12 Growth Experts to Follow

GrowthExpertsToFollow-compressor.jpg

Growth hacking is one of those topics that remains awe-inspiring. There’s still a bit of elusiveness, but everyone wants to get in on it. After all, who doesn’t — whether holistically as a person, or when speaking of a business — want to grow? And while there might be many definitions surrounding the buzzword, we like growth hacker Aaron Ginn’s summation:

A growth hacker is someone whose passion and focus is pushing a metric through use of a testable and scalable methodology.”

This definition emphasizes how much entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals alike can learn from the depth of understanding possessed by growth hackers. It’s their abilities to draw connections between how a company is performing and the actions needed to lead to healthy, rapid growth, that improve performance and set a company up for success. Download the beginner's guide to converting website visitors into leads for your business here.

But who are these growth experts? Where are they, and how can marketers find their insights and learn how to apply them? And since the term’s become so popular, how do you cut through the noise to find the most applicable expertise?

We’ve rounded up some of the top growth experts who have some of the best content and insights on growth hacking on the web. Following each of them will help you discover actionable strategies and best practices, so you might want to bookmark this page as a directory for future reference.

12 Growth Hacking Experts to Follow

1) Brian Balfour

Founder and CEO, Reforge

brian-balfour-building-a-growth-machine.jpg

Source: Heavybit

You can count Brian Balfour as another growth expert who cut his teeth in the startup sector. In fact, he’s been known to quote the words of investor Paul Graham: “Startups = Growth.” But here’s where Balfour’s unique skillset and knowledge comes in — not only was he the co-founder of startups like Viximo and Boundless Learning, both of which were acquired, but he also worked in venture capital (VC) as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

In other words, he’s seen both sides of the coin: The startup, and the investor. That experience lent itself to his previous role as VP of growth at HubSpot, as well as his position back in the business driver’s seat as founder and CEO of Reforge, a creator of growth programs. Follow his insights on his blog, Coelevate, or on the Reforge blog.

2) Andrew Chen

Head of Rider Growth, Uber

Andrew_Chen_portrait_017.jpg

Source: StartCon

Say what you will about Uber, but there’s one thing that most of us can agree on: It’s experienced unequivocal brand growth since its 2009 founding. But growth like that needs to be properly scaled, which is when you bring in an expert — like Andrew Chen.

Like Balfour, Chen has worked as both an entrepreneur-in-residence in the VC sector, and independently as what he calls an “entrepreneur-out-of-residence.” In both capacities, however, he focused on growing early-stage businesses, like Barkbox and Tinder, wearing the hats of both a business owner and an investor. The man loves growth — in fact, he even publicly identifies as the “plus one to” Zendesk’s own growth marketing expert, Brianne Kimmel.

Follow Chen’s insights on his website.

3) Sean Ellis

CEO, GrowthHackers

sean-ellis-text-1024x512-canva-min.png

Source: Popcorn Metrics

It could be said that Sean Ellis was a growth hacker before that term became, well, a thing. In August 2008, he became the “interim growth executive” for Eventbrite — a role that set the tone, it seems, for his career trajectory. Since then, he’s also served in interim growth roles with companies like Dropbox in their earliest stages. In other words, he helped some of the most recognizable names in tech — say it with me — grow.

Formerly the founder and CEO of marketing software company Qualroo, Ellis now has the same title at, quite appropriately, GrowthHackers: A community of resources and experts that “helps teams unlock their company’s full growth potential.” He also shares tips on his blog, Startup Marketing, where he (and we) recommends getting started with this post on “The Startup Pyramid.

4) Nir Eyal

Best-Selling Author, Consultant, and Public Speaker

Nir_Eyal-2-1.jpg

Source: Typeform

Nir Eyal’s LinkedIn profile is a visual feast for those who can’t get enough of stories about those who have led emerging companies to profitability and acquisition. It was his experience of that kind with companies like Sunshine Business Development and AdNectar that lent to the expertise that went into his best-selling book, Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products, which answers the question — among others — “How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?”

Aside from the book, Eyal’s tips and insights can be found on his blog. And get this — if you really want to pick his brain, you can even schedule time to chat with Eyal via his website.

5) Noah Kagan

Chief Sumo, Sumo Group

C7rlXGRXQAAGkA2.jpg

Source: Sumo.com

Sometimes, we meet people who have done so much in such a short period of time that it forces us to ask, “How many lives have you had?”

