While you’re likely on to your 2015 fundraising goals, I want to take you back one last time to your end-of-year campaign.

We hear so much about the importance of sending multi-channel campaigns and integrating direct mail, email, social and website messaging. And I see more nonprofits doing this the past few years.

Where I see nonprofits often still coming up short, though, is measuring multi-channel results, especially beyond email conversions. If these other channels are now part of your campaigns, then you have to be able to measure them, too.

Otherwise, while you may be sending multi-channel communications, you can’t be sure what’s working (and what isn’t). And that makes it tougher to improve next year’s campaign results.

With that in mind, here are five additional metrics to track for your multi-channel campaigns:

  1. Homepage Slideshow Conversions

    While many nonprofits now feature year-end giving prominently on their homepage slideshow, tracking it’s effectiveness is often an afterthought. With so much attention given to direct mail and email content, how well your homepage converts visitors to donors impacts your year-end campaign donation totals. Try different visuals and messaging  during a campaign. What works in your email and direct mail may not necessarily work on your homepage.
    Track It: Use Google Analytics to measure slideshow click-throughs and then Goals or E-commerce to track conversions.

  2. Donation Form Conversion Rate

    This metric is usually overlooked, but it should be right up there with email conversion rates. I had a client last month whose donation form conversion rate was slightly down, compared to their 2013 EOY campaign. Because we were tracking it, we were able to spot that decline halfway through the campaign. We suspected the issue was the banner image on the form, so we changed it. Over the last half of the campaign, the new form performed better, nearly doubling the conversion rate.
    Track It: This shouldn’t be difficult to calculate. It’s the number of donation form donations divided by the number of donation form visits, which can be tracked via Google Analytics.

  3. Direct Mail Recipients Who Go Online

    When you include a website address on your direct mail piece, make sure it isn’t your homepage URL. Besides making constituents take extra steps to find your donation form, you won’t be able to track how many direct-mail recipients went online to give.
    Track It: Create a new donation form and only give that Friendly URL to your direct mail recipients. Track visits donation form visits via Google Analytics.

  4. Post-Donation Social Shares

    More nonprofits are prompting social sharing on donation confirmation pages, which is great. But I haven’t run into many that are tracking it. It’s an important metric, as 1 in 5 social shares lead to a new donation. And improving your social sharing messaging can lead to more donations.
    Track It: Create accounts at sites like AddThis.com, ShareThis.com or Gigya to track social shares.

  5. Main Website Conversions

    If you’re a hospital or university foundation, you likely receive a good bit of traffic – and conversions – from your main hospital or university website. Knowing which pages on those main sites deliver visitors and donors is an important piece of your campaign. And the more you can do to improve that messaging, the more you’ll see potential donors coming your way.
    Track It: Use Google Analytics to track which page(s) on your main site generated traffic to your donation form.

I didn’t include email conversions on this list because that should be a given by now. However, occasionally I see nonprofits using email tools that only provide the open and click through rates for email appeals. That isn’t good enough and really handcuffs your team. You need conversion rates to know which message, tone, time of day, subject line, etc. converts best. Just seeing open and click-through rates is like getting half the story.

So, what are other metrics nonprofits may be missing? Share your tips below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Snusz brings over 11+ years of nonprofit experience to his role as a principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud. He focuses on helping nonprofits create online fundraising, email, P2P, social media, SEO, analytics and website optimization strategies to maximize giving opportunities. Mike previously managed the turnaround of the Ride For Roswell, including the event’s growth from $330,000 to $1.2 million over a three-year period. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter at @mikesnusz. To learn how Mike can help your organization’s next fundraising campaign, contact him at mike.snusz@blackbaud.com.

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