When you are organising online make sure your efforts are strategic by measuring your impact. This article is an excerpt from Social Movement Technology’s course Top Tools & Tactics to Bump Up Your Online Organizing Game.
Make sure you measure:
- The number of people in direct action in person
- The number of people a target hears from online (social media tags, action tool, etc.)
- The number of media hits, including those quoting your leaders or using your framing
If the numbers are growing you’re on the right track. If not, why not? Make changes to get back on track!
Get a CRM/action tool, not just an email tool
CRMs give you a clear way to track your supporters and how you are engaging with them across different channels.
Disadvantages of email-only tools (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.):
- Most of the bases we want to organize/activate are off of, or moving away from email
- You lose the full picture of how people are interacting with the organization
- Even for people who do use email, other methods are often best for activating (phone call, text)
Consider Action Network or EveryAction instead (See SMT’s Full CRM comparison table).
Why use source codes?
Source codes help you measure what is working in the online world.
For example, if you’re hosting an event and you run a peer-to-peer texting campaign, a lot of organic posts on Twitter, and some Facebook Ads, you can put a different link with a different source codes to see which of those outreach efforts is driving registrations.
How to tell why someone took an action and measure effectiveness of your online/offline work. Did they:
- Get a text? Which text?
- See an ad? Which ad?
- Get a call from an organizer or volunteer? Who?
Use source codes!
- Source Codes by CRM
- Video about source codes (6 min). Source codes for tracking where signups and action takers are coming from – Action Network example
- Video about combining a source code with google analytics campaign tagging (7 mins). Combining sources codes with UTM campaign tagging
Email list size and open rates can be an important way to track the effectiveness of your work. However, email lists need regular maintenance to be effective.
Problem: Your open rates are at around 17% and action rates are way lower. Some supporters say they don’t even see the organisation’s emails, so you think your deliverability ranking is low and email may be going to spam.
What do you do to improve deliverability?
- Review/Improve your email design – subject lines for opens, call to action to prompt clicks and action-taking. Segmentation so the right email goes to the right audience.
- Leave non-engagers from last year out of most or all emails (send them an “Is it goodbye?” email to give them one more chance…AFTER you’ve improved deliverability
- List Warming: identify the sub-segment most likely to open and click on your email, and send it to them first for the reputation boost.
- Only send to non-engagers in smaller batches when you have a highly engaging call to action
Campaign Management Tools
Use a campaign or project management tool (example: Trello or ClickUp) when emails, Slacks, texts are getting out of hand.
- Reduce inbox overwhelm
- Every task has a person responsible and a deadline
- Make work visible (not stuck in email threads between just three people)
- Template processes you have to repeat often (ex: prep, turnout for, content, follow-up from a big quarterly meeting)
Tools like this can help your team plan, track actions, and feed into evaluation.
Performance and SEO Testing
Check your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) with SEObility. The SEO Checker analyzes your website and gives you tips on optimizing your site for a long-term success in search engine optimization.
If you’re just getting started, remember:
- Use a combined CRM/action tool, not just an email tool
- Pick a few main metrics connected to powerful campaigns
- Ensure good password, two-factor, and secure messaging across your organization
- Curate your email list at least annually
Looking to level up?
- Test your website for SEO and performance (esp. mobile)
- Consider a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign
- Use source codes (or other attribution approaches such as UTM tracking) to measure how online work contributes to your most important metrics
- Implement more advanced digital security in the team
Access the Course
Access Social Movement Technology’s free course Top Tools & Tactics to Bump Up Your Online Organizing Game.
About the Author
Social Movement Technologies collaborates with campaigners and activists around the world to build people power for justice in the digital age. They provide organizing strategy, training and campaign support. They run lots of digital organizing courses, free and paid, including:
- Developing your Digital Campaigning Plan
- Livestreaming for Organizing
- Text Messaging for Organizing
- Is your Activism working? Measure it
- Managing Google Ad Grants for Organizing
- Good Design for Organizing
- Digital Security for Activists
- Transitioning to a Remote Team
- Twitter: Why every campaigner should use it
- Top tools and tactics to bump up your online organizing game
- Snapchat for Organizers
You can sign up and receive their free recordings on top tools and tactics, using Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok for organizing, digital security for activists, and tips on working remotely and managing campaigns and teams remotely.
- Digital Campaigning Tools in the Commons Library
- Measuring What Matters: An Introduction to Project Evaluation for Not-for-Profits
- Campaign Monitoring and Evaluation: Measuring What Matters
- How are we Measuring People Power in 2020+, and where do we go from here?