7 Marketing Metrics to Track Throughout Your Campaigns


Marketing metrics, also known as key performance indicators (KPIs), are quantifiable measurements that help determine the success of your marketing campaigns. 


For nonprofit marketers, metrics are the data points you use to evaluate how effectively your marketing campaigns support your organization’s fundraising plan and awareness efforts. 


Tracking marketing metrics can help your organization:


  • Assess the accuracy of your predictive models
  • Track progress made toward online fundraising campaign goals
  • Establish benchmarks to measure future marketing efforts


Your organization’s marketing efforts might span multiple online channels, including your website, social media, email, and other platforms. There are a plethora of metrics you might measure on each channel, but some metrics are more useful than others depending on your goals. 


With that in mind, let’s review seven of the most helpful metrics you can track to help assess and improve your marketing efforts. 

1. Conversion rates by channel

Conversion rate measures how many audience members took a desired action after encountering your marketing materials. Depending on your marketing goals, your messages might encourage supporters to donate, register to volunteer, sign up for a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, share your advocacy social media posts, or take some other next step. 


Track conversions across all digital channels, such as: 


  • Email 
  • Organic search
  • Paid search
  • Social media
  • Text/SMS messaging


One way to improve your conversion rates is by optimizing your calls to action (CTAs). These are the buttons and text you use to encourage people to get more involved with your nonprofit by leading them to take a specific next action. 


For example, let’s say you’re looking to improve your online donation page’s conversion rate. You can use a variety of CTAs across your website homepage and email newsletter to drive traffic to this page. Make the buttons compelling with text like “Become a Wildlife Warrior” or “Give Now to Help Reach Our Goal.” 


You can also increase conversion rates by ensuring your forms are simple, informative, and easy to fill out from any device. 

2. Donor retention rate

Monitoring your donor retention rate is critical for understanding how effectively your marketing campaigns recapture previous donors’ support. 


To determine your campaign’s donor retention rate, ask yourself one simple question: How many donors gave to your current campaign that also gave to the previous year’s campaign? Specifically, divide the number of donors who gave to your current campaign by the number of donors who gave to your previous campaign (and multiply by 100 to get a percentage). 


You can improve donor retention ahead of your next campaign by:


  • Staying in touch with donors in a variety of ways, including email, phone calls, texts, social media, and direct mail. 
  • Personalizing communications with donors’ names, past giving amounts, and references to other previous interactions, such as volunteer experiences. 
  • Creating a segment of previous campaign donors to reach out to with a personalized message ahead of your next campaign. 


Track donor retention for specific campaigns such as your annual giving campaign or Giving Tuesday initiative to assess year-over-year fluctuations. 

3. Donor acquisition cost

This metric measures how much your organization spends to acquire a new donor. Calculate this metric by dividing the total amount you spent on a marketing campaign by the number of new donors you recruited throughout the initiative. 


If your donor acquisition cost is extremely high, you won’t be able to receive a high return on investment for your marketing efforts. To decrease your donor acquisition costs, take steps such as:


  • Pursuing targeted data-driven marketing efforts based on user research and predictive analytics. According to BWF’s fundraising predictive analytics guide, you can use predictive modeling to develop audience personas, conduct prospect research, choose the right donation requests, reengage lapsed donors, and much more. 
  • Placing a strong focus on donor retention throughout your marketing campaigns by engaging with past donors. 
  • Leveraging free and cost-effective online marketing methods like Google Ad Grants, Facebook ads, and segmented email campaigns. 


The goal isn’t to eliminate all donor acquisition costs. Rather, it’s about finding smart ways to spend your marketing budget wisely to achieve the highest possible ROI from your efforts. 

4. Website user behavior

Your website is your nonprofit’s online fundraising and marketing hub where you house your online donation page, mission information, and other crucial information for supporters. 


Analyzing website user behavior allows you to understand how visitors are finding and engaging with your web content. With these insights, you can identify and address areas for improvement.


The website behavior metric encompasses multiple engagement analytics, such as:


  • Bounce rate, or the percentage of website visitors who leave your site after just viewing one page
  • Time spent on each page, which you should measure for important conversion pages like your homepage and online donation page
  • Traffic sources, which lets you know how visitors are finding your site, whether through paid or organic search, direct search, social media, or a different source


Use tools like Google Analytics to regularly assess your website metrics and catch any significant dips in traffic or engagement. 

5. Email open and click-through rates

Email is essential for any nonprofit marketing campaign. According to Double the Donation’s fundraising statistics roundup, email-based marketing and promotional campaigns generate about 28% of all online nonprofit revenue.


Two useful email metrics to track are your email open and click-through rates. Your email open rate is simply the percentage of subscribers who open your email messages. Your email click-through rate is the percentage of email recipients who click links within your emails. 


To improve your open rate, ensure that your subject lines are short, enticing, and compelling. Personalize them with donors’ names— for example: “Upcoming volunteer opportunities for James” or “Annabeth—here’s your 2022 Giving Roundup.” 


Use your email marketing tools to segment subscribers into lists based on shared characteristics. For example, you might create segments for new subscribers, long-time subscribers, and subscribers who also donate. This allows you to send tailored content to each list that is more relevant to that audience. 

6. Social media engagement

Social media metrics reveal how successfully your social media campaigns recruit new supporters and engage current ones. Whether you’re running a campaign on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or a different platform, track engagement analytics like: 


  • Followers
  • Likes, comments, and shares
  • Account mentions


Track the impact of posting at different times or days of the week on your social media metrics. For example, do your posts get more engagement when you publish them at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays vs. 5 p.m. on Saturdays? This can help you determine the best time to post to reach the largest segment of your audience. 


You can also test other social media strategies, such as using different types of photos, videos, polls, and links, to see which content receives the most engagement. 

7. SEO metrics

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of updating your website to improve its ranking position on search engine results pages. Improving your SEO rankings is a cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your website without having to spend your marketing dollars. 


Relevant SEO metrics include: 


  • Organic search traffic volume
  • Number of ranking keywords
  • Click-through rate 
  • Domain authority 
  • Number of referring domains


Use tools like RankMath or Moz to track these metrics and other SEO-related data points. 


You can improve your SEO performance throughout a marketing campaign by incorporating high-search-volume keywords into your website content, writing engaging meta descriptions and titles, and keeping your content fresh and up to date. 


Don’t just track metrics for the sake of it—use your findings to improve future marketing campaigns. Track metrics throughout each campaign to compare results and see what strategies lead to the highest engagement and giving results.