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KVIE Public Television uses marketing automation to boost membership

2.5.19 By: Kirsten Kippen

The Objective

KVIE is a Sacramento-based public television station dedicated to educating, inspiring, and uniting their community through events, outreach programs, and quality television. KVIE reached out to Idealist Consulting to help them move their marketing communications to a higher level with Pardot, with the objectives of centralizing their data in Salesforce, increasing engagement, and growing their email list in order to eventually increase membership.


The Problem

KVIE had a great basic email strategy in place for their list of 24,147 prospects, but they knew they could do much more with marketing automation features.

The national Public Broadcasting Service helps them with audience segmentation, but their process to renew members was incredibly time-intensive and relied heavily on direct mail. KVIE wanted to move this into an automated, digital process. Since they were already using Salesforce, it made sense to move from Eloqua onto Pardot so they could align the full customer experience.

In addition to implementing Pardot, they also sought strategic guidance in order to understand how to make the most efficient use of Pardot as a nonprofit. They wanted to do more than just send more emails, but also nurture their members.

“We want to be seen as a shining example within the PBS community of doing sophisticated work,” said Jim Gaynor, Director of Membership.


The Solution

Today, KVIE nurtures each member using Pardot automation that send renewal emails and encourage a monthly “sustaining” membership. These emails can be easily updated if KVIE staff get new assets or messaging.

Together with an experienced Pardot consultant at Idealist Consulting, KVIE built “playbooks” that allowed them to execute common nonprofit processes through Pardot, such as re-engaging lapsed donors. This process began with a whiteboarding exercise to clearly define goals and desired outcomes, then an Idealist Consultant led the KVIE team through which marketing assets (emails, forms, etc) and what type of automation in Pardot would be most appropriate. The end result is a set of ‘playbooks’ that they can use as a reference to create Pardot Engagement Studio Programs.

“We have a system that works and is easy to maintain, all without pulling lists or reports. Idealist Consulting helped us think outside the box to come up with creative solutions,” said Sara Yeffa, Marketing Coordinator at KVIE.

Additionally, Idealist Consulting helped KVIE deepen their personas, define the stages of their membership funnel, and develop basic fluency with marketing automation concepts like segmentation and when to use different types of automation.


The Result

A major goal for KVIE is to retain members year over year, and Pardot has helped them diversify so they’re not so heavily dependent on direct mail results. Pardot makes membership renewals more convenient because it connects to Salesforce and can be automated.

After the first six months of using Pardot, the newsletter sign-ups rose more than 20% and click-through rates and email engagement has increased. This is all due to KVIE digging into the data Pardot has given them on their audiences which allows them to customize their content to their audiences more. KVIE now has over 45,000 prospects in Pardot and is continuing to engage and increase this number as their digital engagement grows.

In the future KVIE is excited about customizing further through dynamic content (any PBS fan knows that Nova viewers are a very different audience than Downton Abbey viewers!). They are also revising their web content to track visitor and member preferences and plan on a more customized approach to their viewers.


Want to learn more about marketing automation for nonprofits?

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