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Best Practices

Metrics That Move the Needle

Spend any time around Hub staff or clients and you’ll be sure to hear the term “KPIs” batted about. It stands for “Key Performance Indicators” and they’re critical to developing a successful membership strategy.

Here are the top three KPIs we recommend you track:

  • # of email subscribers
  • % of monthly donors
  • # of individual members

Let’s break these three KPIs down:

# of email subscribers: Organizations tend to focus on web traffic, but based on our research, an engaged and growing email list is a better driver of revenue (we know this through our work with the Lenfest Institute!). Notes News Revenue Hub’s Tristan Loper, “You can have a million uniques a month but if you’re not getting them signed up for the newsletter, you’re losing out on reader revenue.” If you don’t have one already, consider setting up a modal.

% of monthly donors: Member retention is difficult when you have to keep asking one-time donors to renew. Through our data analysis, we’ve found that the average monthly donor gives for almost two years, whereas annual donors and one-time donors are statically the same: on average, they only give once.  That’s why we recommend you make all your forms and calls-to-action default to monthly—and specifically ask readers to give monthly in your appeals.

# of individual members: It goes without saying that a fiscally healthy organization has a greater share of individual supporters each day. And, like noted above, be sure you’re aiming for recurring members versus gaming the numbers so that everyone who gives $1 is a member. Makes sense, right?

Questions about KPIs? Reach out to our Director of Client Relations Rebecca Quarls.


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