Hidden Supporter Data: Found.

This is a cross-post from our sibling company, Fission Strategy.


With event tracking, we were able to track every click of a button on the ActionKit Whipcount tool.And it was all recorded in the action taker’s profile. 

What happens after a supporter signs your petition? Or clicks a link in your email? 

You might have a counter set up to record how many times the petition was shared on Facebook or Twitter, and maybe you achieved your desired open and click through rates on email. But do you know who shared it, or who did something else on your website after opening and clicking? Do you know where they came from to get to your petition – email, or Facebook? Which people shared different petitions, and where?

Most of us get some pieces of the puzzle with our CRMs, but we don’t get all the data – there are still major gaps in knowledge. These gaps exist even in highly advanced CRMs like ActionKit. This is where Google Analytics’ event tracking comes into play.

Using GA’s event tracking and a custom script for your pages, you can track any action that supporters take, whether it’s clicking to call a member of congress, hitting the Facebook share button, or heading to your donate page after signing a petition. 

Why does it matter? The base functionality of ActionKit (and other CRMs) has limited ability to connect people in your CRM with all their activity on your site.  While we can’t fill all the gaps, using Google Analytics’ event tracking we can get a better picture of what actions people are taking.

For example: John Doe clicked a link to sign a petition from your email blast. After he signs, ActionKit sees that the source of that sign was that email blast. If Doe takes any other action, like signing up to volunteer or donate to the organization, ActionKit does not track it.

Fission’s customization on top of ActionKit allows all actions to be tracked after that initial e-mail entry point. This is way more effective in seeing which emails are performing the best, beyond open and click-through rates. 

The point of this is to give you a much more complete profile of your supporters. Here’s a great example. My coworker Austen’s profile on DemandAction.org shows that he has signed 5 petitions (easy data to record), but also that he has shared 4 of the petitions, 2 of which are on Facebook. It has also recorded that he clicked to call his representative 2 times, and actually only called his representative once. 

For an organization, this allows the segmentation of supporters beyond just “supporters” – powerful social media sharers and Facebook stars can now be identified and categorized.

This begins to have an impact on how you write email asks or petition language, as well as who you target them to. Examples include only asking people that have shared your actions on Twitter to tweet, or sending out a petition to only your most active Facebook action takers first. With this advanced segmentation, you’ll see higher action rates and empower your supporters to do the things they already like to do.