Why Microsite Tracking Creates Micro Results

Tracking visitors to improve engagement goes back to Xerox’s marketing and sales automation in the late 80s. For decades now, the commercial industry has used tracking intelligence to deliver top customer experiences and maximize results.

As behavioral intelligence (tracking alumni behaviors to deliver meaningful engagement) comes into its own, a number of opportunities have emerged to track individual sites managed by a third-party vendor (known as microsites). Examples include:

  • Tracking visitors to the day of giving page.
  • Tracking visitors to a custom newsletter landing page.
  • Tracking visitors to the planned giving page.

Microsite tracking sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, limiting alumni tracking to a narrowed set of pages misses the vast majority of alumni behaviors. Take our report on Alumni Visit Behaviors – Who Visits Where. We now know that 80 percent of alumni behaviors are on non-advancement pages. An institution that spent the time (and money) to track all three previously mentioned microsites would miss 80 percent of all alumni activity!

The Solution: True behavioral engagement tracks across the institution’s entire site. The reality is alumni have a relationship with the institution, not the advancement site. Alumni will research their favorite professor, the score to last night’s game or an upcoming talk more than they will ever explore their options for a planned gift. Incidentally, of alumni who visit the planned giving page, only 5 percent of their browsing history is on that page. Ninety-five percent of their activity is with their actual point(s) of affinity elsewhere on the institution’s site.

What percentage of alumni behaviors do microsites capture? Based on the 50 million visitors Capture Higher Ed’s marketing automation has tracked across university sites:

  • A planned giving page microsite = 0.5% of all alumni activity
  • A day of giving page microsite = 5% of all alumni activity

If you have had experience with microsite tracking and enjoy the results, take a minute to ask about tracking all your sites. We would love to talk about how the rest of your alumni activity can help gift officers raise more!

By Kevin Bauman, Director of Philanthropic Initiatives, Capture Higher Ed