International Nonprofit Organization Doubles Website Traffic in First 6 Months with HubSpot

In less than eight years international nonprofit, Students For Liberty grew from a small group of just over 100 college students to the single largest libertarian student organization in the world. As the community swelled, its ever-expanding network of members, alumni, and invested donors proved too diverse for the organization’s small marketing staff to efficiently personalize marketing campaigns. Using the power of marketing automation in HubSpot, Students For Liberty is now able to produce highly specialized, localized content which has taken their global marketing efforts to a previously unthinkable level.

2X

increase monthly traffic
within first 6 months

2K+

new contacts from social media
within first 6 months

27K+

additional followers across social channels
within first 6 months

About SFL

Students For Liberty is a rapidly growing, international network of libertarian students with a mission to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of student leaders. The organization identifies and trains top performing students to be agents of change within their communities. With over 2,800 active groups, 1,400+ student leaders and operations on six continents, Students For Liberty is the world’s largest libertarian student organization

Stretching Personalized Content Across Continents

Students For Liberty was founded in early 2008 after a group of libertarian student leaders met in New York for what they intended to be small, stand-alone conference of 30 students. Campus libertarian groups, historically confined to their own institutions, however jumped at the opportunity to meet other like-minded students. Their initial conference saw over 100 attendees. 

Recognizing a clear need for greater communication and collaboration between libertarian student leaders, Students For Liberty’s expanded its mission to mentor and train rising leaders as agents of change in their communities. Within eight years Students For Liberty grew to include over 2,800 active student chapters; spanning the globe and boasting an ever-expanding network of successful alumni and invested donors.

By early 2015, Students For Liberty was the world’s largest libertarian student organization. The disparate tools and offline processes their marketing staff had traditionally relied on to segment contacts could no longer keep up with their ever-growing contact base. Students For Liberty understood the value of producing content aimed at specific customer groups and global segments. But without a scalable software solution identify these subgroups seemed impossible.

“We have groups on all six continents”, explains Casey Given, Director of Communications at Students For Liberty, “we began looking for software that allowed for heavy [contact] segmentation so our staffers could send out more personalized regional communication to students, alumni, and donors”.

By mid 2015 Students For Liberty had determined that HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing platform would enable their staff to most efficiently segment, understand, and personalize communication with its contact base.

"The HubSpot tool I've been most impressed by is Workflows. Considering that we have people from so many different walks of life visiting our website and attending our events, workflows have allowed us to personalize and automate communication without additional staff putting in a whole lot of man-hours."

Casey Given

Director of Communications

Students For Liberty

Organizing More Than Contacts

Before Students For Liberty could realize their goal of sending more relevant and localized communication, the organization needed to fully understand the breakdown of their existing contact database. The HubSpot Lists App instantly enabled Casey and his team to fully segment their contact base by location, language preference, and membership type. 

To completely leverage the power of this segmentation, Students For Liberty turned to the Workflows App. With the Workflows app, Students For Liberty is able to build-out and simultaneously run multiple personalized email campaigns without, in Casey’s words, “additional staff putting in a whole lot of man-hours”.

Certain email campaigns, like the remarkably successful “Join the Network” campaign would have been unthinkable for his team before joining HubSpot. Now, new contacts enrolled in these workflows are automatically sent emails with current events and engagement information signed by the dedicated Students For Liberty Director for their region. The heightened localization of these email these emails has lead to a remarkable 70% open-to-click rate – 7x the industry average for nonprofit organizations.

While the Lists and Workflows Apps played a large part in simplifying email communication for the organization, these are only one part of the overall marketing success Students For Liberty has experienced with HubSpot.  The power of HubSpot’s Social Inbox initially surprised Casey and his team who quickly adopted it to help them organize a cohesive social media strategy aimed at attracting new contacts.

Prior to HubSpot, the globally dispersed Students For Liberty marketing team had struggled to coordinate a unified social media strategy. “Social Media scheduling is something that we had trouble with in the past because we have staffers in multiple time zones” Casey notes, “We really struggled to keep everyone on the same page”.

By scheduling social messages ahead of time using the HubSpot Social Inbox, Students For Liberty was able to build-out a unified social media strategy that drew attention to and converted new contacts on existing content offers. This social media strategy proved especially powerful in promoting Students For Liberty’s incredibly successful co-marketing video series Liberty 101, done in partnership with the Washington DC based nonprofit Learn Liberty. Over 100 new contacts converted on forms gating the "Liberty 101 " video series after clicking on a social media post crafted in HubSpot Social Inbox.

Students_for_Liberty_-_Google_Docs

"Social Media scheduling is something that we had trouble with in the past because we have staffers in multiple time zones. We really struggled to keep everyone on the same page, so [Social Inbox] has been a really powerful tool."

- Casey Given

Spreading a Mission Wider Stil

Within the first six months of aligning their global social media strategy in HubSpot, Students For Liberty had gained over 27k new social followers and 2,000 new contacts from social media. 

Sources___HubSpot

Broadened reach across social channels, coupled with the highly personalized email campaigns Students For Liberty can now run using HubSpot Workflows, has lead to a dramatic increase in traffic to the organization’s website. Within six months of using HubSpot, Students For Liberty saw a 2X increase in the number of monthly visits to their website – further demonstrating the organization’s remarkable ability to personalize content and effectively spread its mission with a lean marketing staff.

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