You can’t improve what you’re not measuring!

Here at Charity Dynamics we are all about User Experience (UX). Not just the pretty, but the effective and user-focused design of digital experiences. But how do you know if something is effective or not? For now let’s focus on Fundraising Events – here are a couple of questions we should all be able to answer:

  • How do you measure the success of your event program?
  • How do you measure the success of your event website?

When we’re talking about the success of an Event Program we’re usually talking in more aggregate terms, such as: total fundraising revenue, number of participants and % fundraising participants. Unfortunately, when it come to event websites, most folks often think in aggregate terms as well: traffic volume, # of registrations and audience conversion rates.

If we’re going to improve the effectiveness of our event websites we’re going to need to dive a bit deeper into the tracking data to uncover real stories and actionable insights to drive at real change.

Conversion Tracking, a primer

The effectiveness of any event website is best summed up using conversion metrics, so let’s dive a bit into those.

  • Conversion Actions are the specific goals you want a website visitor to accomplish. A few examples include: Event Registrations, Donation Completions, Email Signups. In Google Analytics, one of the more popular (and FREE!) analytics tracking services these are referred to as Conversion Goals.
  • Conversion Rates are the percentage of your total audience that completed a given Conversion Action. This is a popular metric because it tells you the bigger picture story of your overall audience.
  • Conversion Funnels are the step-wise measurement of an engagement pathway that leads to a successful Conversion Action. Many folks skip this part of conversion tracking configuration and lose the beautiful (oh, so, beautiful) data in the process.
  • Funnel Completion / Abandonment Rates are only available if Conversion Funnels are setup. These metrics tell the story of the effectiveness of the engagement pathway.

What are you missing out on?

More, better data. For starters, if you are not using conversion tracking for your fundraising event your missing crucial basic data points. If you are not measuring the registration pathway you are not capturing insights that can drive an improved User Experience. Read: More registrations, More fundraising revenue.

When we’re measuring the registration process of a fundraising event we’re looking for warning signs such as significant drop-offs in the funnel or circular traffic. If we see any red flags we then dive in looking for the root causes: Are there mixed signals? Too many options? Too many required fields? At the end of the day the real enemy in the registration process is confusion and frustration.

We’ve covered this in our previous Registration Benchmark studies as well, so read up and geek out on those as well:

Path to Success Part 1 

Endurance Registration Benchmark 

Hot to get started

In the meantime, if you are not sure where you are at in the process of conversion tracking you can use the following list to ensure you are at minimum capturing actionable data.

  • Implement analytics tracking – Google Analytics is free – another good start
  • Identify the engagement pathways you want to measure.
  • Event Registrations, Donations and Email Signups are a good start.
  • Configure conversion tracking, including conversion funnels
  • Self benchmark and measure how you perform
  • Look for breakpoints or bottlenecks in the UX that could lead to improved conversion rates

Whether your just getting started or looking to update your conversion optimization, keep these things in mind and remember it’s never to late to optimize the right way!