The Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights through an API: Part 3 – Fail Fast, Succeed Faster

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Welcome back to our 5-part blog series on how you can use real-time wealth data to generate more revenue. Throughout these posts, we are focused on using our real-time API connection to drive better marketing and more sales. In the first post, we discussed how to prioritize and understand your best leads from the moment they first interact with you. In the second post, we talked about how you can get to know your audience better.

This week, we move onto part 3. We’ll focus on how you can fail fast and succeed faster.

I know what you’re thinking. ”Fail fast, succeed faster. What does that even mean?”

None of us want to fail at all. In an ideal world, your strategies will be successful from day 1. But that’s not reality for many of us.

A 2014 study by Sales Benchmark Index found that as many as 71% of marketers were falling short of their revenue targets by adopting the wrong marketing strategies. And that doesn’t even measure how many of the other 29% failed a few times before landing on a successful strategy.

So that begs the question…how do we get the right strategies? The answer is testing.

Ask marketing departments in any successful company. They’ll tell you the same thing. Testing, learning, and testing some more is the key to a winning strategy. If you’re looking to grow your business, implementing well-executed tests is a necessity.

The next question is – What do you test? Well, I’ll suggest that you ultimately test everything. But testing your marketing campaigns is a start.

That’s where the WealthEngine API comes in. With our API integration, you can understand more about the individuals responding to your campaigns and engaging with you…in real time. Income, net worth, assets, and personal attributes are all pieces of information that can be readily available to you at the moment individuals are interacting with your website.

Think of the power of what you can do with that information.

  • Test various calls to action, copy, or creative and adjust on the fly based on how individuals with different wealth profiles respond to your marketing efforts.
  • Try different sales tactics when you see high-capacity individuals interacting with your website. Find a strategy that works and stick with it.
  • Route people to different experiences on your website and test which flow works the best.

You can make all these campaign decisions immediately using information from your ideal audience (or not). And you can set up simple tests that give you answers quickly and lets you learn what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.

The next time someone tells you failing is bad, tell them they’re wrong. Failing is a good thing – as long as you do it fast and move onto another strategy. It cuts down on time waste and saves money, giving you more time to find the successful strategy. Utilizing real-time data and information can help you learn what works and what doesn’t, and optimize the effectiveness of your tests.

Keep an eye out for Part 4 of our series in the coming weeks about the personalized treatment of high value prospects.

Want to learn more about our wealth API? Check out our developer’s site. Interested in more use cases and how you can use our API to drive better sales and marketing strategies? Check out our new eBook – 5 Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights through an API.

5 Benefits of Real-time Wealth Insights Through an API – Infographic

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The key to engaging prospects and rising above the noise is targeting the right people and personalizing your offers and calls to action. In order to do this effectively you need to have access to real-time insights.

We’ve put together this infographic with five suggestions to give your engagement strategies a boost.

To get more information on how you can leverage real-time wealth insights download our full eBook now – 5 Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights.

Why Do Donors Give? Eight Ways to Communicate the Right Messages to Your Donors

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As the end of the year approaches and the giving season ramps up, donors find themselves giving more to their favorite charities. As Giving USA reports, charitable giving continues to rise, in part because of growth in several key economic factors, including: personal consumption, personal income, disposable personal income, GDP, and corporate pre-tax profits.

This information can help your organization better target your prospects as the year comes to an end. Proactively identifying and understanding the prospects in your organization’s constituent file can help you craft the right message for all of your prospects. Look for those who have given gifts of appreciated stock in the past, those who have donated larger gifts, those with higher salaries, or those with a higher net worth. If you don’t know who in your file meets these criterion, WealthEngine offers tools and services to let you easily sift through and identify your prospects.

Once you’ve identified the donors in your database who may be ready to give, think about what motivates them. Donors are moved to give by more than just extra income and tax incentives. Donors give to:

  1. Causes that align with their philanthropic goals
    Make sure your communications make clear who you are and outlines your mission.

  2. Causes whose stories resonate with them in a personal and emotional way
    Stories of people impacted by your nonprofit or first-hand witnesses to your nonprofit’s impact are winners.

  3. Organizations they respect and trust
    There are several sites that rate charities. If you have their seal of approval, display it. Testimonials from well-known members in your community also inspire trust.

  4. People they respect and trust
    Make sure your board members, and high level staff, are listed prominently on your website and other communications.

  5. Organizations they believe are having a high impact and are effective in addressing their mission
    Make sure you quantify, to the fullest extent possible, the impact you are having in your field of endeavor.

