You can track just about every click of a person’s online journey, with the most common tracking metrics including:

  • Website visits
  • Logging in
  • Updating details
  • Reading articles
  • Viewing videos
  • Scrolling content
  • Commenting
  • Sharing content
  • Contributing content
  • Downloading documents
  • Online renewals
  • Online event/training bookings
  • Event attendance
  • Online CPD
  • Online learning
  • Involvement in campaigns and petitions (common in Union membership)
  • Online voting
  • Contributing opinions to polls and surveys
  • Open and click through rates
  • Unsubscribes

That’s a lot of information, and although they say information is king, let’s take a step back and think about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

DO consider the value of the data you are collecting. Will it be meaningful to you, will you use it?

DON’T waste time collecting data you do not need. It could potentially give you a distorted view of the member and render the data unusable.

DO establish where the data is best stored (usually in a CRM). This will have an impact on your ability to use the data and collect new data.

DON’T use an inadequate storage solution as this will hinder the use of the data and potential growth, not to mention potentially present a security risk and therefore GDPR issue.

DO set up your reporting functions in the most adequate place, some sensible options include your CRM, CMS or Google analytics for example. Clearly define the reporting parameters that you are going to use and implement with rigour!

DON’T have too many reporting locations, or multiple level reports. This will cause more confusion and be an inefficient use of somebody’s time in collating the information.

DO remember your GDPR responsibilities in stating what data you collect, how you store and use it, and do what you say!

DON’T forget that although members are used to, and want a personalised experience, they do not want to feel their privacy violated, just because you have a lot of data on them, you don’t need to use it all, nor do they need to be reminded about every little detail you know – don’t be creepy!

Being able to track audience activity is a great asset to any organisation and can inform on more than the engagement statistics talked about here. However, use your knowledge wisely, otherwise it could have a negative effect. With great power comes great responsibility!