Not-for-profit associations have to make the most out of every resource they have. That’s why when it comes to their marketing efforts, they need their lead generation campaigns to deliver the highest return on investment possible.
New leads are the lifeblood of not-for-profit organizations. As such, they need to know exactly how many leads their campaigns are generating and where those leads originate. However, the unfortunate fact is that too many associations are not getting the most out of their lead generation campaigns because they’re not getting the right information from them.
We’ve found that many organizations are making a critical error when it comes to the reporting they get from their lead generation websites. These organizations don’t look beyond the raw conversion numbers they get from Google Analytics or other reporting platforms. As a result, they have an incomplete picture of how well their websites perform at driving new leads their way.
Without a process in place to validate and track those conversions and drill deeper into the data, not-for-profits put themselves at risk of making further, more costly mistakes down the line.
Leaving Information Behind
For example, a lead generation website may have two sources generating conversions. Source A generates 100 conversions each month while Source B only generates 50 conversions. The not-for-profit that owns the latter site may look no further than the raw conversion numbers and assume that Source A delivers more leads. Based on that assumption, it may try to make Source B work more like Source A or eliminate it altogether.
If their conversions were subjected to a rigorous validation and tracking process, the organization might discover that only 25 of Source A’s conversions were actual sales leads. The rest might consist of non-lead conversions such as job applications, incomplete form submissions or even spam. Because raw conversion numbers don’t distinguish between leads and non-lead conversions, they don’t provide the full picture.
Knowing that it needs to dig deeper into the data, the example organization might validate and track its conversions and find that all of Source B’s conversions turned out to be true leads. This means Source B was much better at generating leads, and any attempt to minimize it or change it could have resulted in a critical source of new leads being more or less ignored.
Building Better Reporting
Not-for-profit organizations that want to take more control over the data they receive from their lead generation websites must consider lead validation and tracking for their lead generation campaigns. Although adding these processes to a campaign requires some effort and resources at the onset, the results can be well worth it.
To ensure that your lead generation website can provide you with more detailed information about your conversions, you need to:
- Confirm that the primary contact form on your website has a "comments" field and that it is a required field.
- Confirm that your website is running Google Analytics.
- Confirm that your website is running on a content management system that stores each form submission in a table with an assigned, unique ID.
- Modify your Google Analytics code to pass the form submission ID to Google Analytics using a custom dimension.
Tracking phone calls is an important component for a lead generation campaign that still uses this to drive sales. To implement phone call tracking, you should:
- Find a call tracking vendor that can track each phone call back to a specific marketing source.
- Implement the call tracking vendor’s code on your website to start tracking phone calls.
- Ensure your phone call tracking vendor provides a single, tracked phone number that can be hardcoded into your website instead of your organization's standard phone number.
Not-for-profit organizations need to make the most of every available resource they have, but many of them unwittingly ignore some crucial information. With lead validation and tracking as vital components of their lead generation efforts, these organizations finally can take full advantage of their resources.
Matt Cannon is Director of Web Services at Straight North, an Internet marketing company that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. Cannon manages all web development activities to make sure that every project is applying current development standards and techniques.
Relaying information to executives in your organization is rarely easy or straight forward. Often, the data gathered from analytics and similar sources is most easily (or only) understood by the people whose jobs involve working directly with this information. It is therefor up to the latter to find ways to communicate meaning to executives in their reports without the message and results getting lost in lingo and numbers. The CSAE publication, Briefing Executives in an Information-Intensive World by Laurence Mussio, PhD helps produce more effective executive briefings for this and other circumstances.