How a Messaging Change Helps Rescue Animals in Need

How a messaging change helps animals in need

This is a contributed post from Bumper Leads, an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant. 

We are beyond excited to be writing about our awesome client, Deb Jarrett who founded a charity in India called Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

Deb is an absolutely amazing woman who had a mission to set-up an animal rescue centre in Dharamsala, India. While many of her peers choose to climb the corporate ladder, Deb quit her corporate job to pursue her mission of living and travelling abroad; and to fill that void by making a real contribution in her life.

It was during her time at Dharamsala, India where she spent several weeks volunteering at a preschool, that she witnessed many sick and injured dogs left to die a painful, humiliating death. It broke her heart to watch these dogs suffer and to see how little the local people seemed to care about them.

This was 10 years ago.

Fast forward to today, Deb is running a successful Animal Rescue Centre in Dharamsala, as well as a range of programs aimed at educating the locals about humane animal treatments and animal birth control. Debbie also holds rabies vaccination camps (as rabies are a big problem in India, more people die of rabies in India than in any other country).

Project objectives

Deb engaged us to help grow her not-for-profit organisation by clarifying her messaging, turning her website into a donation box, as well as improving some of her processes for on-boarding new leads and volunteers.

The goal was to make it easy to collect donations, and keep her donations consistently growing every month.

Our process

Typically, before we start working with our clients, we run a ‘health check’ of their marketing strategy. It was during our first marketing strategy sessions with Deb, we discovered that DAR was already receiving a significant number of hits on the website, and their social media accounts had a strong following.

All of this was working well, however there was a big piece of the puzzle that was missing, that was essentially robbing DAR of securing more donations. Simply put, this big piece was the messaging being used, which needed a complete overhaul.

With any type of improvements in marketing or sales funnels, the first step is to revisit who is your ideal client (in this instance, ideal donor) and the product positioning. Well in this case, it was more about the animals. What is the product/market fit?

During our sessions, we discovered that the DAR story needed to be highlighted in order to be shared. The brand story was already there, it was just hiding in the midst of all the content.

We also noticed that DAR story needed to be simple, relevant and repeatable.

What do we mean by this?

Well, let’s have a look at the BEFORE and AFTER of their home page.

BEFORE:

Before the site redesign

AFTER:

After the site redesign

We strongly believe the homepage had to capture everything in less than 5 seconds of the visitor landing on the site. The hero image is what we call the prime real estate of any website. Or the window of a shop. The merchandising has to be displayed perfectly to capture the attention of a 5-year old customer (exaggeration included!)

The BEFORE photo has many sliding images, inconsistent branding and colours, and not much text. Granted there is a clear call to action, but the sliders made it hard for someone to take any notice of it. The website didn’t make it easy for the visitor to donate money either.

There is also the missing story – what is the vision of DAR? What are they trying to achieve?
This element of the story is what makes people donate, this is what sets DAR apart from any other charity. It is the personal journey of the Founder and her passion to help people of Dharamsala and its animals.

After we discovered the WHY, we wanted to highlight the values of what makes DAR so unique.

This is often a neglected part of marketing, but this is what ultimately helps a business attract clients. This is also referred to as the “personality” of a brand.

As Simon Sinek once said, ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.

DAR personality was to promote the fun parts of the job, the people who help transform the organisation and the volunteers behind the centre who love to give. Although, it can be sad to deal with many sick or injured animals, it is the bigger vision that drives people to remain optimistic and positive.

So, we turned things around a bit with our messaging.

Yes, we needed a mascot to help us with our cause. A perfect dog came into the centre, called Suraj (which means Sun in Hindi). As soon as Suraj recovered from his troubles, he was offered a job – to be a Mascot, Reviewer and an Advice Columnist. He now has his own Facebook page called Eat, Pray, Bark and he regularly models dogties. Check him out here. His Instagram handle is @Suraj.says

Suraj says

The idea of sharing a story of a happy life of a rescued animal is what ties into the ‘fun’ aspect of working at the centre, but doesn’t shy away from the realities of the situation.

Now is the time to plan for marketing automation

Marketing automation is a process of streamlining your marketing strategy. A good software will help you handle leads, purchases and have the ability to track the behaviours of your website visitors.

With so many options available these days, the most expensive options (are) being Infusionsoft and Ontraport for small businesses. However, one software could do all of the above without the need for overly expensive tools. We’ve decided to use ActiveCampaign, which seemed agile enough for DAR business needs.

We needed a tool that helped segment visitors based on behaviours, collect data so that we can make informed decisions about how to deliver relevant messages.

We’ve developed sequences to nurture new leads and to nurture new enquiries.

Inside the email marketing campaigns, we shared DAR’s story. It wasn’t long before DAR was receiving ‘replies’ from followers who resonated with the founder’s story.

Another thing we decided to automate in DAR is their ability to collect applications from volunteers. Their existing process was a PDF attachment that a potential volunteer had to download first, print and sign, and then scan, and email back. It was cumbersome to say the least.

We scouted for the best possible software that could handle the right amount of applications but not cost a thing (when you rely on donations, every cent counts). Well we came across an application called JotForm, which did everything we needed it to do, and it was absolutely free.

What took hours to complete by volunteers, now only takes minutes.

What took hours to administer, now takes minutes.

In summary

The new world of marketing is about inspiration, connection and community. DAR has the perfect blend of all 3, but they needed to have these marketing principles embedded within their marketing system, which is why they came to us.

Your marketing system doesn’t need to be complicating. Before we build anything using technology, we review your business across these 4 pillars:

  • How you attract customers
  • How you convert leads into customers
  • How you nurture leads
  • How you deliver their products to customers

The DAR organisation now has a system that gives them a predictable stream of donors, inspires change and is building a community around Suraj’s story to create awareness of animal protection in impoverished cities around the world.

We would love it if you could also donate to DAR!

Please click here to submit your donations and support Debbie’s cause in animal protection in impoverished cities around the world.

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