You Can Supercharge Your Pledge With Google Analytics

Oct 15, 2013

On October 9th  I hosted a training about how to use Google Analytics to supercharge your pledge reporting. Your pledge platform is probably giving you information about how many people have donated and how close you are to meeting your goal, but when properly set up and used Google Analytics can give you a wealth of additional insight. We covered a lot of information in the one hour session and I've pulled out some of the important points below or you can review the slides from the presentation.

Setup matters. 

  • If you have multiple sites or an external pledge provider, use proper cross domain tracking to get the best data on pledge out of your Google Analytics Account.  
  • Use a single web property id (“UA number”) across all websites that interact with each other.  Make sure that at the very minimum you have basic (pageview) tracking on your pledge pages.
  • Consider Analytics data when designing a pledge campaign.  Set goals and think about ways to measure them before you start. 
  • Use the Station Analytics System to simplify tracking on all of your sites.  This method much easier than manually coding every link on your site to support cross domain tracking.
  • Avoid changing your tracking at key times.  Always allow at least a week to test tracking and confirm you have the data that you want.  

 You need to have goals.

Once tracking is out of the way you can start thinking about goals.  Google Analytics goals provide an easy way to monitor key site activities as metrics.  These metrics add new reports to Google Analytics, but all give you a new way to slice and dice existing GA reports.  Our session walked through some key goal setting knowledge:

  • How to create a URL based goal
  • Adding steps to create funnel reports
  • New conversion reports for goals
  • Adding goal to existing reports

 You can review the slides or read recommendations about the goals you need.  Read more about goals and why you need them  then check out step-by-step directions for how to create a goal.

Tracking pledge transactions using eCommerce.

The third part of our session dealt with eCommerce and how it can be useful in tracking pledge.  Quick Pledge stations already have commerce tracking on their pages, but may need to enable it in the Google Analytics admin setting.  Stations using other providers should contact the provider directly or work with us to get detailed instructions on how to implement the additional tracking code.  Email us at analytics@ds.npr.org if you need some advice on how to implement eCommerce for pledge.  In the session, we talked about:

  • Ecommerce must be enabled in settings
  • How to add ecommerce metrics to standard reports
  • Using “Product Category” reports to view Sustaining v one time
  • Time to purchase report shows how long it takes visitors to pledge

 There is a bit of effort required to get your goals and eCommerce set up, but once you do, here are some great things that you will be able to look at:

  • Use segmentation to highlight behavior of visitors who make a “one-time pledge.”
  • Compare the segment you created for one time to a segment for “sustaining pledge.”
  • Change your pledge form (hint: make it more simple) then check to see if abandonment decreases.
  • Use campaign tracking in your emails then run a report to see which messages convert better, drive larger average revenue, or lead to more sustainers.

 Most important is to add data and goals to your Google Analytics and watch what happens!