Track Your Tracking: How Metrics Can Help You
Today’s guest blog post is written by Louis Anthony Pauza III, Client Administrator—Data Specialist here at Patron Technology.
How do you connect your audience to your organization? From old faithful direct mail campaigns to social media channels and email newsletters, the possibilities have expanded over the past decade. But how closely are you tracking these interactions and their results?
I started thinking about this recently when I received two promotional postcards — one from a watch/iPhone repair shop and another from my favorite pizza place. Although the deals are great for me as the consumer/patron, I couldn’t help wondering if the owners are paying attention to the response rate of the postcard and then analyzing how these efforts help build/maintain my patronage.
Do you think about this with the outreach to your patrons? With email this can be pretty easy. All mass email solutions offer statistics on each blast (opens, clicks, etc). But have you drilled down to single email addresses to see which campaigns the recipient has clicked through or which links specifically were clicked? And beyond that, are you looking at how these clicks are influencing ticket purchases and donations?
Although this level of data mining might seem laborious or tedious (particularly if you have different systems for your tickets, email marketing, and fundraising), it can offer insights into your organization’s communications. By drilling down, you can see what communications are fueling sales or donations and build on those successful efforts in the future. The insight brought by a little data mining and analysis can help build and strengthen your relationships with your patrons.
Let’s go back to the first example of the direct mail postcard — those should be tracked too. On the simplest level, do you put some type of tracking code on these? If you do, are you recording this code in the transaction when a ticket (or service or product) is purchased? More robust CRM systems, such as PatronManager, have sophisticated ways of tracking direct mail campaigns and calculating ROI. Even if you don’t have a sophisticated way of doing this, you certainly can make a list in a spreadsheet of all the people who used a specific code and calculate the ROI manually.
And what good does this do? It’s vital that you understand how your various communications efforts are working. Is that postcard mailing really worth the money you’re spending? Did people actually purchase tickets after you sent them a discount for being on your email list? If you don’t track this information, how can you know that your work is effective?
Tracking also allows you to segment and target your messages. Why solicit donations from those who have not attended an event or donated in the past year when your resources could be better spent on cultivating a relationship with patrons who attend this and last year but have yet to donate? Or target all $400 donors to become $500 donors.
Although tracking can seem overwhelming at times, try it in stages. Start by putting a code on a postcard and see what info you can get. I promise, before long you’ll be tracking everything!