How to measure the success of a fundraising email campaign

Once a charity has designed an emotive email campaign that compels donors to give, the hard work for that appeal is far from over. Here are 10 important metrics to assess when analysing a fundraising email campaign.

Once a charity has designed an emotive email campaign that compels donors to give, the hard work for that appeal is far from over.

Pressing ‘send’ is only one part of a multilayered appeal that relies heavily on analysis as a true mark of success for the current and future campaigns.

An effective fundraising campaign is obviously demonstrated by the income received, but that’s not the only metric that that should be considered.

This rate needs to increase with every campaign. If the open rate falls, it’s a strong indication you need to assess the subject line or frequency of communication.

2) Click-through rate (CTR)

The campaign goal is to encourage supporters to take action and click on a link that points to the website. You can see how many did so by assessing the number of receivers who clicked through, divided by the total messages delivered. If 2000 emails were sent and only 500 clicked through, the click-through rate is 25%.

3) Share rate

Recipients sharing the message with contacts or through social media is a positive sign for a campaign. The more supporters sharing, the wider the audience. This rate is calculated by the number of forwards divided by the number of total emails delivered, expressed as a percentage.

4) Undeliverable rate

If a database is ageing or purchased rather than built organically, you may notice a higher undeliverable rate. Also contributing to a higher undeliverable rate could be servers being overloaded, full mailboxes or some recipients out of office resulting in an autoreply. Calculate the bounce or undeliverable rate by dividing the undelivered emails by the total sent, multiplied by 100.

5) Bounce rate on website

If an email recipient clicks on a website link then leaves straight away without taking action, there may be issues with persuasive content or website usability. Assess website analytics and identify the average length of time users spent on the site to address any potential issues.

6) Conversion rate

This is the most significant and easiest rate to calculate. The conversion rate is calculated as a percentage of recipients who visited the website and responded to a call to action compared with the total emails sent. The target for this rate should be set before the campaign and ideally increase with each appeal delivered.

7) Unsubscribe rate

TIf your message isn’t relevant, isn’t compelling, communication is too frequent or the recipient no longer wants to support you, they may unsubscribe from all future emails. This is measured as a percentage of the number of unsubscribes divided by the total emails sent. This number should decrease over time.

8) Spam rate

If the recipient finds it too difficult to unsubscribe, they may mark a message as spam because they are irrelevant. The spam rate is calculated in the same way as the unsubscribe rate and should also be as low as possible.

9) List growth

Another primary objective is to grow a list of engaged recipients who support a cause. To calculate this rate, subtract the number of unsubscribes and spam/complaints from the number of new subscribers and divide by the number of emails sent.

510) Return on investment (ROI)

The investment in preparing email campaigns needs to be calculated against the donations received. This can be hard to calculate when results from one campaign may only show in the long term, but it certainly gives an idea of how successful the email campaign proved to be.

Analytics are imperative for an email campaign to help you track results and build better, more effective campaigns in future. SupporterHub has a fully integrated data and reporting module which will help you analyse every element of an email campaign quickly and efficiently with results displayed in an easy-to-read format.To find out about our FREE trial (no credit card required) and learn how SupporterHub can help take your charity to the next level in 2021 and beyond, click

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