Going From 15 to 50 Appointments Per Month For Donorbox
Donorbox is a US-based technology company that offers advanced fundraising online software to non-profit organizations that aren’t satisfied with their current solution. The company provides its services to clients in the United States, UK and Australia.
With the goal of building a strong cold outreach channel and generating a good percentage of high-value leads, Donorbox reached out to Belkins for market research and lead nurturing. What came next was the result of great synergy between the two teams.
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As the Donorbox team progressed with their mission of creating a better fundraising experience for non-profit organizations, their rapid growth was obstructed by the two key challenges:
- Lack of outbound strategy. Donorbox used to rely on inbound marketing to nurture and convert clients. While inbound marketing can be a powerful tool for closing deals and increasing appointment rates, it alone won’t be enough to build momentum and fulfill the product’s potential. Knowing this, the client required experts having experience in building outbound email marketing campaigns from scratch and knew the infrastructure behind cold email outreach.
- Need for more precise targeting. Before meeting Belkins, Donorbox had difficulties with finding organizations that met the company’s ideal customer profile. To attract more companies of the right size and ensure they would be a perfect fit, Donorbox looked for a team of professionals who would help make the most out of the company’s qualifiers and build a perfect customer’s journey.
The main challenge here is the absence of a working outbound strategy, i.e., 99% of their clients came from inbound. Our goal was to scale email outreach and make it an independent channel that generates a decent % of the whole company's sales and revenue. As of now, we've successfully built a cold email outreach channel and generated 50+ appointments monthly. Our current challenge is to increase the call-to-deal conversion. Nowadays, we're actively communicating with the client about the new possible ways to improve conversion.
To give you a better idea of how successful our partnership is, we've started working with Donorbox when they had only one person responsible for marketing and one sales guy; after a year they have a full-time head of sales + a few sales folks who are handling our calls, i.e., we are growing fast together.
What we did
- Research. During this vital stage, we explored the non-profit market inside out. Every detail, from payment schemes, competitors to specific qualities of certain non-profit organizations like churches and shabads was taken into account and used to embed more accuracy into the client’s Ideal Customer Profile, as well as to reveal new lucrative opportunities.
- ICP revision. To start our outbound campaigns at the right pace, we had to restart the client’s ICP. We went through the existing ICP together with the Donorbox team to see what qualifiers it needs to become more accurate and relevant to the company’s goals.
We were very proactive in suggesting new targeting options and researching industries. The more directions we discover, the more nurturing opportunities reveal themselves to the client. As a result of our collective brainstorming, we decided to target companies based on their revenue, the software they were using for raising funds, and their priority language (since Donorbox supports English only).
- A|B testing. After mapping the most profitable industries, as well as creating a list of no-target industries, we started an extensive testing phase. Our goal was to find the template and the cadence capable of driving at least 25 qualified calls each month. We also aimed to achieve the golden middle between the number of calls and their quality. Some industries delivered a lot of calls, but the conversion rate remained low. Meanwhile, other industries required a lot more nurturing before we were able to book a call but delivered the largest number of new clients.
This stage saw a lot of experimenting. We sent various email campaigns to various industries while documenting the results and focusing on numbers.
Such an approach made it possible for us to crystallize a set of crucial metrics and analyze each industry through its prism. From that point, it became a lot easier to determine which industry was successful and which one wasn’t.
- Feedback reporting. Throughout all the stages of our campaign, we never ceased our monitoring. Having built a sophisticated reporting system, we kept a close eye on the feedback and results of every call to see if there were any areas of improvement in our targeting or messaging.
- Increased appointment rate. At the beginning of our work, we managed to secure around 15 appointments per month. Currently, we generate around 50 appointments each month, with a high call-to-deal conversion rate. In total, we scheduled around 600 high-value calls for Donorbox.
- High open rates. Our campaigns and monitoring increased the total campaign open rate to 70% (with 50% average open rate per email), which is an outstanding result that signifies great visibility, smooth email delivery, and excellent domain reputation. The increased visibility also led to an increased reply rate (around 20-30%).
- Accelerated company growth. Such an increase in appointments pushed Donorbox to go from a one-person marketing department and one sales representative to a full-time sales team (complete with the Head of Sales) to process all the appointments generated by Belkins.
- Leave no stone unturned. Whether you research a new niche or revisit the one you currently sell to, be thorough. For example, in non-profit marketing, emotional motivation, ideological goals, and philosophy matters as much as the technological and financial data. Gather all the information you can get, segment it, process it, and see how many doors it can open for you and your company.
- Don’t chase big numbers. Booking thousands of calls without being able to close one deal isn’t a sign of good sales momentum. It means wasting your sales reps’ time and missing out on real opportunities. Raise your bar gradually - you may start out with closing only 5-10 valuable appointments each month, but the ROI from those appointments will let your company grow and advance to the point when generating around 50 appointments per month becomes an achievable task.
- Adjust your targeting as you go. Cold outbound marketing is a flexible process. You send templates to your prospects, you analyze their response, you decide whether it’s satisfying or not, you make corrections. It’s a normal part of cold outreach, so you’re required to stay attentive and focused on your performance throughout the entire campaign. Even if you didn’t manage to connect with a certain target audience segment as you expected, you still learned something new and can polish your Ideal Customer Profile. Every little bit counts.
- Be open about your expectations. We had perfect synergy with the Donorbox team, exchanging opinions and suggestions, being proactive with new ideas, and discussing the pace of the campaign. Maintaining a dialogue between all team members removes a lot of bumps from your roadmap and lets you advance smoothly. Treat your SDR teams as partners, make an effort to work together towards your common goal. It may take some time before you find the right approach, but it will reward you in the long run.