That’s what we think when we look at the experience leading up to Noah Kagan’s role as Chief Sumo with the Sumo Group, the maker of tools to help companies grow website traffic. From Facebook to Mint, Kagan has helped to launch and market several products and services.

Kagan’s blog, OkDork, is what he calls a guide to “marketing, business musings, online communities and other things to kill time while you are at work.” But it’s also a community — he invites readers to participate, comment, and exchange thoughts. And, OkDork now houses the podcast he launched in December 2016, “Noah Kagan Presents.”

6) Brianne Kimmel

Growth Marketing, Zendesk

dXiKQuKg.jpg

Source: Twitter

Zendesk is one of those SaaS companies that just keeps killing it, despite a constantly-evolving environment. And that’s a big element in successful growth — having the agility to adapt to a changing market.

Within the walls of Zendesk, the aforementioned Brianne Kimmel oversees the marketing and growth strategies to embolden the company’s conversion. It’s not exactly her first rodeo, either — before her role there, she also contributed to the growth of companies like Hotwire and HotelClub, which is now an Orbitz company. And while we have yet to find a personal blog to host her insights — but, cough, we’d love to see one — she does share her expertise and insights as an instructor with General Assembly.

7) Fareed Mosavat

Senior PM, Growth, Slack

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAeSAAAAJDM4MmU2YzEzLThhMzYtNGY3Ny05N2YyLWVmNWFiOTUwYzRjYg.jpg

Source: LinkedIn

It’s probably fair to count Fareed Mosavat as one of those marketers who mastered growth before it became a buzzword. Looking at his work experience, it’s clear that he’s set foot in a number of big-name, early-stage tech companies and led the growth of major products. From RunKeeper to Instacart, Mosavat knows how to take data and use it to build something significant.

When he wrote about his decision to join Slack on his Medium publication — which we highly recommend for thoughts and insights on growth — he credited the company’s deeply ingrained principles of “playfulness, empathy, diversity, and craftsmanship” with its “endless opportunity for meaningful growth and product work.” So he’s not all about data — he’s someone who also places equal importance on a qualitative, cultural approach to growth.

8) Neil Patel

Co-founder, KISSmetrics and Hello Bar

neilpatel-blog-post_header-img.jpg

Source: Pioneers.io

If you work in the digital marketing space in any capacity, chances are, you’ve at least heard of Neil Patel. He is, for lack of a better word, a bit of a growth rockstar. According to his LinkedIn profile, it wasn’t long after graduating from CSU Fullerton that he founded KISSmetrics, which has become one of the leading, most recognizable analytics platforms.

Today, Patel continues to juggle various outlets as a growth expert. He founded Crazy Egg, which creates a website heat map for marketers to observe which sections of a page get the most engagement. Then, there’s Quick Sprout, where he consults and leads an online “university” on growing website traffic — he also maintains a blog there, where he provides tips on conversion, marketing tech, and more.

As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, Patel also keeps his own website up and running, where he has yet another blog full of teachable moments, “from ‘aha’ to ‘oh sh[*]t’.” Plus, he’s got a podcast: “Marketing School.

9) Sujan Patel

Co-founder, Web Profits (among many others)

Zz01MGRkZGQzMzdkYzZjZGNjMjRlNWQ3YmYyOGMzZmJmYw==.jpeg

Source: Infusionsoft

Like everyone else on this list, we imagine that Sujan Patel is rather busy. In addition to his most recent role as the co-founder of growth marketing agency Web Profits, he’s also the co-founder of Mailshake, as well as one of the minds behind LinkTexting.

On top of that, Patel is constantly sharing his ideas and perspectives with the public, both as a regular contributor to Forbes, and through his personal blog. If you’re looking for inspiration, we recommend checking out his roundup of growth marketing underdogs.

10) Eric Peters

Senior Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot Academy

Many marketers are faced with the lofty task of growing a brand or comprehensive strategy from scratch. They might be part of a newly-created marketing department, or building their own presence as an entrepreneur. And for many of them, the first step toward that growth is taking a free certification course in their HubSpot Academy Learning Center. Eric Peters is responsible for driving growth for HubSpot Academy’s free courses, which come with a suite of free marketing and sales tools to apply to what you’re learning in the HubSpot growth stack.

But he’s no stranger to this kind of growth marketing. Before HubSpot, he was tasked with measuring and optimizing how users flowed through the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company he previously worked for. In other words, it was his job to figure out the monetization part of that user movement — from acquisition, to activation, to upgrades. In the tech realm, it’s a path with which many marketers are familiar, or eventually have to master.

