What Should You Include In Your Marketing Plan?

August 15, 2017



This guest post is by Rebecca Stevens Teaff of Redstart Creative, presenter of “Marketing Essentials: What Should Be In Your Plan?”, part of the Speak Up, Speak Out track at this year’s conference. Learn more and register here: bit.ly/MANOAC17.


I’m so excited to speak at the Maryland Nonprofits Conference on October 4th. I will be presenting on “What Should You Include in Your Marketing Plan?” We will be discussing the key pieces to include in your marketing plan at a minimum and what elements to add when your budget allows.


When reviewing your marketing plan for the year you should make sure you at least have the following items included in your plan and budget.


  1. Website. It’s not just necessary but imperative to have a well-functioning website to communicate to your donors, clients, and funders. Your website is your first impression.
    1. Your site should be responsive (resize for all device sizes: iPad, tablet, iPhone, etc!)
    2. It should run on an updated platform, preferably a CMS (Content Management System.)
    3. It should have regularly updated content.
    4. You should be able to review your analytics.
  2. E-Newsletter. An e-newsletter is a great way to share curated information with your audience. Pull from past events, social media posts, photos etc. Share news and information with your audience!
    1. MailChimp is free under 2000 subscribers.
    2. Review your analytics, especially your open rate and click rates.
    3. Send newsletters consistently!
  3. Social Media. You need to be on social media. Period.
    1. Start with one platform and work on growing your audience there. Then, add another.
    2. Facebook ads have the best ROI out there for engagement, so you should budget Facebook ad costs.
    3. Develop a social media strategy and post consistently.
  4. Direct Mail. There is still very much a place for Direct Mail. Keep in mind that not all of your communication or appeals should be digital.
    1. Use photos,stories
      and statistics in addition to a letter.
    2. Print in “fourcolor
      ” and use a large outer envelope.
    3. Mail during the fall, before Thanksgiving.
    4. If your budget allows, send another mailing in the Spring.
  5. Annual Report. An annual report is not just to thank donors, it can help you appeal to potential funders, future employees etc. Tell your story. Why do you matter? Who are you and what have you done? Make sure to have digital and print versions. You can print a small amount and direct most donors to digital.
  6. Thank You Notes. Have a plan to thank your donors in a timely fashion.
    1. Create a system.
    2. Use nicely designed stationery with pre-printed notes and, if possible, a handwritten note.

This is the basic framework of where to start with your marketing plan. I will be expanding on this list and giving great details on each of these items during my session on October 4. Hope to see you there! Purchase tickets here.



About the Author

The heart of my design philosophy is that great design not only looks good but needs to clearly communicate to its audience to be successful. I enjoy collaborating on teams, solving problems and coming up with unique solutions for our clients. In my spare

I dream up ways to more efficiently color code my calendar and spend time with my family – husband,

and two dogs. redstartcreative.com