How to Create More Engaging Customer Experiences Through Cause Marketing
The rise of eCommerce and direct-to-consumer brands has presented consumers with a plethora of options to choose from. With so many choices available, eCommerce brands need a key differentiator to set themselves apart from the competition. Having competitive products is a great start, but what can really help brands stand out from the noise is having a great customer experience.
In today’s marketplace, conscious consumerism is on the rise, and the growing population of socially conscious consumers are no longer making purchase decisions solely on price or product differentiation. These factors are of course still important, but these consumers are buying with their values and voting with their wallets, which means they’re looking for purpose-driven brands who share similar values to them.
Cause marketing can be a powerful tool to create a unique and engaging customer experience that heightens your current marketing strategy, while building customer loyalty with your best customers. The numbers really speak for themselves— A women’s retailer saw that by integrating impact-focused messaging into their paid advertising efforts, they were able to:
- Increase CTR by 2.5%
- Increase Conversion Rate by 109.8%
- Increase ROAS by 136.5%
So how can your brand experience the same effects of a cause marketing strategy? The key is to be authentic in your efforts and create value-alignment with your customers— because your best customers will be the ones who share the same beliefs.
How to Be Authentic in Your Cause Marketing Efforts
This is the golden question— just like greenwashing, implementing a cause marketing strategy that’s inauthentic and planned with minimal effort can do more harm than good for your business. Not only are consumers making purchase decisions that favor purpose-driven brands, but 75% of Gen Z will actually do research to see if a brand is being honest when they take a stand on societal issues.
This means that it’s no longer enough to make vague claims about social advocacy or giving back. Today’s consumers want to see brands put their words into action. While the concept of giving back and making a positive impact may sound easy, it’s important that your brand is doing this the right way. And that means getting involved with causes that your brand truly believes in.
Understanding your brand values and what matters to your organization is the crucial first step to integrating a cause marketing strategy for your business. Once you’ve identified what you care about, you can take concrete steps to enabling initiatives throughout your brand that get your entire company and community involved.
The Benefits of Cause Marketing for Business
Giving back is of course good for society, but it’s good for business too. When a company leads with purpose, consumers are 76% more likely to trust that company and are 72% more likely to be loyal to that company. In addition to building customer trust and loyalty, cause marketing has the power to drive conversions and even increase AOV.
One women’s retailer saw that by enabling donations on purchases made from their website, multiple time donors returned 21% faster than their other repeat customers. Additionally, these customers represented 18% higher Customer Lifetime Value amongst multiple time donors.
When done authentically, cause marketing can be leveraged to positively impact business metrics and performance by elevating your current marketing efforts. Your customers already love your products, so pairing your products with the added benefit of supporting a charitable cause has the power to create an even more impactful purchase experience for your customers.
5 Tactics for Implementing a Cause Marketing Strategy
Once your brand has identified what causes you support, you should be proactive in sharing these initiatives with your customers! Today’s socially conscious consumers are on the lookout for brands who are doing more than just turning a profit and by making your social impact efforts easily accessible, you can enable consumers to learn more about your brand and your values much easier.
Leveraging your social impact efforts can help your brand create customer experiences that are engaging and unique, as well as drive organic business growth. Here’s a few tactics to help you implement a cause marketing strategy that’s authentic to your brand while still driving awareness for your social impact initiatives.
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great place to drive awareness and call attention to your social impact efforts. You can make an announcement post across all of your social media channels to share information about the cause(s) that your brand is supporting, and provide details on the actions you’re taking to make an impact.
You can share videos of your team volunteering, information about how others can get involved in supporting the cause, and you can even call out the amount of impact that your brand has created. A great way to bring more exposure to your initiatives is to tag the nonprofits that you’re supporting. Even if you don’t have a direct partnership with a nonprofit, meaning you don’t have rights to use their logo or other marketing material, you can still tag their organization and show your support for their mission.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to inform your customers and email subscribers about your social impact efforts. 59% of consumers say that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions, which means that email marketing is a great way to drive subscribers to your site to make a purchase.
Similar to social media marketing, you can create an announcement email that is focused on your social impact efforts and share details about how your brand is giving back. If you utilize cart abandonment emails, you can include impact-focused messaging here as well to remind your customer of your social impact efforts and how by supporting your brand, their purchase helps to support a good cause. You can also include impact-focused messaging in your email footer so that your impact efforts are subtly included in every email.
Personalization is a powerful tactic in creating marketing messaging that appeals to your customers. You can segment your email campaigns based on the causes that your customers support so that your messaging is tailored for those specific customers. By using personalized emails to reflect cause-affinity, you can create more authentic messaging experiences that may be more effective than the typical offer email that consumers are used to seeing.
3. On-Site Banners and Pop-Ups
Another great way to engage current and prospective customers is by integrating cause marketing throughout your website. 98% of visitors don’t place an order while visiting a brand’s website for the first time, which means that creating an engaging experience as soon as they visit your site is crucial to prevent them from leaving before making a purchase.
By utilizing homepage banners and pop-ups, you can capture your website visitors’ attention through impact-focused messaging. We’re all familiar with eyebrow banners that share shipping information and exit-intent pop-ups that encourage visitors to enter their email for a discount. Including information about how your company is giving back and sharing your impact efforts can be much more impactful in capturing these consumers’ attention and encouraging them to remain on-site and continue through the purchase process.
4. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a great tactic to build customer trust, and you can combine an influencer CRM management tool like Gatsby with a donation technology solution to create a unique influencer marketing experience. Just like how your brand supports specific causes, it’s likely that your customers and influencers do as well.
To create more engaging influencer marketing, we encourage you to enable your influencers to support a cause of their choice on any collabs that you’re running together. By using this tactic, your influencer can promote your products as usual on social media, but now with the added benefit of highlighting their favorite cause, and bringing awareness to it. This enables their community of followers to discover how your brand is giving back and encourages them to check out your website and make a purchase, knowing that they would be supporting a purpose-driven brand.
5. Integrated Donation Technology
If you’re looking for a way to give back on purchases made from your eCommerce site, you can use an integrated donation technology like ShoppingGives to natively integrate charitable giving into your website.
Whether you’re looking to enable donations made by your brand, your customers, or both, using an integrated donation solution makes giving back easier than ever, and helps to create a unique and engaging purchase experience for your customers.
Cause marketing is more than just a trend and is a consumer demand that's here to stay. The needs of society are ever-changing and implementing a cause marketing strategy for your brand can help you not only do good, but can also help you engage with your customers in an all new way. There’s truly no better time to get involved with cause marketing for your business than now.