Peters often shares his insights with the public on the HubSpot Academy blog, and in videos like the one below.

11) Rebecca Rosenfelt

Product Manager, Airbnb

According to Crunchbase, Rebecca Rosenfelt arrived at Airbnb when it acquired her company, Inhabit Vacations. It was a brand that looked to provide travelers with truly local tastes, by connecting visitors to certain cities with the people who called it home. Today, Airbnb offers a similar service, by offering users curated experiences in a variety of cities.

It’s all part of Airbnb’s global growth strategy, and its efforts to cultivate a recognizable presence, including internationally, for not just home sharing, but also, a truly local experience anywhere in the world. It makes sense that Rosenfelt was picked as the person to initiate and oversee that growth — not only did she have the travel sector experience, but she also has the business chops, from her early work in global consulting to her ownership of a real-estate-focused magazine.

And while we certainly think of Rosenfelt as an expert, it seems as though she might be a bit modest about it — as far as we can tell, she no longer has a Twitter presence or personal blog. However, she does share her insights through a number of speaking engagements, like this one for Traction Conf:

12) Alex Schultz

VP of Growth, Facebook

140206_Facebook_Internet_02.jpg

Source: Wired

At this point, we’d like to assume that the folks at Facebook know a thing or two about growth. In the span of 12 years, it’s gone from a small, academic-only online toy, to a publicly-traded, consistently growing media distribution platform. And since 2007, Alex Schultz has been the person in charge of that growth.

But for all the years he’s been with the company, Schulz was no stranger to tech marketing before his tenure at Facebook. He previously managed affiliate marketing in the U.K. for eBay, and in 1996, he’s said to have launched a website, paperairplanes.co.uk, “to help everyone have more fun with paper airplanes.” Take flight, indeed.

Get Growing

At first, growing something like this from scratch might look to be a daunting task that’s successfully executed by only a select few. But as these experts have shown, it can be done — and they’re more than willing to share their knowledge.

Plus, there’s a plethora of quality resources to help you master your growth, from blogs to HubSpot’s growth stack. As a next step, start to formulate a gradual plan, with manageable actions and benchmarks. And fear not — as this list shows, there’s always someone out there who will be willing to help.

Which growth experts would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

hubspot-growth-stack

 

free introduction to growth-driven web design

How to Re-Manufacture Your Marketing: An Inbound Marketing Guide for Manufacturers

manufacturer-1.jpg

Manufacturers have the chance to reach a wide audience, improve their sales, and increase their revenue with the help of inbound marketing and automation. While older marketing techniques such as cold calling, print ads, and trade shows remain effective to a degree, supplementing these strategies with effective online marketing can help you get better results.

Why is Inbound Marketing Important for Manufacturers?

A majority of B2B customers perform research online before making a buying decision, and the types of people that manufacturers target aren’t just any B2B customer. These companies market to serious individuals including scientists, plant managers, and engineers. These customers are also looking for complex and expensive services and products that need to give them exactly what they need.

By taking advantage of inbound marketing, manufacturers can effectively boost their ROI while further separating themselves from competitors that are performing poorly. There are many ways you can utilize inbound marketing to enhance your overall marketing strategy.

Generate More Traffic Through Inbound Marketing

While you may already have a website, you may not be getting the kind of traffic you have the potential to attract. Consider the main objectives of your marketing efforts, which are to attract, convert, and close. Without the ability to attract, the rest can’t follow, making inbound marketing through your website crucial to success.

Unlike other marketing methods such as print ads and mailers that rely on outreach to customers’ locations, inbound marketing can help bring in a steady stream of traffic from people actively looking for your services.

The key to getting plenty of high-quality traffic to your website is to write large amounts of relevant, valuable content that draws and engages readers. It’s also important to maintain a blog with regular updates that keep people informed while consistently boosting traffic.

Many businesses underestimate the value of a blog with fresh content, but the kind of people manufacturers want to attract will be actively looking for more information for these products and services. An in-depth blog can educate visitors regarding common roadblocks in the industry, tell them how your products or services can help solve their problems, and which issues they might be facing that you can help ease.

It’s important to refrain from being too promotional with a blog. However, educating prospects and showcasing your company as an industry authority can boost traffic and help you rank higher for certain long-tail keywords that people search.

