Key Marketing Metrics Every Nonprofit Should Be Tracking
Finding the best ways to power your mission often means taking a deeper dive into the numbers. While guiding an organization by gut instinct has its place, leaders need a clear picture of what’s actually happening in order to see what’s working and what’s not. What makes strategy work is timing — being confident of which adjustments are needed immediately, or even which campaigns to run when. Taking a look at key performance indicators (KPI’s) and marketing metrics is crucial to making data-informed decisions, ensuring your marketing plan is meeting your expectations, and helping you reach your organizational goals.
Measuring Your Mission’s Impact
Below is a list of basic marketing metrics to track month-to-month and year-over-year. These insights will prove to be great indicators from which to measure performance and see trends. But first, let’s talk about one thing every nonprofit should look for when measuring the impact of their brand.
Happiness of Your Ideal Advocates
When it comes to donors, volunteers and staff, community partners and those you serve, your reputation is everything. Collecting (and earning) valuable, positive feedback from shared stories and online reviews while tracking donor retention and referrals will be critical in understanding your level of relationship success. Listening, documenting, and responding in personal ways is paramount and should be a part of your ongoing marketing metrics.
As in-person fundraising may still remain in flux, nonprofits still need to engage donors through multiple giving methods. Making these opportunities easy and sophisticated in order to meet your ideal advocates’ digital experience expectations will make all the difference.
KPIs & Metrics to Track (and Watch) Throughout your Marketing Ecosystem
1. Website Metrics
For most nonprofits, their digital experience and central hub for all inbound marketing begins with their website. Having basic insights into the number of visitors from various traffic sources can indicate if the website content you’re producing is pulling in search traffic, the social content you’re posting is delivering visitors, and if the referral opportunities you’re investing in are worth it.
Keeping an eye on the bounce rates of landing pages and the number of pages per session in combination with behavioral flow, can give you additional insights into top performing content. Exit rates can also be indicators of needed updates in order to retain visitors on the site.
Conversions give a direct picture into whether you’ll meet your determined outcomes. Whether through an evergreen educational page on your website or a temporary campaign landing page, connecting with visitors often starts with a form submission. Tracking these conversions and where they came from can help you craft better communications strategies to keep your ideal advocates coming back for more.
2. Key Performance Indicators for SEO
The number one goal for SEO (search engine optimization) is to be found. Identifying and tracking rankings for the keywords you want to be known for is essential to your content success. The best indicator of SEO performance is organic traffic. Investing in educational content to drive traffic from those already looking for organizations like yours will have residual ROI — in brand awareness and connection generation for donors, volunteers, and those you serve.
And what better way to start off a happy connection with a new visitor than a site that is fast and built with user experience in mind. Site speed is a key factor in how search engines (like Google) rank your site and promote its performance. How your site is coded and structured on the backend does make a difference — a significant one.
3. Content Performance Metrics
Countless nonprofits are doing amazing work out in the world. If people are not hearing about it and seeing the good being done, they’re likely not engaging with the mission. Telling (and showing) the impact your brand is making is critical to your success — and doing it in a way that puts you on the map (and yes, we’re even talking Google maps) can have a lasting effect on your growth.
High impressions and low clicks can be a good indication it’s time to make a few tweaks to pages that once performed well. Gauging the number of visitors, their time spent on a page, bounce rates, and exit rates are other ways to see trends in topics you should talk more about or clarify better.
4. Social Media Stats
From hashtags to content variety, social media can be structured to give your brand the biggest opportunity to enter relevant, timely conversations in your sphere of influence. With the number one goal to reach more people, impressions and engagement rates are essential marketing metrics that indicate whether your posts are resonating with your followers or falling in the news feed. Keep in mind benchmarks for your industry and note how you’re stacking up. Working to engage (and grow) your audience through comments, responding to reviews, and reaching out through messages can increase your following, expanding your reach over time.
Use social media to extend the reach of the educational content and stories you’re working hard (and investing) to produce. Promoting your online content on the right social platforms to the right audiences can reap great rewards — for your social interactions as well as driving traffic to your website. And remember, traffic to your website, likely means a connection is in your future. Track top performing posts, topics, content, and hashtags, then rinse and repeat.
5. Email Marketing Metrics
What makes email marketing work is segmentation. Understanding your ideal advocates — what they want to know, when they want to know it, and how (or how often) they want to know it will be the determining factor of success in your email marketing plan.
Above average open rates indicate your subject lines are working. Adversely, lower click rates may indicate your email content strategy needs an update. Consider a survey to find out what specific ideal advocate groups expect from your emails, and brainstorm new ways to re-engage them.
Promoting your enews online and at key stages in the ideal advocate journey will increase your chances of growing your contact list. Take a look at your onboarding processes. Where can you promote your enews or funnel specific advocates into nurturing campaigns? As your list grows, look for additional ways to segment, keeping it clean to minimize bounce and unsubscribe rates.
Email Drips for nurturing campaigns work much the same way. When marketing metrics indicate a downturn in performance, it’s time to take another look at your ideal advocates, content strategy and plan, and revise accordingly.
Last, track those shares and forwards. Much like videos or social posts that go viral, email content shares give great insights into what type of content your readers want more of. Plan ahead to collect those stories and capitalize on the good you’re doing.
Meeting Nonprofit Goals with Marketing Metrics from a Trusted Agency
There are many benefits of hiring a marketing agency who understands the value of accurate, timely reporting. The Fervor team is committed to giving our clients the insights they need most, empowering them to make data-driven decisions. We not only collect and track the data, but can sift through the information, offering highlights, or giving you a full marketing perspective to drive results.
Do you need help determining this year’s marketing goals and a strategy to get there? Let’s talk. Tell us the challenges you see and the goals you have for your organization. Then, find out more about what we do and how we can help.