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Musicians On Call Makes Sweet Music with Salesforce’s Pardot

By bringing live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities, Musicians On Call (MOC) volunteers deliver a brief distraction that can improve a patient’s outlook and mood. “Music transcends language and is so versatile it can tap into whatever emotion the patient is feeling,” says Elizabeth Black, MOC’s director of operations. “Sometimes it’s a really fun environment. Sometimes it’s a little more serious. But for all the patients, it’s a chance to forget what they’re going through for a few minutes.”

As with any small nonprofit, effective marketing communications is imperative — especially when the organization is as spread out as MOC is, delivering the healing power of music to healthcare facilities in 22 cities across the US. Sending targeted and personalized communications that are engaging can not only create a community that helps volunteers better connect with each other and the organization but it can also drive fundraising efforts.

Prior to using Salesforce, MOC used a basic email tool to engage with volunteers and donors. But the solution had limited reporting capabilities, emails looked basic, and it didn’t give the marketing team the data they needed to better connect with readers about what they cared about.

Looking for the Next Big Thing

With a new website coming in September 2016, MOC wanted to launch a new marketing solution that would support increased communications, including a new volunteer newsletter. MOC has used Salesforce for years and recently switched to the Nonprofit Success Pack for constituent management. “So it was important that the new solution integrate well with Salesforce,” Black says.

“We live by the mantra, ‘If it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist,’” Black says. “We manage all of our programs with the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). We’ve built our volunteer application and public song database on NPSP and manage all of our outcomes reporting. Pretty much everything we do is on Salesforce.”

The team wanted a marketing tool that enabled mobile-responsive emails and had dynamic content so that volunteers would get a personalized newsletter about where they live, rather than one with more general content. “We wanted something that really complemented what we’ve already built on Salesforce and would really take our marketing to the next level,” Black says.

A Solution That’s Music to their Ears

After extensive research, the marketing team settled on Salesforce’s Pardot, a marketing automation solution that helps organizations identify their best leads, run campaigns and track engagement, improve follow-up speed, and easily create landing pages.

With Web tracking capabilities that integrate directly with its Salesforce CRM, MOC can now track what forms a visitor fills out, how many people visited a certain page and for how long, where visitors enter the website from, and where they go after visiting a page.

Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Solomon can also build emails and the volunteer newsletter directly in Pardot. Solomon set up email automation rules for each step of the volunteer application process as well as different targeted messages for the different donor levels. “If we wanted to get something similar to Pardot, we would need to go with more than one product,” Solomon says. “When we looked at the features we were getting, it was less expensive by a significant amount than what we were paying for the piecemeal products before.”

Striking a Chord With Readers

Doing region-specific newsletters would be a nightmare without the dynamic content feature, Solomon says. Now, it’s quick and easy. She simply drags and drops content, and she can see exactly what it will look like on the recipient’s device. “The professional look of the newsletters and emails now give the impression that MOC is a bigger organization, when in fact we are a small staff” she says.
The newsletter has a 65 percent open rate, and 80 percent of those read all the way through — both much higher percentages than expected. Solomon even knows a few recipients printed the newsletter.

More Than a One-Hit Wonder

“Part of what’s great about Pardot is we get macro and micro data,” Black says. “We can see overall results of an email campaign — open rates, click throughs, etc. — but we can also dive deeper. We can now go into a specific donor’s record and see that they’ve opened a recent marketing email, and maybe that’s what caused them to donate two weeks later. We’re able to gain insights and make connections we couldn’t before.”

Now MOC knows that between 50 and 60 percent of recipients are engaging with its general marketing emails. It has started A/B testing subject lines to increase that rate even further. “Pardot tells us what we’re doing right and what we can improve on,” Solomon says. “We can get down to what people are looking at, what people like, what people don’t like, what works, what we can grow on. It’s really about using data to inform our marketing strategy and make it that much stronger.”

“We live by the mantra, ‘If it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.” Elizabeth Black, MOC’s Director of Operations