Different types of content can also help carry people through the sales cycle, giving them more incentives to share the messages you convey.

Increase Brand Awareness

Another benefit of inbound marketing is a higher level of visibility, resulting in more brand awareness. Because of this visibility, you can gain a better reputation that helps convince potential customers to choose you over competitors.

Valuable content such as blog posts, guides, ebooks, white papers and videos can all work together to provide prospects with valuable information. Webinars can also be a great asset to your marketing strategy. You’ll likely find that these types of content are more effective at brand awareness than other offline strategies, lending your business credibility that it might otherwise lack.

Experience Better Lead Generation

If your business isn’t targeting people specific to your products or services, your marketing efforts will be too broad to be efficient. You need to make sure that you’re only targeting a select group of people who will benefit from what you have to offer, separating “leads” from uninterested parties.

Manufacturers often sell expensive equipment or high value services, which makes lead generation more of a challenge because of highly selective buyers. At the same time, leads become more valuable when they’re willing to spend more on a product or service.

Rather than relying only on cold calls or print ads, you can see a better reach and response when you use inbound marketing and marketing automation in conjunction with other marketing efforts. Utilizing valuable content offers as promotion in your traditional print ads or cold outreaches will help increase the demand for such content pieces. This will help you attract and convert more leads, making some of the traditional marketing methods more effective as well as warm up prospects for a sales conversation.

Because leads are at the start of the sales process, you should focus on creating “top of funnel” content such as blog posts and videos that helps attract visitors and build brand awareness. Then use content offers as lead magnets such as guides, white papers, free consultations to improve conversion and the volume of leads generated from inbound marketing.

Improve Lead Nurturing Abilities

Once you’ve attracted high-quality leads, your work has only just begun. It’s time to nurture them and see them through the sales cycle to become long-term customers. This process can take months or even years in the manufacturing industry.

Keep in mind that each prospect is likely to be in a different stage of the sales process, with some further along than others, but most will need a long period of nurturing before they make a purchase.

Fortunately, inbound marketing can help automate this process and nurture those valuable leads, using content that guides them along. This gives your leads plenty of attention and information, while allowing you to spend more time focusing on running your business.

One effective way to nurture leads using inbound marketing is to deliver automatic targeted emails that guide prospects to convert them into customers. These emails can direct them to ebooks, guides, consultations, and case studies that convince them that you can meet their needs.

Take Full Control Over Your Marketing

Inbound marketing also gives marketers better insight into how well their campaigns are performing, while making it easier to adjust them accordingly.

Ultimately, inbound marketing is integral to a successful marketing campaign for manufacturers. You’ll be able to attract, engage, nurture, and convert leads more effectively while wasting less resources and money in the process.

New Call-to-action

How Generations X, Y, and Z Consume Video Content [Infographic]

generations_consume_video_compressed.jpg

YouTube has over one billion users worldwide, and they all watch different types of videos every day. What’s your favorite type of video to watch on the platform?

As it turns out, your video preferences may vary depending on your date of birth: Influenster surveyed nearly 8,500 YouTube users of all ages to learn about their viewing habits and interests.

New Call-to-action

Although younger generations spend more time on YouTube than their older counterparts, Generations X, Y, and Z all have specific preferences when it comes to how and where they want to consume video content on different topics. For example, while a significant portion of respondents said they liked watching product reviews, Generation X preferred how-to content, and Generation Z liked unboxing videos.

Check out the full infographic from Adweek below, and learn more about how to create compelling social media videos with help from our guide.

SeeingIsBelieving_Data_2017.png

get a free inbound marketing assessment

10 of the Best Ads from March: Dinosaur Eggs, Shakespeare, and 80s Nostalgia

Feel like you missed the best agency projects, ad campaigns, and creative videos from this month? 

No worries — we’ve got you covered.

March brought us some delightfully unexpected ad concepts, including a floating house, a child replacement program for dog lovers, and an e-commerce version of Hamlet we didn’t even know we needed.  

We’re rounding up the best of March below.

10 of the Best Ads from March

1) Heinz

With AMC’s Mad Men celebrating the 10th anniversary of the premier this year, it seems like the perfect time to revive one of Don Draper’s memorable ad pitches: his rejected Pass the Heinz campaign.

Originally pitched in an episode of the hit drama by Draper’s fictional 1960s ad firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the print campaign features tantalizing close-ups of french fries, burgers, and steak, all missing one important thing: Heinz. The folks at (real-life) ad agency David Miami ran the exact designs from the show for the 2017 campaign, with approval and input from Mad Men’s original creator, Matthew Weiner.  

