Marketing is an important part of reaching new supporters, as well as communicating with existing supporters. But it costs money to run a marketing campaign, whether it’s through social media, your website, or more traditional media.
But the best thing about online marketing is that it’s easier than ever to track your success rates. With the right tools in place, your nonprofit will get the information you need to guide your future campaign decisions.
What to Track
Before you can tackle how to track, it’s important to decide what you’re going to track. With for-profit businesses, “conversions” usually means sales or appointment bookings. But as a nonprofit, you’ll be tracking completely different conversions.
Each marketing campaign should have a goal. You may have multiple goals, and often the same goal will apply to most of your campaigns. Here are a few of the most common conversion types nonprofits monitor:
New donor activity
Existing donor activity
New volunteer signups
Existing volunteer recommitments
Event ticket sales
Once you’ve determined your campaign goals, you’ll need to drill down to the various metrics you track for each. Those include:
Campaign conversion rate – How many total visitors did your site have as a result of the campaign? How many of those visitors clicked? How many of those clicks converted to a new signup or donation? If, for instance, you had 1,000 site visits, but only 10 took the desired action, that’s a 1 percent conversion rate. If 100 visitors take action, that’s a 10 percent rate.
Cost of acquisition – Once you’ve determined the conversion rate, you can look at the money you’re spending on that campaign and determine the total cost of acquisition. How much money did it take to get that new donor, volunteer, or ticket sale? How much revenue or value did it bring your organization?
Total conversions per channel – It’s also important to look where you’re having the most success with your marketing efforts. When you’re deciding where to allocate your marketing budget in future years, this will play an important role.
How to Track Your Metrics
Now that you know what to track, it’s time to gather the resources you need. Here are some of the best tools for tracking your nonprofit’s online efforts.
CRMs – If you use a CRM to track your supporters, you likely have a dashboard where you can monitor donor and volunteer activity. This is especially valuable if you use your CRM to power your marketing automation efforts.
Over time, the information you gather on your supporters will go beyond informing your marketing efforts. You’ll also learn more about your target audience, which will allow you to refine your marketing messages so that they connect with the people most likely to convert.