mission. But after you have built this relationship with valuable content and sustained communication your potential donors may be ready to take action.

Whether you plan to send your visitors to a donation page or to create a peer-to-peer fundraising page, your organization’s fundraising efforts need to feel tangible and transparent. Here at Community Boost, this is why we believe nonprofits should consider investing in online donation platforms like Classy. These resources undertake much of the “empowering” for your organization.

As you become more and more committed to creating the best email marketing campaigns possible, we highly recommend you subscribe and follow other nonprofits out there that are already empowering their subscribers to donate and fundraise on a daily basis.

For example, if a person has been nurtured to sign up to create a fundraising page for Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit committed to building schools around the world, PoP should prioritize sending empowering emails to their new hot site visitors that chose to set up a fundraising campaign.

Once you have mapped out the nurture emails, including the timing, content and respective calls to action for each send, now is the time to automate it. The vast majority of email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and more, allow for your organization to build automation flows so this nurture system can be set up and left to run, and still move people to care about your work.

Now that your organization has built a system to nurture cold visitors into warm email subscribers who care about your mission, now we must empower them to donate and fundraise.

Be sure to empower your new fundraiser by sharing with them over time the following tips and suggestions:

  • Your organization is in this with them – motivate them to reach out if they need any support or have any questions
  • Personalize their campaign page – Encourage them to add photos, profile pictures, video etc.
  • Share their inspiration – What is their personal why as to why they are fundraising for your cause
  • Circulate their campaign and why among friends and family

Again, there are benefits in talking directly to your organization’s top fundraisers, understanding their challenges and what works well for them. From there, create an empowering email series around those themes to share with any and all individuals who chose to fundraise and financially support your mission.

Now your organization not only knows how to unlock your $10,000 per month Google Ad Grant, but more importantly how to move cold site visitors into warm subscribers and, ultimately, hot donors and fundraisers.

 

Conclusion

We hope your nonprofit marketing team finds the VINE Method a useful tool in understanding your traffic and effectively moving them to become donors and fundraisers.

Be sure to check out Classy’s full The Nonprofit’s Guide to Google Ad Grants today.

Once you have mapped out the nurture emails, including the timing, content and respective calls to action for each send, now is the time to automate it. The vast majority of email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and more, allow for your organization to build automation flows so this nurture system can be set up and left to run, and still move people to care about your work.

Now that your organization has built a system to nurture cold visitors into warm email subscribers who care about your mission, now we must empower them to donate and fundraise.

Be sure to empower your new fundraiser by sharing with them over time the following tips and suggestions:

  • Your organization is in this with them – motivate them to reach out if they need any support or have any questions
  • Personalize their campaign page – Encourage them to add photos, profile pictures, video etc.
  • Share their inspiration – What is their personal why as to why they are fundraising for your cause
  • Circulate their campaign and why among friends and family

Again, there are benefits in talking directly to your organization’s top fundraisers, understanding their challenges and what works well for them. From there, create an empowering email series around those themes to share with any and all individuals who chose to fundraise and financially support your mission.

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