  6. Organizations that ask for gifts to further their mission
    Make sure to ask for gifts for a mission that the donor wants to give to; mission, not overhead!

  7. Charities that make giving easy by providing multiple ways to give and who send messages via multiple channels
    Make giving as easy as possible, with fewer “clicks,” and streamlined response vehicles.

  8. Charities that make donors feel appreciated and glad they contributed
    Stewardship may be the most important factor of all.  Don’t let any of your donors lapse because you didn’t thank them.  Appreciation is essential.

If your nonprofit is looking to maximize year-end giving, it’s not too late to craft messages that resonate with your supporters and prospects. Target those whose incomes have likely risen due to economic growth, and appeal to both their emotional and rational selves.

For more on data-driven campaigns, download our workbook: Data-Driven Major Gift Campaigns Workbook.

WE at Dreamforce

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Our team returned from another successful Dreamforce last week – and what a week it was!

Dreamforce is the user conference hosted by Salesforce in San Francisco every year. It’s also the largest sales and marketing event in the country, with over 150,000 attendees from many of the verticals that we serve. It’s important for us to attend to engage not only with the great people at Salesforce, but also with many of our customers and prospects about our products and services.

We called the Westin St. Francis home for this year’s conference. The Westin housed the nonprofit community and the Salesforce.org sessions. We arrived on Monday and took our place in the Salesforce.org Lodge next to some of our amazing friends and partners in the nonprofit space, such as Cloud For Good, Idealist Consulting, and Classy to name a few. After setting up our booth space and getting the Money Ball ready (more on that later), we were ready for the week to begin.

The conference officially kicked off on Tuesday. It was a day filled with great meetings and talking with customers and prospects at the booth. We also unveiled the aforementioned Money Ball. As you probably know from reading this blog, we believe in helping our customers make better decisions by giving them more information about the wealth of their prospects. We gave customers and prospects the chance to increase their own wealth by pulling bills from our Money Ball. Many fished out $1 bills but some lucky individuals pulled out $5’s, $10’s, $20’s, and even a $50 bill. After rave reviews, we’re excited to keep the Money Ball going at future events.

Tuesday evening was packed with some fun-filled activities. We were graciously hosted by Salesforce in a special event honoring customers of 10+ years. In addition to having a featured product in the App Exchanges, we are also loyal Salesforce customers and have been for many years. The event was hosted at a speakeasy on Market Street and was a great way to start the night. After that party, we closed the evening co-hosting a casino-night party with our partners at Silverline CRM in an effort to engage with our financial customers and prospects.

Wednesday started bright and early – we cohosted a breakfast for the Nonprofit industry with our friends at Appirio. We were able to attend some sessions throughout the day, which were great. This was highlighted by the main event of the conference. In the afternoon, we were lucky enough to get great seats for Marc Benioff’s keynote, where he discussed the trends in the industry and the outstanding direction for Salesforce’s future. Marc’s vision was inspiring, and we’re happy to be a part of it as a customer and partner.

The rest of the day was somewhat normal…if you consider going to see U2 a daily occurrence. They rocked the conference with an amazing show. 

Thursday was a day for us to share with the community. We started by co-hosting another breakfast with Appirio, this time focusing on the Retail industry. After the breakfast, we rushed back to the Westin at 8 am to cheer on our very own JB Rauch as he competed in Salesforce’s Demo Jam – a fun competition where 6 companies have 3 minutes to demo their solution in front of an audience. While we didn’t win the Demo Jam, we were excited to demo our awesome products to the nonprofit community.

JB didn’t have a very long break. At 4 pm, he was back on stage, this time with our partners at the United Way and Sierra Club. They talked about the power of wealth data and how it can be used to drive better fundraising efforts. We were really excited to hear all the great use cases of WealthEngine at the United Way and Sierra Club – they did a wonderful job engaging with the audience and talking about how they use our platforms.

Within the madness of all of our activities, we also managed to launch a new product – On Demand Screening. On Demand Screening is a solution that integrates your online donation process with the WealthEngine platform to instantly screen your online donors as they interact with your site. We feel that it’s an outstanding solution that can help nonprofits from missing opportunities and to better personalize the donor experience.

On Friday, it was time to wrap up. We closed the booth, checked out of our hotels, and headed to the airport to fly back home and to reality – somewhat dreading all the emails that were waiting for us when we got back into the office. 

It was fun. It was exhilarating. It was exhausting. But overall, it was a success of a week. We were happy to talk to current and future customers about the great ways that WealthEngine can help drive success for them. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

“If We Build It, They Will Come”: The Magical Thinking Syndrome

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Let’s spend this week diving into a story.

