4 ways your tech set-up is holding your campaigns back – and how to solve them

Your campaigns could have attention-grabbing creative and a compelling call to action, but if the tech behind them isn’t optimised, they won’t perform as well as they could.

From improving clunky UX to streamlining data collection, we’ve seen time and again how addressing simple tech challenges can transform an organisation’s digital performance.

These are four of the most common problems we see organisations struggling with:

    1. Pages with low conversion rates
    2. Not collecting all the right data
    3. Not knowing how to harness the full power of digital tools
    4. Problems with CRM integration

Read on to find out how these issues could be holding your campaigns back, and what to do about them.

1. Pages with low conversion rates

What’s the problem? 

Action pages often have low conversion rates because the UX is clunky or complicated, or they don’t make it clear enough what they want people to do.

This can significantly hamper a campaign’s success. It means fewer donations, fewer new supporters and less engagement from existing supporters. If your recruitment rates are affected, it means you’re potentially missing out on hundreds of people who could become active long-term supporters, if only their first action with you was easier to take.

On the flipside, increasing your on-page conversion rates by just a few percent can deliver huge gains over time, in terms of both increased income and growing your supporter base.

Come up with a few clear, compelling framings for your Christmas appeal and test them out on a small scale first. You could run a small Facebook ads campaign to find out what people respond to best, before developing your most successful messaging more fully for every channel.

How can you solve it?

There are so many factors that can affect conversion rates. But essentially, you want your page to make it as appealing, simple and quick as possible to take the action.

Follow best practice and use A/B testing to see what works for your audience. Think about:

  • Copy and imagery – does your text have a clear call to action? Is it easy-to-read, emotive and motivating?
  • Good UX and accessibility – how easy is it for people to take the action? Are you only asking users for essential information? How does your site look across different browsers and devices, especially mobile?
  • Design – is your page on brand and visually similar to the rest of the site? Have you highlighted the right elements on the page to make it clear what people need to do?
  • Build – is the site constructed robustly to reduce errors on the page? Are you using things like address look-ups to make form filling easier?>

If someone lands on a page and doesn’t know why they’re there or what to do next, you’ll probably lose their attention. So, make sure you’re guiding users through the journey you want them to go on, and minimising any barriers.

How we can help

We can help you optimise campaign and donation pages to improve UX and make journeys clearer, smoother and simpler.

We build all our pages and templates with conversions and optimisations in mind, and have developed a set of best practices based on extensive testing over eight years. As well as applying these on every project, we often run A/B tests on live campaigns to see how each organisation’s users respond to the pages, and then apply tailored optimisations to improve performance further.

We aim to be as reactive as possible. So, we often will change the text, imagery and even the call to action of a live campaign if we believe it will improve conversions (and it usually does).

2. Not collecting all the right data

What’s the problem?

Organisations often track all kinds of activity on their websites, but don’t capture the data that’s most relevant to their strategy.

They might add things like GA4 or Meta Pixel, but stop short of using on-page events. So, while they can see the basics, they’re missing out on metrics that would tell them more about users’ behaviour, whether they’re really hitting their targets and what more they can do.

It’s the difference between seeing that 100 users have submitted a form and thinking it’s a success, and knowing only five opted in for emails, so you need to improve your opt-in.

How can you solve it?

Use your KPIs as a starting point to decide which metrics you need to track. Think about what you need to know about your users, and how this info can help you meet your targets.

For example, if one of your KPIs is “Convert 5% of people who sign one of our handraisers into regular donors”, you’ll need to be tracking whether they’ve: (a) signed the handraiser form, (b) visited your donation page, and (c) set up a regular donation.How we can help

Our web pages and templates include extensive tracking as standard. We want to make sure we know exactly what users are doing, so we track things like: opt-ins, button clicks, page navigation, page shares by channel, secondary actions (eg, donations made, membership asks)… and lots more!