Image credit: Heinz/David Miami

 

2) YouTube

To promote their new six second ad format, YouTube enlisted help from a number of top agencies and filmmakers, asking them to develop ultra-short summaries of classic works of literature. The resulting 19 video campaign proves you can cram quite a lot of plot into just six short seconds.

From this minimalist take on Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, to this delightful puppy-version of Romeo & Juliet, there isn’t a single video in the bunch that isn’t worth watching more than once. But since we had to pick just one to showcase, we chose Rethink’s clever, e-commerce-driven retelling of Hamlet. Watch it below.

 

3) Telia

This comically cynical ad campaign for Swedish wireless company Telia warns us that not everything on the internet is actually as good in real life. Take cats for example: On the internet, cats are always up to some form of hilarious mischief. In real life? Not so much. 

“Most of Telia’s competitors tell people to turn their devices off every now and then, to ‘carpe diem’ and all that crap,” Martin Ringqvist of Swedish agency Forsman and Bodenfors told Adweek. “We decided to go the other way — to embrace the wonderful life online and to wash away people’s bad conscience. Because life, at least sometimes, is way better on the mobile, isn’t it?”

 

4) CoorDown

The phrase “special needs” seems to float inevitably around every conversation about people with disabilities. This ad for CoorDown, Italy’s national organization for people with Down Syndome, wants to us to ask ourselves: Is it really fair to characterize the needs of people living with disabilities as “special?” Don’t they need what everybody else needs?

Produced by Publicis New York, the extended spot stars Glee’s Lauren Potter, who discusses some needs that would actually be fair to classify as “special”, such as eating an exclusive diet of dinosaur eggs, or necessitating regular massages from a cat masseuse. 

 

5) Leroy Merlin

In this cinematic ad for French home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin, agency BETC Shopper chose a poetic metaphor to reflect the sometimes turbulent process of renovating a home: a house floating on the sea.

The video follows a young couple as they go through the (sometimes literal) ups and downs of repairing their modest house — their triumphs and setbacks illustrated by the unpredictable waters they float on. It’s an ambitious campaign that took an expert team of divers, drones, and helicopters to execute. 

 

6) Dominos

In a resolute appeal to 1980s nostalgia, CP+B produced a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the famous running home scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Joe Keery, of the 80s-era Netflix drama Stranger Things, stands in as Ferris, racing home to greet the Dominos delivery guy. 

The ad gets major points for attention to detail, packing in every fence jump, trampoline bounce, and sidewalk sprint from the original. And although the original Ferris — Matthew Broderick — never makes an appearance (as he did in this similarly Bueller-inspired Honda campaign from 2012), we do get a cameo from Alan Ruck, who played Ferris’ reluctant pal Cameron.

 

7) Pedigree

What do you do when your beloved son or daughter leaves for college and the empty nest syndrome starts sinking in? Replace your kid with a dog, says this new Pedigree spot from Colenso BBDO.

The cheekily named “Child Replacement Program” campaign is running in New Zealand, where Colenso BBDO creative group head Simon Vicars says many members of the country’s aging population could benefit immensely from the company of a new four-legged friend. 

 

8) National Canadian Film Day

If you’re going to trust one person to give you an honest film review, shouldn’t it be someone who’s literally incapable of lying? 

Leo Burnett developed this quirky ad to promote National Canadian Film Day, and cast Grey’s Anatomy actress Sandra Oh as “the woman who can’t lie.” 

 

9) Aardman Animations

The studio behind Wallace & Gromit released this clever, animated take on client conference calls that will certainly get some knowing chuckles from agency folks. In “Visualise This,” the group debates the merits of various abstract strategies (“We need something big! Something epic!”) without ever getting into specifics or details. It’s not just funny, it’s an impressive demonstration of what Aardman is capable of. 

“I really wanted to create a piece that could showcase a variety of disciplines I’ve learnt along the way at Aardman, as well as my passions and influences in street culture,” said Aardman designer and director Danny Capozzi, in an interview with Adweek. “Around this same period, I had a series of perplexing conference calls, and that’s when the lightning bolt hit me, to merge the spitballing and often circular nature of a call with a scatter gunning of eye-candy visuals.”

