Integrating with Google analytics

Integrating with Google Analytics: more supporters for your cause

If you use both ActionSprout actions and Google Analytics, you’ll want to set up the Google integration between the two.

The integration will begin to pull in page view data for each unique page of your action. Thus, just like your website, you’ll begin to see which pages are working and which ones are not. You’ll be able to identify weak spots in your actions and improve upon them (more on that later on).

Google Analytics is an amazingly powerful tool to shed light on otherwise mysterious situations. Tapping into this function will empower you to better convert supporters to contacts and gain new donors through Facebook.

If you’ve spent any time with us here at ActionSprout, you know we say everything depends on Facebook and it’s all trial and error. While that’s all true, Google Analytics integration minimizes that to a certain degree. Paying attention to the data will allow you to cut some of the guesswork and optimize the trial and error stage.

Action URLs

Each step of your action has a unique URL. Therefore pageviews on these URLs can tell you where your supporter got to in the process. If the “thank you” page has a lot of pageviews, that means a good portion of your supporters are fully completing the action. If, for instance, only the first page of your action or donation page have page views then you know they are getting stuck in that portion of your action and so on.

You get the idea!

Reading your action URLs

Unique Identifiers

Each action has a unique identifier baked into the URL. This appears as the 6 digits appearing immediately after .io/ :

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This is how you’ll find your different actions in Google Analytics:

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Loading the action landing page

Action URLs that end in /initial indicate that the full action was successfully loaded on the supporter’s device:

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This supporter was one of two groups:

  1. They continued on and completed the action
  2. They stopped here

The best way to tease out which group is larger (and thus if the first page is a weak spot) is to compare your page views here against your page views on the thank you page (described in full below).

If you have more page views on /intial than you do on the thank you page, this is a sign that too many people are getting stuck on the first page and not completing the action.

The thank you page

Action URLs that end in /thanks indicate that the supporter completed the action and any additional information you asked for. This includes completing a donation:

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Additional data page

Action URLs that end in /metadata indicate that your supporter made it to the additional page of your action:

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This means they completed your action by successfully sharing their name and email address with you. When presented with the next page, asking for additional data they left.

Special Situations

  1. Sproutlets follow the same URL rules as “normal” actions.
  2. If you’ve included a donation form at the end of a non-donation action, the URL to indicate they reached this form end in /thanks
  3. There is no URL indicator to tell you a supporter clicked on a donation button. This action launches a separate Stripe payment window.

Learning and improving from the data

Now comes the fun part! (or less fun part if you’re not a data nerd!)

Ideally you’d want your numbers to be heavy on the /thanks URL indicating most people completed the action. If that’s the case with you, congratulations! You have a great action. But for the rest of us, we don’t knock them out of the ballpark every time. (I’m including myself in this group!)

There’s usually always a spot or two to improve on, no matter who you are. Looking at the data should quickly tell you if you have weak spots in your action that are preventing supporters from finishing it. Too many page views on /initial or /metadata and too few on /thanks is a common pattern.

So how do we make this right?

Improving your action landing page

First of all, the fact that your supporters even saw this page is huge. Your post on Facebook was attention grabbing enough that they stopped scrolling and took notice. Kudos to you!

Let’s look at what we can do to improve this page to convert more interested people into full on, contactable supporters.

Review your call to action and button

Your call to action should be urgent, crystal clear and actionable. Your supporters should have no question what you’re asking them to do, and/or why or what difference it will make. The button on your action should match that sentiment. It should be short, simple and clear.

Review your description

The body of your action should walk your supporters through the problem, solution and action of your campaign. This should be concise, to the point and persuasive.

Review your agreement text and privacy statement

Depending on your audience’s privacy fears you may need to rework the agreement text and privacy statement that appears on your action:

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This example displays the default messages for each. If you feel this may be a concern for your audience, try reworking these. It can make all the difference.

Improving follow through

If your weak spot seems to be the addition data page there are a few things you can try to improve this.

Review the additional data you’re asking for

Best practice states that you should only ask for the data you absolutely need, which means cutting everything else. This is true for many reasons, but in the application of Facebook actions the key is time and effort.

Your action should be the simplest it can possibly be because the majority of your supporters are completing your action from a mobile device. They could be sitting on the bus, walking to work or killing time before a meeting. They don’t have the patience or desire to complete a long form of additional questions.

Asking for data because it’s interesting or would be nice to have comes with the cost of lower form completions, so keep that in mind.

Review if your additional data would be offensive in anyway

Depending on your audience and areas of cause, certain questions may come off as offensive. Common areas of concern are gender and age.

Put yourself in the shoes of your supporter base and see if this might be the case.

Improving donation forms

Your donation form can appear in two places, up front in a donation action or on the thank you screen in a non-donation action. Depending on your situation improvement may look a little different.

Donation actions

This one is similar to the action landing page outlined above. Your Facebook post convinced them to stop and view your action but they didn’t complete the donation. To improve this page, you’ll want to review the same points as above with just a few tweaks.

Review your call to action and donation buttons

Your call to donate should be urgent, crystal clear and actionable. Your supporters should have no question what you’re asking them to do, why or what difference it will make. Language like “pitching in” or “chipping in” tends to persuade more donors to give.

In addition, review the donation amounts you provided. It’s entirely possible you started to low or too high. Finding your sweet spot will take trial and error:

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Review your description

The body of your action should walk your supporters through the problem, solution and action of your campaign. This should be concise, to the point and persuasive.

Review your agreement text and privacy statement

Depending on your audience’s privacy fears, you may need to rework the agreement text and privacy statement that appears on your action:

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Non-donation actions

If your donation form appears on the thank you page of an otherwise non-donation action, (petition, poll or demand) you’ll want to review the points above in addition to the overall action and cause you’re tying this donation form to.

Is this the appropriate action to include a donation form on? Are the people who are likely to complete this action the folks who are also likely to donate? How you set the stage in the first half of this action will influence the success of this donation form.

Conclusion

We hope you’re now ready to take full advantage of the power of Google Analytics for your ActionSprout actions. If you have any questions feel free to chat us. We’re always here to help.