We also help partners optimise their data collection and user tracking by:

  • optimising pages and forms for conversion based on best practice and extensive testing from years of experience
  • working out KPIs and what data they need to report on them
  • installing tracking pixels and adding behaviour events to pages implementing cookie banners for user consent training and support with GA4
  • setting up reports to support your business goals.

3. Not knowing how to harness the full power of digital tools

What’s the problem?

A lot of organisations sign up for digital platforms knowing they’re useful tools that can make a difference to their campaigning. But many teams don’t have time to read through pages of documentation or watch hours of video tutorials, so they end up not using them to their full potential.

To make things more difficult, the support and info that are available are often very generic. This means it can be hard for campaigning organisations to find guidance that applies to their specific use case (ie, fundraising or digital mobilisation).

When budgets are tight, you don’t want to be spending money on tools you can’t get maximum value from, or using multiple platforms that have overlapping features and functionality. Knowing how to use digital tools and platforms to their fullest extent can save money, solve problems and make your work more efficient.

How can you solve it?

Many teams don’t have time to do extensive research on digital tools or platforms. So, the best option is often just to use them as much as possible, document how you use them and share the knowledge within your team.

But when you aren’t sure of what the tools can do, or you want to significantly expand the way you’re using them, it can be best to reach out for support. It’s worth booking a call with the company’s client services team, or an agency that can help you with multiple platforms at once. Ahead of the conversation, think about your challenges and goals, and what kind of support would suit you best.

How we can help

Through our work with lots of partners, we’ve used the most common digital tools and platforms within the digital campaigning space. This has given us a very good understanding of how to leverage these platforms for digital mobilisation, even if they weren’t built for it.

We can manage platforms for you during campaigns, build custom templates to suit your needs, and deliver support and training so you’re better equipped to build your own campaigns in future. This includes:

  • Documentation – We can create custom guides for platforms such as Engaging Networks and Google Analytics 4. These usually include general tips and advice, as well as specific guidance on how to use them to meet your campaigning needs.
  • Video tutorials – We can screen record how we go about doing specific but common tasks for our partners to use as a reference. Many teams find this an accessible and efficient way to take in information.
  • Workshops and training – These are usually online and include a live walkthrough of the platform, followed by a Q&A session. We customise the content to meet each partner’s needs.

4. Problems with CRM integration

What’s the problem? 

A lot of out-of-the-box data capture solutions just aren’t built for campaigns. They’re designed to collect as much information as possible, which can result in organisations using over-complicated forms, collecting user data they don’t need, and missing out on useful info altogether.

Long forms are offputting for most people, especially when it’s not clear why the data is needed. We’ve found that even adding a phone number as a required field can significantly lower conversion rates. Even when organisations are collecting useful data, they may not be validating it in both the front and back ends. This can result in them storing fake emails and phone numbers, or creating multiple records for the same person.

Aside from making your CRM harder to manage, bad data can have other detrimental effects. For example, if 10% of the addresses in your email list bounce, this will affect your reputation as a sender, and make it more likely that Gmail will mark your emails to genuine recipients as spam.

How can you solve it?

Only collect data that’s strictly necessary for your campaign or organisational goals, and make sure your forms include robust front- and back-end validation. This will make a huge difference to both your on-page conversion rates and your ability to reach the people who want to hear from you.

How we can help

Almost every campaign we work on includes an element of data collection, through handraisers, donate pages, surveys or other actions. We want to grow your supporter list and make sure this new data is as reliable as possible.

Whether we’re working with your existing tools and platforms, or using our own fully optimised custom form builder, Blueprint, we aim to create forms that integrate seamlessly with your CRM. We do this by:

  • including input validation as standard, using tools that check fields as users complete the form and notify them if something needs to be changed
  • working with your data teams to reduce the risk of duplication or bad data entering your systems
  • helping to determine what data should be captured and keeping it relevant to the action.

Got questions?

If you’d like to chat more about any of these topics, or other tech issues you’re grappling with, just get in touch. We’d love to talk about how we can help, or signpost you to relevant resources.