News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Google Analytics Tip: Track Click-Throughs from Your Messaging Campaigns

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 07/14/2008 - 2:03pm

NTEN uses Avectra's netFORUM as our CRM, and while we're generally happy with its capabilities, it's annoyed me for awhile that I couldn't track click-throughs from our messaging very easily. Then it hit me: use query strings to track clicks in Google Analytics. For a brief moment, I knew how Jon Bon Jovi felt when he rhymed "halfway there" with "livin' on a prayer."

I know some of you are already doing this: it seems so obvious to me now (and maybe I should spend more time reading Analytics forums). But I'll bet some of you aren't too sure what a query string is -- and when I searched for this particular trick, the very few people who discussed it only made veiled references -- so I though I'd write up a detailed look at how to track your click-throughs with a high degree of accuracy:

Don't Let Analytics Scare You Like a Zombie

Submitted by Anna on Mon, 07/14/2008 - 1:52pm

Garden Zomble by Design ToscanoAnalytics can be scary. Holly says they make her feel like a zombie after she spends hours down the rabbit hole with them. But we try hard to keep web analytics from being zombie-scary.

We want to help you to understand and use web metrics to make real impact with your website. The Ask The Expert session with Avinash Kaushik on Google Analytics last month generated more questions than could possibly have been captured in the one hour time slot. Avinash followed through and compiled answers to the questions that went unanswered in the session. You can read the responses and more on his blog.

Teaching is Learning

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 07/14/2008 - 7:43am

Flickr Photo: kjoyner666Flickr Photo: kjoyner666I spent the latter half of last week in lovely Arlington Virginia at a communications and marketing training for the Kellogg Action Lab. Although I do love to talk, my favorite part of this sort of opportunity is the Q&A period, or after the presentation when folks stop by to talk further.

It's always exciting to discover that something I've said has inspired someone to think about things in a new way. But the best part is how much I get to learn from the participants. It's a real gift.

The Kellogg Action Lab was no exception. I focused on social media strategies for distributing your message, and I got as good as I gave. Here are just a few of the new ideas I walked away with:

Heard Around the NTEN Water Cooler: Tips for Coordinating Online Communications and Fundraising Strategies

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 10:14am

Flickr Photo: _ES NTEN doesn't really have a water cooler, but we like to think the NTEN Discuss group serves a similar purpose for folks working with nonprofits and technology, except that instead of gossip about the boss, we share tips, resources, and anecdotes.

Yesterday there was a great discussion about how to get the Communications department to coordinate with the Fundraising department on online and email campaigns. The discussion was spurred on by a question from Michael Hoffman, from See3:

". . . how [do] other organizations create a balance between the Communications and the Fundraising departments when it comes to online initiatives. How should Communications and Fundraising interact without having turf battles?"

Even if your nonprofit's "departments" are just comprised of single staff persons -- like here at NTEN -- getting these folks on the same page is important and often tough. Here's what the NTEN Discuss group had to say:

Life is What Happens When You're on an Airplane

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/10/2008 - 9:53am

Flickr Photo: Cubbie_n_ VegasI'm in DC -- well, Arlington -- for the next couple of days, giving a social media training. A few big things happened yesterday, but I spent most of it on airplanes. As it's currently 4:30 am, according to my body, I'm going to cop out and just give you guys a bunch of links to keep my daily blogging streak alive.

Here's the stuff I wish I had the wherewithal to write about today:

What Impact Does Your Site REALLY Have?

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 10:04am

Flickr Photo: ralphhogaboomFlickr Photo: ralphhogaboomIf you're an NTEN member, you got to sit in on a great Ask the Expert session with Avinash Kaushik last month. (If you missed, it you should definitely check out the recording.)

Anyone who's had the pleasure of listening to Avinash talk about metrics knows he's the real deal. He's not just measuring for the sake of measuring: this guy is out to measure REAL IMPACT. He knows that measuring bounce rates or click throughs is meaningless unless you can explain what those statistics mean to the mission of your organization.

The latest post on his blog blows the lid off traditional analytics and explores a side of your website you may not have known about before: its offline impact.

We all know that, to some degree, our websites drive offline action as well as online action. Our sites encourage people to pick up their phone and call us. They drive people to come into our offices and volunteer. They compel people to change the lightbulbs in their houses to CFLs.

But how can you use web analytics to track what people aren't doing on your site?

Ask the Expert: CiviCRM Q&A with Dave Greenberg

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 9:04am

Flickr Photo: Darwin BellFlickr Photo: Darwin BellOK, NTEN Members: this is your chance to step up to the mic and ask those burning CiviCRM questions!

Join us Tuesday, July 15, at 11am PT/ 2pm ET for a live conference call and online chat with Dave Greenberg, from the CiviCRM Team.

> Register Now - FREE for NTEN Members!

This IS Novel: Twebinars as Work in Progress

Submitted by Annaliese on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 11:51am

Flickr Photo: bitzceltFlickr Photo: bitzceltI just had a conversation with one of the organizers of the Twebinar, a summer series of webinars about social media hosted by Chris Brogan and Radian6. David Alston, from Radian6, picked up the phone (you remember those, don't you?) to respond to some of the questions I had emailed him about the Twebinar format.

I had expressed some confusion about the series, based on the first session I attended, the descriptions they provided, and the discrepancy I saw between the two. David was generous enough with his time to respond to some of these concerns.

Here's what I learned:

Quantity Counts in Email Subject Lines, But Do You Want Open Rates or Click Throughs?

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 9:57am

Flickr Photo: m-cFlickr Photo: m-cI talk a lot about email marketing campaigns with folks just getting started with email (and you are NOT alone: there are lots of you just getting started). One of the most frequent questions I hear is, "What's the best way to approach subject lines?"

I usually take this question to mean, "How do a I write a subject line that will make people open my message?" But maybe I've been focusing on the wrong question. Maybe the question should translate to, "How do I write a subject line that will compel more people to click through?"

Really, isn't that what you want? Who cares how many people open your email if no one clicks through to take action?

What's Your Social Media Plan?

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 9:54am

Flickr Photo: fr@nsI'm not normally an Oprah's Book Club kind of girl, but I happened to be trapped in a Starbucks with no reading materials for 90 minutes one day, so I bought "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Although everything jaded and cynical in me was annoyed by the sappy homilies, one bit really stuck with me: Your car follows where your eyes lead.

When it comes to our use of social media as a sector, I have to wonder, where are we looking? Where are we trying to drive? I hear a lot of general answers: we want to raise more money; we want to spread our message further. But I don't hear the specifics needed if we're going to do those things meaningfully. Having a Facebook group and a blog will not, on their own, raise more money for your organization.