How to Use UTM Tracking on Custom Fundraising Sites
As a charity or nonprofit, knowing which campaigns and digital fundraising elements drive the most donations to your cause is essential. Without this information, making informed decisions about future campaigns and optimising your online presence can be complex. That’s where UTM tracking comes in. This guide will walk you through UTM tracking and how it can help you improve your fundraising efforts via the Givergy platform.
What Is UTM Tracking?
UTM tracking stands for Urchin Tracking Module, a code added to the end of a URL to track website traffic.
UTM tracking codes contain several parameters: source, medium, campaign, term, and content. These parameters tell you where your traffic is coming from (source), how they got to your website (medium), which campaign they came from (campaign), what keywords they used if you’re running paid search ads, and the type of content that got them to visit (content).
Tracking this information lets you analyse your website traffic and optimise your campaign efforts. As just a few examples, the parameters can be tailored by factors such as date, physical location, social media platforms, sponsor content, and more. This gives charities a clear view of their traffic and allows them to make informed decisions. In-built website analytic software or third-party platforms like Google Analytics is needed to collect the data, so confirm with your marketing or web development teams that this is in place.
At Givergy, our marketing team uses UTM data with internal campaigns as it allows us to keep a handle on what our traffic looks like considering we operate on a global scale. We can vouch for its effectiveness and ease of use which is why we recommend it to our clients.
What Are the Benefits of UTM Tracking?
The main benefit is being able to track specific website activity but the advantages do not stop there.
1. Accurate Tracking to Measure Success
When it comes to fundraising, tracking success is everything. UTM tracking helps you see which marketing channels and campaigns are working for you and which aren’t. This lets you measure your results accurately and make more informed decisions about where to invest your time and money.
2. Optimisation for Better Performance
With the ability to track success metrics, you now have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Review your UTM data periodically and adjust your strategy accordingly. Tweak campaigns or abandon ineffective channels to boost your donations.
3. Better Targeting for Donor Retention
Once you have accurate data, you can segment your audiences and customise experiences for individuals based on this data. By creating targeted campaigns, you’ll improve your chances of donor retention and even repeat donations.
4. Valuable Insights for Decision Making
You can use UTM insights for more than just optimising campaigns — you can also use data to justify key decisions. With UTM tracking, you know for sure what your audience is reacting positively to and can allocate resources accordingly.
How To Use UTM’s to Track Sponsorship Activity?
The Givergy live fundraising sites are a fantastic way to source donations and feature any sponsorships you may have. There is the ability to track activity on auctions and ticket sales on our fundraising sites, but what happens if you want to track activity on a sponsor’s site?
With UTM tracking, it’s important to keep in mind that you can only see UTM data on the websites you have access to. For example, your sponsor may have links to your Givergy fundraising site somewhere on their website. However, you don’t have access to their website data, even if UTMs are used.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this valuable information as UTM’s put the power back in your hands. Simply create UTM links for your sponsor to use and have them share the data with you.
The process is simple and easy:
1. Create the UTM
To begin with, you will need to choose how to create your links. If this is your first time using UTMs, we recommend you use a website that can automatically generate them for you, such as Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder. Advanced marketing teams or web development teams can create their own using Excel spreadsheets or alternative methods.
Consideration will need to be made as to what you want to track, such as if you want your data to be broken out by date, location, and content type for example. Not all UTM parameters need to be used, but the more information you can provide, the more meaningful your data will be. Keep the UTM descriptions short so you’re not left with a long link to use. Avoid using spaces, or any other punctuation other than ‘-’ or ‘_’ as these can break the link.
Example link: https://www.google.com/?utm_source=july-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=virtualgala2023&utm_content=abc-sponsor
2. Use your UTM link
The UTM link is essentially just your click-through URL, but it has the power to track activity. Share these links with your sponsor to place on their website and create a plan as to how often to share data.
Generally speaking, you must use UTM links if you send people to your website from a different digital channel. This could be from social media, email marketing, or a QR code. The link can also be included in URL shorteners like Bit.ly so that visitors aren’t left looking at long-tailed links. This will measure where people have come from if they land on your fundraising site.
Detailed UTM links can be created and added to your Givergy fundraising site to help monitor fundraising activity. This could be through links that head to external sponsor pages, auction lots, or even via backlinks to your website. At the very minimum, we recommend adding UTM links to your Givergy website homepage, donation page, ticketing page (if you’re selling tickets) and auction item page (if you’re running an auction). If your team has the capacity to analyse more data, add UTM links to all pages you’re driving traffic to and any individual auction items you’d like to keep an eye on.
3. Analyse your UTM
To track the success of UTM links, contact your marketing or web development teams to source activity reports on your links. This will give you lots of insights such as what is working, where are people coming from, and also provide you with information that you can share with sponsors to help strengthen your partnerships.
How Can Givergy Help Me?
As keen users of UTM links ourselves, we are always on hand to provide advice and support for you to add strategy into your fundraising sites.
In our opinion, every click should give an insight that shapes how you operate in a positive way. Our team can highlight where UTMs can be used and also support you with other marketing advice that helps shape a brilliant campaign.
UTM tracking is the perfect tool for any fundraiser looking to improve their campaigns’ success. With accurate tracking, optimisation, and valuable insights, you can make informed decisions about where to invest your resources. Remember to use your metrics periodically to keep your campaigns optimised; data insights are only useful when you put them to work. With these benefits in mind, you are well equipped to take on successful fundraising projects.
Contact us to learn more.
Omolade oversees the strategy, planning, and implementation of marketing and branding efforts for Givergy worldwide. With a passion for using creativity, technology, and data to drive results, Omolade is at the heart of growing the business.
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