Data is the foundation of any successful nonprofit marketing campaign. Who engages with your digital marketing campaigns? Where do they connect with you? How long have they supported your organization? All of these questions and more can be answered by gathering digital marketing data.
But how can you identify the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) to track? You might host digital marketing campaigns on social media, email, and other online platforms, each with unique engagement strategies. With a diverse marketing mix, it can be challenging to identify the most relevant metrics that will help improve your approach long term.
In this post, we’ve pinpointed five relevant KPIs to start tracking throughout your campaigns. You can certainly track more statistics according to your organization’s specific priorities, but we’ve pulled out these five because they provide a strong universally-applicable foundation to get your data-tracking processes up and running. Let’s jump in.
1. Website traffic sources
What are your most popular online platforms for driving traffic to your website? Knowing your highest-engagement traffic sources can help you understand the success of your outreach efforts.
You can capitalize your efforts on popular channels and tweak your campaigns on other channels as needed. You may also determine that it’s not worth the effort or cost to continue pursuing a non-converting marketing channel and cut it out of your strategy entirely.
Review the data on your Google Analytics account to identify your most popular channels for driving visitors to your nonprofit’s website or online donation page. These channels might include:
- Organic search
- Paid ads
- Social media
For example, you might notice that your email newsletters and Facebook page drive a lot of traffic to your nonprofit’s website, but your Tweets aren’t as successful. As a result, you might adjust your Twitter posting schedule or refocus your attention on more engaging platforms to boost your return on investment (ROI).
2. Conversion rates for digital marketing platforms
Donation conversions measure how many people actually donated to your campaign after coming across your marketing content. This is another metric you can track using Google Analytics and your fundraising platform. You can assess conversion rates for different outreach channels like:
- Email: How many people donate after clicking on a link in your emails?
- Social media: How many people donate after clicking a link in your social media posts or profiles?
- Digital ads: How many people donate after seeing a digital ad, like a retargeted ad or a Google paid search ad?
Compare conversion rates to click-through rates. Are people clicking on links to your online donation page but not actually filling out the page? There might be issues with your donation form that are slowing down conversions. Check the page for user friendliness, accessibility, and mobile friendliness to identify potential roadblocks.
3. Cost per conversion
Cost per conversion (also known as donor acquisition cost) answers one simple question — how much did it cost your organization to acquire each new donor throughout your campaign?
You can calculate your cost per conversion by dividing the total amount of money you spent on your marketing campaign by the number of conversions you received during the campaign.
This metric is related to your ROI. If you converted many new donors, but the cost to acquire them outweighed the amount that they donated, you could see a negative ROI for your campaign.
You can improve this metric by identifying opportunities to use your current marketing channels more effectively and seeing where you can cut out unnecessary expenses.
4. Donor retention
Many nonprofits will be tempted to only track new donors or their donor acquisition rate after a digital campaign. This metric is certainly useful for understanding the outreach success of a single campaign, but it doesn’t tell the full story of your audience engagement efforts over time.
This is especially true with digital fundraising campaigns like peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. You might acquire a lot of new donors, but they might not yet have a strong personal connection to your cause. They might have donated simply to support their friend or family member who was participating in the campaign.
By tracking your donor retention across various campaigns, you can understand how often your donors continue to engage over time. Then, you can use this information to steward new donors and increase your retention rate over time.
Focusing on donor retention is a cost-effective strategy because recurring donors tend to give more over time. For your next digital campaign, you can focus equal efforts on reaching new donors and engaging with the donors you already have.
According to Bloomerang, you can use your donor management software to track your current supporters’ engagement levels and to identify your most engaged donors who might be interested in leveling up their involvement by contributing more to your next campaign.
5. Audience demographics
Understanding the people who make up your nonprofit’s primary digital audience is essential to building a marketing campaign that speaks to them.
Use tools like Google Analytics, social media metrics, and your donor management system to track audience demographics like:
- Geographic location
- Education level
- Employment status
By adding this information to your donor database, you can create more accurate donor segments. For example, you might group donors based on their age and use different marketing channels to reach out to different audiences. Your younger donors might be more receptive to social media outreach, while older donors may prefer email or phone communications.
When you show donors you’ve taken the time to get to know them and their preferences, you can better engage with them on an ongoing basis and boost your retention rate.
Putting it all together
As mentioned above, depending on your priorities and common pain points, you may want to track additional KPIs throughout your digital marketing and online fundraising campaigns. Engagement rates by social media channel, average time on page, website bounce rate — these metrics (and many others) can provide a multi-faceted look at the success of your marketing efforts.
But starting with the five KPIs laid out in this guide will set your organization up to continuously learn from past marketing mistakes and build on your wins. Track these metrics throughout your next campaign and review reports with your team to establish a benchmark for success.
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