A New Way NGOs Can Understand Their Online Supporters
If you work for a non-profit organization, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid advanced approaches to analytics to help manage your online presence. In fact, with some tweaks to the context in which web analytics are implemented, there is tremendous value in using ‘for-profit’ approaches to measure the use of your site.
Over the years, we have worked with a variety of non-profit organizations and have watched them improve their online channel dramatically. In fact, we recently found that a handful of our clients have optimized their website content for search to the point that they are getting less phone calls requesting particular documents! Sounds good right? Well… maybe.
If your organization has a consistent base of users, you may find that their feedback on the telephone is important. The types of content they are requesting is important to understand in order to ensure you continue to serve these core stakeholders (and maybe even your unofficial spokespeople) effectively.Without getting the phone call, email or on-site form completion to request the information, it is largely impossible to track who is using the information. But, as with the French language, there are exceptions to every rule!
Enter a very cheap and effective CRM solution
Many organizations, whether for profit or not, have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. These tools will track accounts, contacts, leads, etc. and can be linked directly to your web analytics. That’s right. Your web analytics can include information about who is doing what. There are many tools that do this natively, however, many non-profit organizations don’t have pockets deep enough to dig in every month for $500 – $2,000.
Some relatively straightforward technical implementations can tie a unique value tracked in Google Analytics (also free) to a visitor which can be maintained in the CRM tool (we use ZoHo; it has a free version and a more customizable and very affordable paid version). Implementation is the hard part, but the results can be well worth the effort.
This isn’t about breaching privacy by any means; it’s about offering the best possible service and providing the content that matters to your core audience! In fact, this is far less invasive than signing up for a points card at your local Shoppers Drug Mart!
If your organization is looking for deeper and more granular analytics, it is possible! If you don’t have a CRM tool, Google Analytics, or both, they do have free versions of each which can be customized to accomplish this.
See Alex Langshur and Tyler Gibbs speak about CRM-web analytics integration on May 12, 2011.