Many Fair Trade, organic, and sustainable brands have a big heart but small budgets. They have strong morals, convictions, and a passionate drive to work for the greater good, but sometimes lack the capital to grow their businesses aggressively, like so many corporations do. Many Fair Trade and organic brands are small businesses or start-ups that find it hard to know where best to allocate resources to grow their business.
The challenge is not that people aren’t interested in buying sustainable products--on the contrary, a report by Neilson showed that 73 percent of Millenials are willing to pay more for a product if it’s sustainable. The struggle comes from the hurdle of spreading brand awareness and growing reach without a big marketing budget like the corporations.
Donor360 recognizes that many Fair Trade and organic brands need help getting their products into the hands of consumers, especially when they’re just starting out. One of our driving goals is to help brands that are good for the earth and good for people thrive and grow. If you’re an eco-friendly, sustainable brand, maybe we can help you market your products for free. Read on to find out how.
The Struggle of Marketing for Small, Sustainable Businesses
Deciding where to invest your marketing budget can be overwhelming, especially for small businesses. The SBA recommends spending somewhere between 6-8% of your revenue on marketing. For startups, they recommend spending between 1-5% of your projected income. In either of these situations, it can be hard to know exactly how much to spend and what channel of advertising will deliver the best return on investment.
This investment in advertising is especially difficult because you’re spending on future results that are never guaranteed. Money spent on advertising doesn’t mean you will get a return on that investment. Although advertising is necessary to get your name out there and make more money, it can be complicated and stressful for small and start-up businesses to navigate. Not to mention that for many Fair Trade businesses located outside of the US, language barriers and foreign exchange provide an even bigger challenge.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is that those who they are competing against are industry giants, who have almost an unlimited amount of advertising spend available. How is it possible to compete with big businesses when you’re a small, ethically minded enterprise?
Marketing for Free on Donor360
In the most ideal situation, sustainable start-up brands and small businesses would grow their reach and brand awareness organically, without a budget. One way to accomplish this is to expand brand reach via charitable networks for free. Donor360 provides exactly the platform for this. Without spending a dollar, you can have your products promoted by charities and their supporters as they fundraise.
How it Works
When you sign up as a brand partner with Donor360, a few great things happen for your small, sustainable business. First, you will most likely get a higher wholesale price for your products than you would when selling to other stores, like Whole Foods. Second, we provide warehouse space and shipping services for your products, so you’re able to operate as an eCommerce business easily.
One of the most powerful aspects of a partnership with Donor360, though, is the network that you’ll tap into. Americans donated over $427 billion to charities in 2018. By enabling charities and their advocates to sell your products in their eCommerce stores and fundraisers, you tap into this massive giving industry.
Charities will be able to start fundraisers on Donor360 by selling your products. They will be expanding your reach and promoting your products organically when they share their campaigns on their social media, in their newsletters, and on their website. Supporters of charities will be inclined to purchase your products in order to give to causes they care about, and in this way will become first-time customers of yours.
Not only will charities be starting eCommerce stores and fundraisers with your products, but their advocates will also be able to use your products in their campaigns, growing your reach exponentially. All of this happens without you spending a single dollar.
The Benefits of Acquiring First-Time Customers for Free
Attracting first-time customers without spending a dollar is one of the biggest benefits for sustainable brands partnered with Donor360. Getting people to try your products for the first time costs much more advertising spend than enticing a return customer to buy again. The average cost of gaining a new online customer is $22, and in general, it costs 5x as much to attract a new customer than to retain an old one.
Once an initial sale has been made to a conscious consumer through a fundraiser powered by Donor360, you’ll be able to retarget existing customers, which is easier. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%. Marketing to existing customers is not only easier and cheaper, but it also has a higher return on investment. This is because existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more compared to new customers.
By partnering with Donor360 and gaining customers for free through charities’ and advocates’ fundraisers, you’ll be able to gain the initial growth and revenue you need as a small or start-up business. After you’ve built up an existing customer base, you’ll be able to retarget with precision and be more confident about how to allocate your marketing spend.
By collecting voluntary customer data through Donor360, you’ll be empowered with information about what types of consumers value your types of products. You can use this data to find lookalike customers, instead of taking advertising shots in the dark. Meanwhile, you’ll continue to gain traction and revenue passively via Donor360 campaigns and eCommerce stores.
Ready to Get Started?
Does this sound like something you’d like to try? If you’re ready to partner with Donor360 and start marketing your products without a budget, sign up as a brand today.