National Iranian American Council
Communications consulting, digital advertising, website design, growth marketing
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is the largest Iranian American organization in the country with supporters across all 50 states. As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, it works to represent the Iranian-American community and build tangible political power. Together, with its 501c(4) affiliate and PAC, NIAC has led the policy and grassroots fight against war with Iran and promoted diplomacy and a greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.
Since being founded in 2002, NIAC has been dedicated to giving the Iranian American community a powerful voice. In addition to expert research and analysis, civic and policy education, and community building, NIAC engages its members in direct advocacy and support for endorsed political candidates.
Although NIAC had been operating in the nonprofit advocacy space for over 17 years, its digital marketing strategy was quite limited. Following a change in leadership that put a new generation at the helm, NIAC set ambitious goals to level up its digital program. As the voice for Iranian Americans, it needed to expand its online reach and influence.
When we came on board, we identified a few challenges that we set out to solve:
- Digital communications efforts were reactive and lacked an overarching strategy to guide digital fundraising, acquisitions, or content
- Branding and “look” hadn’t been modernized since 2002
- Despite having a $5,000 monthly Google grant, it was barely being used and there was no Google Search program that provided coverage on the most relevant keywords
A+G worked with senior stakeholders to develop a digital strategy. We started with a comprehensive audit of the NIAC’s email program. Our strategy included developing metrics for success for email fundraising, establishing a cadence for email sends, segmentation, and introducing a paid media program for acquisition and reactivation.
During our audit, we found that nearly half of the email list was inactive and the program wasn’t utilizing segmentation largely due to a paucity of data. We set up a process to segment and focus on active sends to reactivate the email list, improve NIAC’s domain reputation, and grow the email list. We also ran paid media campaigns targeting the inactive segment of our email list, reaching 58% of the universe and resulting in more reactivated subscribers.
Our approach resulted in NIAC seeing its average open rate dramatically improve from 6% to 21.19%. In Google Postmaster, NIACouncil.org’s domain reputation improved to “high” after we implemented our approach. Importantly, despite sending to smaller segments, NIAC began seeing higher raw open numbers than when emails were sent to the entire list as a matter of course as list health recovered.
Mana Mostatabi, NIAC’s Communications Director, spoke about their email open rate improvement and overall list health.
“With a healthy list and open rate, NIAC’s fundraising capabilities have drastically improved. However, it’s not just fundraising but our overall engagement has increased, creating a strong base. With high engagement and an involved base, NIAC’s core mission of building political power has never been more tangible. We look forward to continuing this growth trajectory.”
On paid media, our first objective was to maximize NIAC’s non-profit grant. We designed a Google Search media plan for a lead generation campaign built around the issues NIAC values most. Our search ads capitalized on all facets of optimization – from a high landing page relevance score to the use of site links to strategic capitalization in copy to maximize the probability of winning impressions. By driving user traffic to dynamically responsive landing pages via Search ads, we educated users on NIAC’s mission and captured their data.
On rebranding, we worked with partners to develop a new versatile logo for the organization and style guide. From there we created specifications for a new website that aligned with the goals and needs of the organization. The website is centered around NIAC’s core mission highlighting six areas of work. Using the refreshed bridge logo and style guide, a modern website was created that allows NIAC to showcase its work and accomplishments and drive supporters to action.
Our partnership with NIAC resulted in reimagining their digital strategy, reinvigorating their online social channels, a larger, more active email list in place of a list that was largely inactive, and a fresh new branding that included development of a modern website.
This case study was formulated based on work completed in 2020. A+G continues to work with NIAC and supports their team with creative development, website and product needs, and digital strategy.