Last week online benchmarking analysis just released by Convio. Take a look.

Convio presents a wide range of metrics culled from a panel of thirty Convio clients. Unlike Target, Convio doesn't reveal the clients whose data was used; instead, data is reported by issue groupings or “verticals” — animal welfare, environmental, Christian, health, public affairs, public broadcast.

The data is certainly worth reviewing, but I have to say I think Convio could have put more effort to mining their data for useful insights to share with the rest of us. After all, they've been at this quite awhile now, and hey, with GetActive acquisition, they're bucking to be industry leader! Too many of their “tips” seem far too elementary or superficial for the state of play these days.

For example …

    • How to improve web traffic? Promote yor URL everywhere. Offer compelling content. DUH!
    • How to grow your email file? Run viral campaigns. Ask for email addresses every time you interact with your constituents, whatever the media. Brilliant!
    • How to improve online fundraising results? Ensure good list quality. Make an effective case for support. Why didn't you think of that?!

Here's an example of how Convio could possibly have done a better job of helping us all move the ball forward.

They report that the median sign-up rate for converting website visitors into registered constituents for all clients in the study was — IMHO, a paltry — 2.8% per month. In other words, for each 1,000 visitors, only 28 captured email addresses. Thousands upon thousands of visitors are coursing through nonprofits' websites — at their own initiative, mind you, so they must have been motivated — but 97.2% of them are not finding anything so compelling as to make them want to sign-up for more.

Yeah, I know some might be repeat visitors who are already registered; even so, 2.8% conversion sucks.

So how, Convio, could we get better visitor conversion? Convio does note that its Christian client segment gets a 12.5% conversion rate (help from above?); next best is the “Environmental” segment at 4.7%. Convio suggests that the better conversion by the Christian groups is “due primarily to their innovative use of content such as rich media as a benefit of registration.”

ELABORATE please. Or at least identify the Christian clients so we can all rush over to their websites and see their better practices firsthand.

We all need to get better at this online stuff. Hopefully next year (they promise an annual update), Convio will give us some deeper analysis to chew on.

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