Conference Preview: Three levers to drive digital success

Today’s lesson is an excerpt from a Digital Marketing Master Class that I have the honor of teaching in April at the Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference in Dallas, Texas. We’ll be covering a few critical principles, including 3 Steps to Success, 4 Areas of Digital, and the Law of Resource Scarcity. Then we’ll dive into an overview of each digital channel and end by crafting a digital integrated campaign in real time together.

Here’s an excerpt describing one of the key principles – three ways to grow:

Three ways to grow

Fundamentally, in marketing and the digital arena, there are only three3-ways-to-grow-digitally
levers that we can push and pull to drive results and create growth:

  1. Traffic (Volume)
  2. Conversion (Response)
  3. Average Gift (Value)

In other words, you have to get more people (traffic), get more of the people who come to your website or receive your communications to respond (conversion), or get each individual to give more “value” (average gift/long-term value in the fundraising world, number of volunteer hours in the volunteer world, amount of sharing/connections in the social world, etc).

This is a simple, but critical, principal – at any given time we’ve only got three metrics to move the needle on to get the results we want. Once you recognize this principle, the next step is to look at your current results – we typically find that at any given time, one of these levers is most critical for you to focus on.

Example: The three levers in action

A few years ago we determined that while Focus on the Family already had high amounts of traffic (including their websites and a significantly large email list), the biggest opportunity was to drive increases in conversion. Recognizing this, we embarked together on nearly two years of intensive optimization to increase conversion. About a year into that process as we were seeing gains in conversion, we added average gift to our focus. After those two years, we were able increase conversion by 314% and average gift by 24%.

In my experience, I’ve found it’s important to work at all three levers, but the best results come from really focusing resources on one or two of the levers at a time. Focus on the lowest hanging fruit. In other words, which lever can you get the most return from for the least effort?

In many cases, improving conversion is the first lever that non-profits should push. Think of it this way – until you are doing a good job of converting the people who are already coming to you, it’s probably not the best idea to put all your efforts into driving people to the thing that isn’t going to convert them!

Interested in attending the Master Class in April?

You can register on the CLA website right up until April 14th, or until they sell out. Be sure to choose the “Academic Experience” registration so that you can sign up for the Intensive Training Institute (ITI) course a few steps later, called 20. Digital Marketing Master Class. The class runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on April 14th. Drop me an email if you’ll be coming, or if you’re interested and have a question –

I’m honored to teach this Master Class alongside a great group of leading pros from some of the most cutting edge ministries in the Christian world today, including:

  • Bryan Burchett, Director of Integrated Marketing at Focus on the Family
  • Josh Dougherty, Lead Content Strategist at Masterworks
  • Kevin Atkinson, Director of eFunding at The Navigators
  • Rich Cason, Sr. Director of Digital Fundraising
  • Thomas Sluberski, Web Director at Gospel for Asia