Three years into a stalled capital campaign, an arts nonprofit finally engineered bond financing in order to build the facility that the then-executive director and the board were determined to have.  A consultant was hired, changes were made, but despite all that, the campaign wasn’t completely successful.  Now, with the building built and five years removed from the campaign, the organization is saddled with bond debt and the board has decided that another campaign is called for – to retire the bond debt from the first campaign.

When do you think the last time the development office did a full screening of the organizational database?  Eight years ago, because the board won’t authorize money in the budget to do so.

What is wrong with this picture?
The board in question is relatively high-performing. Most have given six-figure gifts toward the new effort.  But the board expects the development director to go back to prior campaign donors for more donations and somehow magically keep the annual fund on a growth path, all without additional resources.  What’s worse is they now have a thriving membership program but have no idea about the capacity and inclination of their members.
We have seen it time and time again here at WealthEngine.  It’s like the movie “Field of Dreams” – but without the happy ending.

A board, or a president, or an executive director thinks, “If we build this facility, we can serve more people.” 

Or, a board will say: “Well, if we have all given a six-figure gift to this cause, then there will be sixty other people in town who will do the same,”

Or worse:  “We just need to find 1,000 people to give us $1,000.” 

They will disregard a feasibility study that warns against an ambitious goal, launch a campaign, and double the goal for good measure, then blame the fundraising team for not achieving the impossible.

This is magical thinking.
Unfortunately, it’s so common, that we call it the Magical Thinking Syndrome.

Does your organization have the ability to absorb the additional operating expenses a new facility will incur – even if you successfully raise the entire amount you need?  It costs money to pay additional staff, keep the lights on, pay for upkeep and additional supplies, add insurance costs, etc.  Your board is undoubtedly made up of hard-working, generous, well-meaning individuals who are correct about one thing: Of course there are likely to be people with high capacity.   But do those people share the board member’s inclination to give a gift to a particular organization?  Are they one of the “usual suspects” in the community to whom every nonprofit, large, medium and small, goes with their hand out? And, quite frankly, where is a fundraiser to find 1,000 people willing to donate $1,000 to a particular nonprofit?

Boards and visionary executives aren’t the only ones complicit in this dilemma.  Some fundraising professionals take the “glass half empty” approach and won’t advocate for themselves or their staff to be given the resources with which to do their job.  They spend their 60 and 70 hour weeks packing more and more things into their schedule with the same results.

Without screening donor data, fundraisers have no actionable information with which to work.  It’s like throwing someone deep into Carlsbad Caverns, turning off all of the lights, and expecting her to find her way out — in less than an hour. 
The mountaineer, Eric Alexander best known for leading his blind friend, Erik Weihenmayer to Mt. Everest’s 29,035 foot summit, wouldn’t consider setting out without a map, a plan and a strategy for meeting all the possible scenarios.

Neither should fundraisers.

And boards (or senior staff) shouldn’t expect them to.

Even before embarking on a traditional feasibility study, a data or wealth screening, along with a major gift model and planned gift model, should be conducted.  Wedding the best of data analytics with personal conversations can provide lasting return and insight on where your organization stands in the community and where it ranks in your donors’ philanthropic priorities.

The return on investment for a data screening can easily outweigh the modest cost. To learn more download WealthEngine’s white paper, Measuring Fundraising Return on Investment and the Impact of Wealth Intelligence.

In fact, think about including it in your board packets for the next meeting.

A few questions to ask when considering a capital campaign:

  • Can our nonprofit absorb the additional costs of a larger facility, including furnishings, fixtures, overhead, additional salaries, insurance, utilities, upkeep and more?
  • Is there an endowment in place to provide a financial cushion for these items?  Or, is an endowment part of the proposed campaign goal?
  • Can you spend money to raise money?  (In other words, is there a commitment from the board and key leadership to create a campaign budget, including additional staff, data screening, donor recognition and other essential elements?)
  • When was the last time you did a thorough screening of your constituent database?
  • Have you had major gift and planned gift models run?

Do you have a similar story to share? Let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about data-driven capital campaigns read our new workbook and listen to our webinar.

WealthEngine Launches Enhanced Screening Solution for Nonprofits

October 4, 2016 – Bethesda, MD – WealthEngine (WE), the leading provider of predictive marketing, analytics, and audience development services has launched a new screening solution for nonprofits called WE Enhanced Screen.

WE Enhanced Screen will allow nonprofits to supercharge their screening with additional ratings and scores to give transformational insights into their donors and prospects, so they can build high-powered fundraising and outreach strategies.

