Your Digital Nonprofit: The Social Profit Stack

Tracking Success - A UTM Strategy to Drive Donor Acquisition👩🏻‍💻

Published 8 months ago • 3 min read

I’m geeking out this week to help you use data to acquire new donors.

I often hear that there’s a need to find new ways to capture the hearts and minds of new supporters.

Undoubtedly, discovering and converting new donors doesn’t seem as simple as it used to be.

But what if I told you there’s a tool that can tell you where your donors are coming from when they land on your website or, better yet, your donation page?

Knowing this data would help determine where to invest your time and money. Am I right?

Today, let’s dig into UTMs - a tool that can ride on the shoulders of your online marketing and fundraising campaigns that you can get started on this week.

What the UTM?

UTMs, short for Urchin Tracking Modules, are tags you can add to the end of your links (URLs) to track the performance of online marketing campaigns.

These pieces of data share valuable information about how users interact with your content, helping you measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

When operating on a limited budget, maximizing the impact of every fundraising campaign is essential.

Adding UTMs allows you to track and analyze your work, use resources effectively and further your impact.

With campaigns like Giving Tuesday around the corner, UTMs help provide insight into what works and what doesn’t.

What to track

Social Media: When sharing content on social media, use UTMs to track which posts generate the most engagement and traffic. This data can help you tailor your social media strategy for growth and impact.

Email Marketing: Add UTMs into your email links to monitor how effectively your email campaigns drive traffic to your website or landing pages—track which emails result in conversions or donations.

Paid Advertising: For nonprofits running paid advertising campaigns, UTMs can help you measure the ROI of your ad spend. Identify which ads generate the most conversions and adjust your budget accordingly.

Website Links: Even regular website links can benefit from UTMs. When you tag links within your website, you can track which pages and content are most popular with your audience.

Five Parameters of a UTM:

UTMs are an effective way to track fundraising campaigns and measure your traffic’s journey to your website.

To track your campaigns, begin using UTM parameters to help you identify from which source a ‘click’ originated and understand how they’ve interacted with your website.

Parameters help you measure your ROI and take the guesswork out of your strategy, allowing you to make data-driven decisions.

Parameters include:

  1. Source (utm_source): Shows where your traffic is coming from, such as a specific social media platform or website, i.e., Facebook
  2. Medium (utm_medium): Defines how your donor found you through the type of traffic, such as organic search, email, or paid advertising.
  3. Campaign (utm_campaign): Identifies the exact source of the specific fundraising or marketing campaign, such as Giving Tuesday or year-end emails.
  4. Term (utm_term): Typically identifies and tracks specific keywords in paid search campaigns, helping you determine the content variation that helped drive someone to your website.
  5. Content (utm_content): Helps differentiate different pieces of content within the same campaign and identifies the specific content the user clicked on, such as an ad or button.

Keep in mind that UTM tags are case-sensitive. Decide on a naming convention before naming your campaigns so that your campaign parameters are concise and make sense across all your campaigns.

Create UTM Tracking Links

Decide what URL link you’d like to track. Try your donation landing page or a social media link.

>>> Here’s a regular URL:

Add UTM parameters to the URL. You can use Google’s URL Builder tool or a general UTM Builder to add UTM parameters to your URL.

>>> New URL: https://www.campaign.cpm/?utm_source=convertkit&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=giving_tuesday

Use the new URL in your upcoming campaigns. For example, when posting on social media, use the newly created URL when sharing a link.

Once you have created your UTM parameters, begin tracking your analytics platform.

If you use Google Analytics, go to the section ‘Acquisition’ inside your Google Analytics 4 dashboard and click on Overview or create a custom report.

Keep it Simple

Adding UTMs is a strategy I’m still working on. It takes time and a little more energy to share the best UTMs. A good approach uses consistency, teamwork, and specificity to identify traffic sources.

Use the URL builders to create your parameters to help ensure you’re not missing the information.

Use UTM parameters for all your campaigns once you learn how, you’ll see them everywhere.

When you start creating your links, keep track using a spreadsheet. Connect to your analytics account to track your UTM parameters.

As you gain confidence in tracking your UTM parameters, take the next step and connect your CRM to track your data.

Adding a UTM strategy to your campaign playbook is a valuable way to gain insight and capture the hearts and minds of your audience.

Your time is so important. Spending precious hours on hope only gets you so far.

No doubt this strategy is new to many, but as you get started, you’ll develop the skills to help you locate more supporters for your organization.

Let's work together and build your UTM strategy. Hit reply or book a free 1:1 strategy call today.

Link 🩷

Want to learn more about UTM building and attribution - Raisely is your best bet and helps 1000s of nonprofits run campaigns.

Copywriting is the bomb. I learned a ton from Joanna Wiebe this week at the NIO Summit. Check out her 5-minute copywriting crash course at CopyHackers.

Want to learn How to Newsletter? Ann Handley has you covered. Her guide shares what works, what doesn't, and weird metrics to track. Even ideas you can steal.

Thanks for reading! See you in two weeks! ✌🏼

Your Digital Nonprofit: The Social Profit Stack

by Kelly Morris

Every other Sunday, I'll spark ⚡️your nonprofit's online fundraising strategy and deliver the tools you need to succeed. You'll receive an actionable tip and three links to drive donor engagement, deliver the best online experience for your donors, and raise more revenue. Join us!

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