In the modern world of digital fundraising, data abounds. There is no shortage of information; in fact there is often too much information, which can lead to analysis paralysis. Having lots of data is not as important as having the right data and knowing what to do with it. When it comes to optimizing a Facebook Ads fundraising campaign, there are five metrics that matter most to me.
These are not the only valuable metrics, but 80% of my optimization decisions are made based on these metrics and what they tell me.
CPM – Cost per thousand impressions
Since Facebook varies the CPM based on how much the audience engages with the creative, if the CPM is high that tells me that creative is not resonating. It could be that the creative is not very effective, or it could be that the audience targeted is not the best one for this creative. Changing either the creative or audience can help the ads get shown more for the same dollars and that can lead to more clicks and conversions without changing budget.
CPC – Cost Per Click
The cost of a click means a lot in a conversion funnel. Good creative reaching the right audience should result in a low cost per click. However, this metric in a vacuum is only so helpful. Other information is needed to get insights out of this one. If a conversion is valued at $10 and the CPC is $15, you do not need to even look at the donation page to know the ads are not resonating. The cost to drive the first action lets you know the scalability of the ads in their current configuration.
This is the percentage of users that click who donate or complete the ultimate action on your page. This metric tells me in short if the donation page is effective. If CPM and CPC are both poor that tells me the ads or targeting needs work. But if the conversion rate is high, that tells me that the landing page is working well in spite of issues with the ads.
Cost Per Donor
This is a big number that can trump every number before it. If the cost per donor is good, the campaign is doing a lot of things right. Not to say there is no room for improvement, but this is one of the first places to look. It is the sum of all other processes and metrics and is a big health indication for a campaign. When this number is bad, I begin to focus on the other numbers to find out why. When this number is good, I want to look deeper to learn what is working.
Return on Investment Percentage
There is no single greater performance indicator than ROI. This tells you what percentage of funds invested were immediately recouped. Often campaigns targeting new donors run at an initial loss and provide value to the organization through subsequent gifts made by the new donors over their lifetime. When everything is working well, ROI is good. If the ROI is not good, then the previous metrics must be inspected to reveal the reasons why and what can be done to improve performance. Sometimes ROI is poor but Cost Per Donor is good which shows the average gift is low and perhaps the ask or perceived importance of the campaign needs to be adjusted.
The campaign goals should always be the ultimate metric of success. If Cost Per Donor is the ultimate benchmark, then everything should be optimized towards that. These tools can help understand and improve performance in most situations. Could you use some help in putting them to use? We would be happy to chat.
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