WealthEngine’s ratings and scores are the result of 20+ years of experience in wealth intelligence. WE Enhanced Screen appends four statistical scores and ratings, in addition to the standard screening results, enabling fundraisers to easily prioritize and segment their constituency base on four key areas – major giving, likelihood to give, planned giving and next ask amounts.

WE Enhanced Screen Key Capabilities:

  • Prioritize and rank your constituent base in terms of their likelihood to give
  • Personalize your fundraising campaigns with wealth append data
  • Maximize your donations and ROI by asking for the right gift amounts based on ability
  • Segment your donor database by wealth and propensity scores 

“Wealth screenings have been the foundation for fundraising for some time now,” said Mark Logan, CEO of WealthEngine. “We decided to take the typical industry screening and provide more value to our clients by adding in statistically modeled ratings and scores to power more actionable insights and better donor engagement. We are excited to release this offering to our clients just in time to help drive results for their end of year appeals.”

Visit http://www.wealthengine.com/products-services/products/screen for more information.

About WealthEngine
WealthEngine™, Inc. is the leading provider of predictive marketing analytics, audience development and wealth intelligence services to nonprofit organizations, financial services, and luxury brands. Recently named a Cool Vendor in Data-Driven Marketing by Gartner, marketers and fundraisers use WealthEngine’s comprehensive insights to understand what drives consumer decisions and when best to engage them. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine serves both the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit wealthengine.com.

The Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights through an API: Part 2 – Get to Know Your Audience

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Welcome back to our 5-part blog series about how you can use wealth data to supercharge your real-time sales and marketing strategies through an API. In our first post, we discussed how to prioritize and understand your best leads from the moment they first interact with you.

This week, we move onto Part 2 where we’ll focus on how you can get to know your audience better. 

Do you know your customers? I mean do you really know your customers? You might think that you know all there is to know. But what does that really entail? You obviously know what they’ve purchased from your company. You may also know some basic information, such as their name, age, location, and other basic profile stats. What else? Some of you may be thinking…what else is there to know?

If this is all the information you have on your customer base, then there IS a lot more you can learn. For example, what are your customers’ interests? How do they behave? Do they have the ability purchase your higher-end products? These are all important questions. Having a firm understanding of the answers to these, and other similar questions, can help you gain a better understanding of who to prioritize in sales efforts and who to market to through marketing automation.

I hope that by now I’ve convinced you that more information on your audience is better. Let’s up the game a little bit more and talk about timing. Learning all there is to know about your base is great, but if you get those answers in weeks or months, your options are limited. It’s better than nothing, but unless your sales cycle is quite long, the opportunity has likely gone cold and needs to be reengaged. Wouldn’t it be better to get this information much faster? Like, real-time faster?

Consumers are 22% more likely to consider a brand as a result of real-time marketing. Why? Because real-time marketing gets relevant information in front of them immediately while they are interested in something. Ever hear of the phrase “right message in front of the right customer at the right time”? This is what that means.

Our ideal timing is real-time. And fortunately, that’s possible through APIs. You could do a lot more with that kind of speed. For instance, by understanding what your audience is interested in, you can customize your sales and marketing efforts. Don’t show them content on your website that isn’t relevant. Give them an experience that aligns to their interests. If you’re conducting a sales conversation, you can guide the discussion based on their background. Real-time speed instantly opens up a whole world of options. 

Wealth insights are another important data point that can help drive this conversation – especially when wealth matters. Let’s work through a use case here:

Leads visit your website to learn more about your products. Wealth does matter for you…meaning that you have some products that may be more aligned to individuals with higher purchasing power. When you capture an individual’s basic information on your site – for a sales conversation, to download materials, or to sign-up for your mailing list – you can perform an instant wealth screening on those individuals through our API.

Congratulations! You’ve just learned a lot more about your audience to help you better segment and prioritize.

Develop customized sales tracks for individuals that fit different income profiles. Customize their future web experiences through a content hub with information about their interests and affinity. Fast track a sales conversation with your best reps based on their purchasing power. Or develop different talk tracks in your service center to align to their needs. The possibilities are endless.

Knowing your audience is important for good sales and marketing. Until recently, there was a time lag associated with gaining this knowledge. However, with better technologies and through the use of APIs, we can now learn this information in real-time. Let’s use that information to optimize our efforts.

Keep an eye out for Part 3 of our series in the coming weeks about failing fast and succeeding faster, where we discuss how you can run and optimize tests with real-time wealth data.

Want to learn more about our wealth API? Check out our developer’s site. Interested in more use cases and how you can use our API to drive better sales and marketing strategies? Check out our new eBook – 5 Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights through an API.