January 2nd, 2019

How Call Tracking Will Increase Your Fundraising Efforts

Call tracking technology has become a powerful tool in the business world over the last several years. For-profit companies use call tracking for everything from analyzing their marketing campaigns to improving the training of their salespeople.

Although for-profit organizations receive most of the focus in the area of call tracking, the truth is that the technology can also provide many of the same benefits to nonprofits and charitable organizations. Here’s what you need to know about the beneficial role call tracking can play in your organization’s fundraising efforts.

The Broad Benefits of Call Tracking for Fundraising

Just as in the for-profit sector, the benefits of call tracking for nonprofit fundraising stem from the enhanced data the technology can give you access to. Businesses use call tracking to measure ROI and conversion rates from marketing campaigns. These pieces of data can then be used to optimize future campaigns to generate more sales and revenue.

Similar metrics also exist for nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Indeed, the conversion rate, or the rate of people who take a predetermined action after seeing a campaign, is a metric that is shared between fundraising and marketing campaigns.

Metrics specific to fundraising, such as fundraising ROI and cost per dollar raised (CDPR), are very much comparable to similar measurements of campaign success in the for-profit sector. Owing to these similarities, call tracking can be used to optimize fundraising campaigns in much the same way as standard marketing campaigns.

The use of call tracking in fundraising is part of a broader move toward data-driven strategies among nonprofits. Like organizations of all types, nonprofits are using data to achieve better outcomes and to use their resources more effectively. Although it is far from the only source of useful data, call tracking can be an amazingly powerful tool in the push to make your organization more data-driven.

Implementing Call Tracking in Different Types of Fundraising

Landing Pages

One of the top ways in which call tracking can contribute to your fundraising efforts is by helping you optimize your website’s landing and donation pages. These pages are integral to your online fundraising efforts, which is why they should be continuously optimized and improved. Call tracking can help you measure conversion rates and actual donations from these pages, which in turn will give you direct insights into which of your pages are the most effective. From there, you can tweak your landing pages to increase your conversion rates and improve your chances of attracting more donations.

Email Campaigns

Email donation messages can also be analyzed and optimized for conversion using call tracking data. While the platform you use to send out emails likely offers you access to statistics about open and click-through rates, call tracking is the easiest way to directly attribute donation calls to specific email campaigns.

Direct Mail

Interestingly, call tracking can also be used to measure the effectiveness of direct mailing campaigns. By assigning unique phone numbers to each of your mailing campaigns, you can gather data on which mailers generate the highest volumes of calls and donations through call tracking.

Although direct mailing may seem an odd type of fundraising to apply call tracking to, evidence suggests that mail campaigns are still among the most effective tools for fundraising. Direct mail campaigns account for between 60 and 80 percent of donations for most organizations, and a 2017 study found that donors are still slightly more likely to read a piece of physical mail than an email.

Given these statistics, it makes perfect sense to use call tracking and other analytics tools to optimize your direct mail campaigns and replicate the ones that produce the best results for your organization.

Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising

Although not all nonprofits actively use it, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a good tool for some types of fundraising campaigns. If your organization does make use of PPC, call tracking can help to ensure that your campaigns are effective and efficient. Conversion rate data from call tracking can be used to improve your PPC ads and help your organization get the best return on its advertising investment.

Direct Phone Calls

A final type of campaign that no nonprofit organization can forget about is direct phone fundraising. In this area, it’s difficult for call tracking to play a direct role, since the very nature of a phone campaign involves making phone calls instead of receiving them.

Through insights gained from other campaigns, though, call tracking can still play an indirect role. Just as call tracking can help for-profit businesses get to know their customers better, it can also help you learn more about your donors. Data about who your donors are, where they live and how they interact with your representatives over the phone can be used to improve your campaign targeting and to create a framework for calls that will resonate with your donors, both of which are essential to fundraising success.

In all of these fundraising channels, call tracking data can show you what strategies are generating donations and help you improve your campaigns to reach higher fundraising goals in the future. If you want to help your organization attract more donors and bring in more donations, consider adding call tracking solutions to your fundraising toolbox.