Looking for a surefire way to reduce conversions, scare away your constituents, & exceed your marketing budget? My guess is probably not; however, when we repeatedly do things without knowing it’s effectiveness, that is exactly what we are doing. It seems that many marketing managers constantly spin their wheels without knowing what did and what didn’t create the conversions they were seeking. You blast and pray!
In this article, I discuss some concepts behind measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, along with the benefits of doing so with the marketing technologies available for nonprofits today.
Techniques Behind Measuring
As stated, the realization of the impact of campaign measurement has led to the development of a new trend in all industries. Essential marketing technologies today have the potential to produce data that has revealed how various marketing campaigns have performed, where various spending produced the greatest return, and how attracting supporters has been impacted by various marketing campaigns; events, newsletters, or year-end appeals etc.
Here are a few concepts used in measuring campaign effectiveness:
Cohort Analysis in Campaign Management
B2B and B2C marketers have long been using many techniques to measure campaign effectiveness. They are often the beta testers and early adopters for the nonprofit community. For many nonprofits, marketing to your members or donors may be a combination of both techniques used by the B2B and B2C marketing executives. However, using the concept of cohort analysis in the nonprofit community to assist with measuring campaign effectiveness is not out the realm of possibility even at a smaller nonprofit today.
What is Cohort Analysis? Cohort analysis is done by grouping orders (conversions) together in order to determine what the common characteristics of customers (members/donors) are. It involves tracking a group that shares a common characteristic (a “cohort”) over a certain period of time and evaluating outcomes.
The data accumulated can be an unbelievably powerful tool by generating amazing insights into the behavior of customers. In the nonprofit world, cohort analysis can be used too, to gather information about various transactions such as the following:
- Web pages getting visited for appeals by donors who have contributed vs. Non-Donors
- Did a specific email gather more responses from a certain type of member
- Landing pages reviewed by certain segments of your supporter population (members, inactive members)
- What segment of your membership opened an email, did not open, total times clicked the first, second, & third email sent
- What traffic channel yields the most valuable donors (not just valuable one time conversions)
- Member life time volume based on their first transaction with your association (member join, conference registration) through year 1- 3, 3-5, 5-7 etc.
- Repeat purchase probability based on past participation of a segmented group
Using the insights of cohort analysis, successful marketing campaigns can be tested and then used to pinpoint more campaigns pertinent to your audience. In other words, which type of leads (whatever you call them) to focus on in the future. So too, nonprofit marketers can apply the concept of cohort analysis to their marketing strategies.
Predictive Analytics in Marketing Technology
Another type of analysis used by B2C that B2B is Predictive Analytics. Data mining is done in order to recognize patterns in marketing and establish relationships based on those patterns. Being a branch of data mining, predictive analytic focuses on trends and probabilities of the future. The predictor or dominant component of predictive analytics can be used to predict future behavior since although it is a variable, it can be measured.
Predictive Analytics can free nonprofits from relying on guesswork and provide nonprofit executives with educated predictions. As a nonprofit executive, it can show you where you are and predict where you can go. It gives you the power to analyze patterns, trends and relationships in both your structured and unstructured data. All you then have to do based on predictive analysis is apply the insights you have learned to predict events of the future and act on these predictions in order to attain the outcomes you desire.
For example, if someone did not open an email from you in your previous campaign perhaps you may want to send it out again. Then, if they do not open the email again you can likely predict that they are not interested in any further emails for this particular appeal. And, then use those insights to focus your efforts on moving those more interested (opened, clicked, or visited a web page) towards a desired conversion (make a donation, register for an event, sign up to be a new members).
Knowing these “Fancy Pansy Terms” in marketing won’t help at all unless you can build the data required to benefit from the analysis and make the appropriate behavioural predictions, agreed?
Progressive Profiling in Marketing Automation Software
One way to ensure your prediction of interest or likelihood of conversion is by implementing progressive profiling techniques to gain insights as your supporters engage with your organization.
Progressive profiling is a marketing technique that may boost supporter generation, determine intent, and qualification significantly. It works like this: you create forms and landing pages to attract members or donors. And, through the process instead of having to fill out 15 form fields in order to register for a conference or download a white paper on a latest resource, a site visitor only has to fill in a few fields. Through your identification of the group (the cohort) and the behavior you can fill in more data on buyer personas to gather more insights to improve your ongoing analysis.
In terms of an association which puts on training sessions for members and non-members, progressive profiling rules can be set up to decide which registration form to use, based on what is already known about a donor, member, or non-member. In addition, if an anonymous visitor clicks on a gated white paper link on your website, a form that only asks for the name and email address can be shown. Later on, if this same visitor clicks on a different gated link, a form that asks for his job title and industry can be displayed.
Many marketing pundits agree that using short simple forms early on increases the likelihood of visitors completing registration forms for more content. By using a sequence of simple forms as described above, you can build up a more complete profiles of a visitor over time.
In essence, the more that is known about your supporters the more the message and communication can be tailored to meeting pain points, interests, and activating them accordingly. By coupling what is already known with gradually new insights about supporters, the right patterns or traits can be uncovered to build more about details about your members and donors. All of these factors can dramatically impact the effectiveness of your ongoing marketing campaigns.
Marketing Automation Software For Nonprofits
Progressive Profiling helps you build the insights you to need to make business decisions using the techniques of Cohort Analysis and Predictive Analytics.
Certainly, you can implement Cohort Analysis & Predictive Analytics within a tool such as Google Analytics. But, Marketing Automation Software can pull the information all together for you in one platform. Further, keeping track of and using marketing lists, forms, landing pages, scoring, personas, social publishing, structured drip programs & implementing progressive profiling you need to contemplate a more unified software solution. It will help you use your data to make better marketing decisions.
Marketing Automation Software for nonprofits may allow your nonprofit to automate various marketing processes including the integration of member or donor data, the management of automated campaigns and customer segmentation. As a result, marketing campaigns can be more successful, and budget and resources can be more focused on who is more likely to engage with your nonprofit.
Marketing Automation Software is comprehensive in the sense that it helps analyze campaign success from all mediums used such as social, email, website tracking etc. Therefore, you can avoid focusing on what one specific area of marketing such as social marketing or email marketing. Instead, with an integrated campaign analysis you will benefit from campaign analysis from a broad range of analytics. All marketing analytics is provided by one platform.
Today, there is simply no need to send 25,000 emails if only 1,000 truly are engaged with your nonprofit. And, no need to create a marketing campaign targeted to a demographic which has never or will not participate with your nonprofit. Nor, spend money on campaigns which do not work.
I believe in the power of prayer, but with marketing automation techniques and tools you will greatly increase your chances of success in your next campaign. The days of blast and pray are no longer necessary.
For further information on the payoff of marketing measurement or the marketing automation software best fit for your nonprofit, contact us. Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.
Cohort Analysis: 2 Simple Steps to Better Understand Your Leads