 

10) State Street Global Advisors

On International Women’s Day, Wall Street awoke to a new resident: The Fearless Girl, a bronze statue of a defiant young girl facing down the famous “Charging Bull” statue.

Developed by McCann New York for its client State Street Global Advisors, the relatively small statue was intended to spark a big conversation around female leadership in business.

 “We are firm believers in the principles of stewardship,” State Street Global Advisors chief marketing officer Stephen said in an interview with Adweek. “And we want to reflect that in everything we do — especially as it pertains to our commitment in ESG [environmental, social and governance] investing. The placement of ‘The Fearless Girl’ in the epicenter of the world’s financial capital helps not only promote our commitment to women in leadership today and tomorrow, but it also establishes an interesting emotional and rational aspect to responsible investing.”

What were your favorite agency projects from March? Let us know in the comments.

marketing-campaigns

 

The 10 Digital Fundraising KPIs Your Non-Profit Must Track

SpyGlass_NP_KPI.jpgInbound marketing has flooded us with information and data. Some of us data geeks have never been happier. For others, the volume of metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) can be overwhelming.

If you’re a non-profit focused on increasing donations and donors, here’s a list of the 10 KPIs, put together by Network for Good, of digital fundraising KPI’s you must have a handle on.

New donor acquisition rate

This KPI is a simple and as broad as it seems. You can look at by time frame: How many new donors come on by month, each year? You can also look at it by channel and by campaign. You can also look at new donor acquisition growth as percentage over similar timeframes or campaigns.

Donor renewal rate

The most immediate donor renewal rate is year-over-year. Get the number of donors from last year (LYD) and determine how many of those same donors gave again this year (TYD). Then divide TYD/LYD to get your donor renewal rate. So if you had 100 donors last year and 80 of them donated again this year, your donor renewal rate is 80%. The challenge here is how far back do you go to consider a donor a “renewal” or “lapsed.”

Net new donors

Net new donors looks at your new donors and renewed donors to reveal if you’re treading water, falling behind, or gathering force. Your donor acquisition rate is usually a raw number. If 100 people donated this year who’d never donated before, that’s 100 new donors. But what if your donor renewal rate is only 50% (50 people who donated last year didn’t donate again)? The low donor renewal rate undercuts the value of your newly acquired donors. Calculating your net new donors highlights this critical gap and adds context to your new donor acquisition rate. This KPI is also important for gauging the engagement level of your donor base.

While new donor acquisition rates are important, relying on them too much to fund your organization puts a lot of pressure on your development team. You’ll see when we talk about metrics such as cost to acquire donor and average donation. Repeat donations are vital to a strong, consistent flow of donations.

Time to first/second gift

This is a measure of time elapsed between a first and second gift. In essence, making sure your new donor is retained, and doesn’t become a net new donor casualty. According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2015 report, only 19% of first time donors donate are retained, whereas 63% of repeat donors are retained. This argues strongly in favor of keeping the time lapse between first and second gifts as short as possible. The earlier you get a donor into a habit of giving to your organization, the higher that donor’s lifetime value is likely to be.

Donor reactivation rate

Let’s say you consider any donor who hasn’t donated in the past five years to be lapsed. This is the pool you’ll use to calculate how many you’ve reactivated. If you’ve run any donor reactivation campaigns targeting them (and you should!), you can also look at reactivation rates for each one to determine which are most effective.

Cost to acquire a donor (by channel)

This formula will tell whether a fundraising campaign or channel is worth the cost of operation. Take the cost of a campaign, e.g. you spent $8,000 on a PPC ad campaign driving traffic to your donations’ landing page. Then divide that cost by the number of people who arrived at the landing page via the ads and donated. If that campaign brought in 100 new donors, the acquisition cost for each of those donors was $80.

Average gift (by channel)

Now, if the average gift from that PPC campaign was $50, that might not seem like such a great campaign. Slow down. We’ll get to those metrics touching on the life time value of a donor. But now you can also see why knowing your donor retention and reactivation rates are so important. The cost to acquire a new donor will almost inevitably be higher than that first gift.

You can calculate average gift amounts by campaign and channel. The channel average is particularly important so you know where to focus your efforts, especially when you look at the average compared to the cost. For example, you may find that people donating through a dedicated donation landing page have a higher average gift than those who donate via the “donate” button on your organization’s website.

Revenue per donor (by channel)

The raw dollars donated via each channel over a fixed time or campaign divided by number of donors. These include your different digital donation avenues, such as email and social media solicitations, as well as traditional direct marketing or ad campaigns. So if $100,000 is donated by 500 people from email solicitations last year, the revenue per donor for this channel is $200.

