Today we’re chatting with Melinda Snow Olson.

Melinda Snow Olson has been a marketing executive, small business owner, top-of-her-class MBA, university strategy instructor, and marketing process consultant. Working with both established brands and entrepreneurial start-ups, Melinda has supported hundreds of small businesses and sales professionals. She has created marketing programs, processes, and lead generation systems, and trained business owners and teams in the best ways to plan, execute, and follow-through on their marketing for greatest impact.

For more than 20 years, her focus has been on growing businesses by building marketing and sales systems for lead generation, customer acquisition, and client retention. Her approach helps her clients simplify the work and gain greater control and insight so they can focus on what they love to do best.

0. Why left-brained marketing? What does that mean?
Many entrepreneurial and mission driven organizations are run by visionary leaders who excel at high-impact, big-picture, creative thinking. Realizing that vision, and bringing it to the world, however, requires engaging your audience in a practical and tactical way. Left-Brained Marketing is about the behind-the-scenes marketing planning, process, systems, and metrics. You bring the passion to fuel the dream, we provide the gears.

1. What is your background in email marketing?
I have spent my 20+ year career working with organizations to create lead generation, acquisition, retention, and referral programs. This includes email marketing and marketing automation expertise with multiple organizations, delivering hundreds of emails impacting millions in revenue.

2. What is an autoresponder?
An autoresponder is simply an automated email sent by an email marketing system based on a triggering event. For example – sending a welcome email after someone subscribes to an email newsletter.

3. Why are autoresponders so important?
You don’t have the resources – time or money – to reinvent the wheel every time you follow-up with a new subscriber or donor. And because you are so busy, you risk waiting too long, or never following up at all. Autoresponders can simplify the work of engaging key supporters, save you time, present a professional image, and ensure follow-through. All of which can lead to better donor engagement, increased donations, and greater impact. It’s pretty awesome. You don’t have to spend any more money to get more donors. Just use your existing email software a different way.

4. How have you seen automated emails work for business?
In business, simple automated emails can help with lead conversion, customer acquisition, customer cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention – all jargon for engaging customers (and potential customers) in a deeper and more profitable relationship. Automated emails can also do the heavy-lifting of subscriber and donor engagement and follow-through. They can help you lead a donor down the path of greater engagement and higher or more frequent donations.

5. What happens if you don’t use autoresponders?
At best, you spend time on email follow-up to supporters and donors that could be better used in other ways. At worst, you don’t have the time to follow-up, so you don’t do it all. Either way, the results are negative – fewer donations, smaller impact.

6. What can autoresponders do for nonprofits?
The most basic benefit of using autoresponders is that they save you time by automating the process of follow-up and engagement with important audiences. Simple engagement and awareness (created through email autoresponders) can help improve donations, visibility, and impact.

7. What would you suggest for email autoresponders that every nonprofit should have?
At a minimum, I would use autoresponders for engaging new subscribers and also new donors. I would also consider engaging in this way with large donors, or any other segment that is influential or important to your nonprofit results. And finally, I like automating communications in a reactivation campaign – it is a good way to win back donors you may have lost because you weren’t actively engaging them from their first donation.

8. Where can people learn more about you and your services?
They can go to: www.leftbrainedmarketing.com

melinda-snow-olson-webinarv29. Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
People can feel free to reach out to me if they have questions about any of their marketing processes. I am always happy to be a resource!

If you’d like to learn even more about creating more loyal donors instead of doing churn and burn like always, come to our webinar,

Making Loyal Donors With Email:  Creating Long-term Donors with Automated Email Marketing, on August 12th, 12pm PT, 3pm ET!