Yesterday at the first day of the Institute of Fundraising’s Fundraising Convention, I found myself attending all the digital sessions, sponsored by JustGiving. As I work in digital – no surprise there, I guess!
For me, there was a recurring theme from all the sessions I attended and that was:
Data is everything
Metrics Mania – the numbers you just have to know with Digital Marketing Consultant Fran Swaine and Celine Boudier, Team Lead and Andreia Silva Cabecinhas, Data Scientist from Ocado drove home the point that we all need to demonstrate impact but many of us are not doing that and how data needs to drive your decision making.
Fran shared a digital fundraising funnel but beware of ‘likes’ at the Attract stage of the funnel – are they just vanity metrics?
Fran suggested using the ‘so what’ test to determine whether something is a vanity metric or not. Here’s a great post from Google Analytics Master Avinash Kaushik to help you put the ‘so what’ test in to practice.
Fran shared three steps to setting up a measurement strategy:
- Defining objectives (make sure they are DUMB: Doable, Understandable, Measurable and Beneficial)
- Defining goals
- Dining KPIs
Download Fran’s free measurement strategy template on her website. Her three takeaways were:
- Create a measurement strategy
- Ensure your metrics are actionable
The next session I attended was Failure swap shop – what you don’t hear in the blog posts (and don’t expect to hear it in this one because: Chatham House rules!). The speakers were Paul Weaver, Digital Innovation Manager at Cancer Research UK, Jessica Paz Jones, Senior Digital Manager at NSPCC and Amy Burton, Digital Engagement Manager at the Department of Health.
The key message was that it is OK to fail as long as you learn from it and you use those learnings to make decisions or to make a case. Jessica summed it up beautifully when she said,
Failures and lessons learned are all part of my arsenal.
What she meant by that is when she is asked to do something and she knows it won’t work based on previous testing, she shows the data to prove that it would be an inefficient use of time and money. You can’t argue with the data!
After lunch I was back in Auditorium 1, Level 4 for Sarah Crowhurst’s presentation on how Plan International UK digitised their Sponsor a Child offer – transitioning it from offline to online.
Sarah spoke about how they optimised their website to convert people who had seen their DRTV adverts to then sign up to sponsor a child. She took us through everything they did and offered lots of tips – such as ensuring that your Google Ads and organic keywords match the keywords in your DRTV script and that even if you give people a specific URL, they’ll no doubt still land up on your homepage so make sure you showcase your campaign prominently.
In most cases, give people a choice and they don’t know what to do but in Plan’s case for child sponsorship, this isn’t true. People want to choose which continent, age and gender the child is that they want to sponsor – much fewer people click the default ‘wherever the need is greatest’.
Sarah’s summary points, which also serve as top tips are:
- TV drives our online conversion
- Supporters want to be in control (they want choice)
- Track their behaviour on your website
- Ensure paid search is set up (use keywords from the DRTV script)
- Track conversions over time and look for trends
- Test, test, test
Next up (yes, in the same room) was Fiona Pattison, Account Director and Paul de Gregorio, Director of Digital Engagement at Open. They spoke on ‘Taking UK fundraising approaches overseas and bringing back learnings to deliver even better fundraising at home’, which even they admitted was a snappy title.
The session looked at examples and case studies of campaigns they have worked on from Australia to the US, which was really refreshing to see as I’m so used to only seeing and hearing about UK campaigns.
As Fiona put it, with mobile everything from ideas to reputations can spread – globally and quickly.
Paul shared that messenger apps are taking over social channels are there is more trust and no ads. This is really interesting and something charities need to pay attention to.
What was really exciting about this session was their Stand for Rights campaign for American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Facebook Live campaign. I won’t go in to detail as there is an excellent post on their own blog, which you can read. Basically they worked with a bunch of famous, funny people to deliver a modern ‘telethon’, using Facebook Live and integrating it with Facebook Donate (not available YET in the EU).
Their top takeaways were:
- Create your own global network (the ACLU Facebook Page had less than 1,000 Likes prior to the Stand Up to Rights Facebook Live. They grew it to 26,000 in one week)
- Steal the best ideas (why reinvent the wheel?)
- Make them relevant for the UK
- Get your email programme working (US political campaigns are a great example of this)
- Focus on things with impact
- Focus on payment technology (it’s all about making giving as easy as possible)
The last session of the day was a Social Media masterclass with Jon Ware, Digital Content Lead at Anthony Nolan, Amy Burton, Digital Engagement Manager from Department of Health and Melissa Thermidore, Social Media Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant.
Jon spoke about how they developed a content strategy for Facebook, which you can read in detail on Madeleine Sugden’s blog. But these slides really resonated with me:
We got some rare insight into how social media managers have to sometimes fight fake news from Melissa’s presentation where she shared stats from the Manchester Attack.
Melissa recommended using the linear model in Google Analytics rather than first or last click to get a better idea of how social media has contributed to a conversion.
Melissa left us with this great quote,
Make moments from metrics.
I learnt so much from the first day of the Institute of Fundraising’s Fundraising Convention – roll on the second! Not there? Follow all the tweets with #IoFCC.