Monday, April 8, 2013

Gamify the System: How to Mobilize Your Online Supporters

From a recent report from the Joyce Foundation:

Working at the Republican National Committee, and later in the software we designed at our agency, we worked to quantify positions on the ladder of [member] engagement by assigning scores to each online activity. Opening an e-mail might be worth one point, a click through might be worth three, a “like” on Facebook five, a donation fifty, and so on. This allowed us to approach each person with customized communication directing them to the next rung up the ladder. . . .

Having the right database and measurement tools will help illuminate this process. Too many organizations invest in database solutions centered exclusively around fundraising needs, which don’t allow for much analysis of online objectives, like matching an e-mail address to a Facebook profile to count the number of times the owner has “liked” your content. You can also tie together activity on other social networks like Twitter, e-mail opens, web form submissions, and donations.

When it comes to assessing who will become a donor, the person’s past behavior is often more important than their stated preferences. Fundraising asks driven by data about past activity are especially powerful. E-mails that cite earlier donation amounts and ask users to double down their support have boosted giving many times over, as have those that target non-donating “slackers” by citing their lack of previous action.

Having the right data and analytic tools is the essential foundation of an effective program to move people up the ladder and turn slacktivists into activists.