How Well Do You Know Your Data?

Data is such an all-encompassing term that it can seem insurmountable, but it’s essential that marketers and fundraisers delve into their data and know as much as possible about its nuances. The secret to success lies buried deep, not on the surface.

It’s not necessary to become a statistician, but a basic working knowledge of your organization’s statistics is crucial – as well as its history.  Otherwise, there is no way to learn if your campaigns’ performances are improving or getting worse.

While every organization wants to have increased participation and giving in all areas, this is unrealistic and unlikely; therefore, segmentation when marketing and tracking is the wisest course of action.  Learning which demographics respond best to what approaches during which times will assist when planning future campaigns.

This not only applies to segmenting your donors by age, gender, etc., but also by longevity of engagement, since acquisition files require more time and attention before they become profitable.  You’ll also want to consider tracking responses with respect to the type of channels of engagement – e.g., direct mail, email, phone, social media, etc.

It’s also important to remember the basics, however:  garbage in, garbage out.  How often does your database get reviewed, updated, scrubbed, verified, etc.?  Does this go beyond NCOA (National Change of Address Database lookup)?  What about email addresses?  Do all of the bounced emails get checked and updated/purged after X bounces?  Do you have a policy for it on file?  Do you check for deceased records and mark constituents as such regularly?  The easiest way to offend a constituent is to repeatedly address them incorrectly . . . especially while asking for support.

Outside of your own organization’s database, it’s good to learn how to read your website’s traffic with Google Analytics.  You or another staff member can take a Google Analytics IQ certification exam for $50 and the study materials are free.


About SCB Enterprises
System Solutions and Integration

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