Gross/net revenue

Put simply, this calculation shows your donation totals less the costs to generate those donations. You can look at this by channel, such as how much you raise via Facebook less how much you spend to maintain that channel. You can also calculate this by campaign and by donor type. When you calculate this by donor type, you’ll have better insight into the different costs of acquiring new donors versus retaining or reactivating donors.

Lifetime value (by channel)

Finally! I’ve been talking about it, but here we are. The lifetime value of a donor is critical to understanding if you’re attracting the right kinds of donors. That’s why you also want to look at lifetime value by channel. Some channels may attract higher value donors than others.

To calculate LTV (lifetime value) you need some underlying metrics. To calculate a donor’s LTV, you need their total donation amount, less the cost to acquire and retain that donor. The cost number will be less precise than total amount donated. If you calculate how much you spend per year on retention donation campaigns, you can add that average to the acquisition cost for that donor.

More valuable is the LTV by channel. To calculate LTV by channel, you need to know the average lifespan of that channel’s donors, its average donation amount, the total number of the channel’s donors and number of donations. Let’s work this out with an example, say donors acquired through Facebook.

5 (average lifespan in years) x 100 (average donation amount) x [1000 (# of donations)/ 500 (# of donors)] = $1000 in LTV per donor for the channel.

Now if you know that your cost to acquire a new donor via Facebook is $100, that’s $900 in mission money. Compare that to the $80 in cost to acquire a new donor via the PPC campaign, which has a LTV of $500. The PPC-acquired donors cost less to acquire, but have only half the LTV of your Facebook-acquired donors.

Conclusion

As you can see, no single KPI is an island. Individually they offer interesting snapshots. To get a more holistic view of how your fundraising is going and whether you’re spending your development and marketing budgets to maximize ROI, you need look at the complete story these KPIs tell together. Use this as your starting point how to analyze these KPIs in context of each other.

get inbound certified for free

How to Generate More Leads & Customers Using Social Media Videos [Free Ebook]

Video marketing is quickly crossing into buzzword territory. From blogs to online news to social media platforms, video is everywhere. The use of video content for B2B marketers jumped from 8% to 58% in 2014 alone, while the number of videos brands publish on Facebook has continually increased by 3.6x year over year.

But is all this video really helping marketers succeed?

In short, yes.

Social media posts that contain videos boost views by 48%, and visual content on Facebook specifically increases engagement by 65%. Not only are more people seeing your content as a result of video, but they’re actually engaging more with it, too. That’s value.

Not sure where to start with video for your social media account? We’ve got you covered. HubSpot and Wistia have teamed up to bring you an interactive guide… with videos. This guide will show you how you can start making videos that are optimized for each social media platform today.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create & implement a video social media strategy
  • How to make awesome videos by turning your office into a DIY studio
  • The best lighting, microphones, and tools to help you shoot high quality iPhone videos

View the free interactive guide to get started with video today.

social media marketing assessment

The State of Social Media Demographics: 2017 Benchmarks [Infographic]

StateOfSocialMediaDemographics-compressor.jpg

There’s quite a bit of information out there to support the claims that people are moving farther away from broadcast television, and closer to the digital realm. And within that landscape, people are straying from their desktops and laptops, and opting to get online via mobile with more frequency.

At least, that’s what the folks at Nielsen and Google have found in their research. As the latter puts it, mobile devices are no longer “secondary,” and people aren’t just using them to get online — they’re using them to get social.

That is, for social media, at least. It’s used by no fewer than 2.8 billion people — which also happens to be the same number of people roaming the planet in 1955. And within that population, many users are on multiple social networks — but who the heck are they, and where, exactly, are they hanging out online?  Manage and plan your social media content with the help of this free calendar template.

When marketers develop their social and mobile strategies — which we strongly encourage you to do, if you haven’t already — these are important questions to ask. After all, you want to reach the right audience. So in addition to determining your buyer personas, you have to know where to find them. Not all of them are going to be using Instagram, for example.

Luckily, our friends at Tracx compiled all of that information into a handy infographic that breaks down the state of social media demographics — who’s using which social network, and for what.

With this information, figuring out how to best reach your personas on social media doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. So read on, and start distributing your content in the right places.

TracxInfographic-06-logo-resized.jpeg

free trial of hubspot's social media software