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Blackbaud CRM™ Direct Marketing: Ten Things You Need To Know

Have you been considering using the Blackbaud Direct Marketing tool, BBDM™? Do you feel like it may be too time-consuming or complex for your staff? Here are the top ten things that will save you and your organization time and energy:

  1. Use Marketing Efforts as a de-duping tool for non-solicitation mailings: ​Do you have newsletters or other non-solicitations that include Constituents that fall into more than one category (ie. Board Member, Alumnus, Donor, etc.)? Rather than building a complex query so that each person receives only one piece of mail, build separate segments for each and the marketing effort will dedupe automatically. Segments can then be reused in other mailings.

  2. Copy similar Marketing Efforts: If you send a Marketing Effort repeatedly and little information changes, use the Copy feature. This will save a huge amount of time and selections and segments will be automatically refreshed each time an effort is copied.

  3. Schedule “Refreshes” as a Business Process: While it’s easy to refresh a Marketing Effort or Segments within the Effort, we recommend scheduling a nightly job to refresh segments, selections and Marketing Efforts. This ensures you are always working with the most current data.

  4. Build Simple Selections: Building simple selections and using the Segment Builder (see #5 below) will save you creation time as well as enhance performance! (Example: using multiple "exists in" queries slows down the queries.)

  5. Use the Segment Builder: The Segment Builder allows you to build complex segments using simple selections. Performance will be improved and segments can be placed into groups which can then be reused. The Segment Builder tool can be found under Segments on the left side navigation menu called Create Multiple Segments. The order of your segments is important because the hierarchical nature of the system works from top to bottom in the Marketing Effort (see #1 above)

  6. Build a standard Source Code for your efforts: Several of the best standard reports in Marketing and Communications in BBDM™ rely on parts of the Source Code. Having a standardized Source Code will enhance your reporting capabilities.

  7. Don’t underestimate Segmented House Files and Acquisition Lists: These are powerful tools, especially if your organization uses an outside vendor for segmentation. Be sure to have required import IDs provided in the file from vendor to ease the importing process. Keep in mind when used with The Raiser's Edge™, BBDM™ uses the Finder Number, Source Code and System Record ID as available mapping fields.

  8. Auto-increment Packages and other parts in your Source Code: Our best practice recommendation is to allow BBDM™ to assign a package code and other parts that do not need to have any “visual meaning” to the Source Code.

  9. Build Appeals at a Broad Level: Marketing Efforts roll up into Appeals. So rather than having a very specific Appeal (ie.2016 February Annual Fund Acquisition), create an Appeal for 2016 Annual Fund and rely on the name of the Marketing Effort to report on the specifics.

  10. BBDM™ has excellent out-of-the-box reports. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Appeal Package Performance

  • Source Code Performance

  • Package Performance Report

  • Retention and Attrition

  • Marketing Exclusions Report

If you would like help setting up your Marketing & Communications module in The Raiser's Edge™/BBDM™ or assistance with cleaning up your current Marketing & Communication module, please contact BrightVine Consulting.

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