Campaigns are where your abstract toils on social media turn to something concrete, and you can palpably track your ROI.

You’ve spent hours upon hours of time cultivating relationships, creating content, messaging, and growing your email list. A campaign harnesses all of the energy you’ve created to finally do something.

What Is a Campaign?

Launching a campaign basically means mobilizing your community to action around a specific goal. You can launch different campaigns throughout the year to give people an opportunity to get involved with your organization or your cause in different ways. Your campaign menu may include:

  • Advocacy campaigns
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Membership drives
  • Event promotion
  • Grow-the-community campaigns

It’s amazing to see what people will do if you just ask.

Campaign Basics

To craft a successful online campaign, you need to follow a few basic principles:

  1. Make sure your campaign goal is clearly articulated, reasonable and attainable
  2. Define a clear start date and end date. Your entire online campaign should last no more than a week or two. Create a sense of urgency.
  3. Include a powerful “story” and compelling call to action
  4. Make it quick and easy to take action
  5. Develop an attention-grabbing visual image for your campaign
  6. Launch your campaign across all your platforms at once. Website, email blast, social media, etc.

Campaign Examples

A great way to start conceptualizing your campaign is draw inspiration from others. Here are some campaigns that follow best practices:


Oxfam America


Have a brilliant image already forming in your head? Then you’re half-way there.

Campaign Testing

Once you have your campaign image and message ready, the next step is to test it. Start with your colleagues and friends, and get their impressions. What feeling does it convey? Are they inspired to act? Is it clear what action you want them to take? Do they find it compelling enough?

Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board if necessary. Repeat until there is concensus that you’ve got the right wording, image, urgency, and clear benefit. And the campaign provokes powerful emotion.

Then you’ll need to test:

  • How easy is it to follow the call to action?
  • Can you easily click through to donate/advocate etc?
  • Is your donate page mobile-friendly to click through from social media / email?
  • How long does it take to “convert” and complete the action?
  • Are there barriers that can be removed (i.e. too many fields to fill out)

Once you’ve worked out any conversion kinks, you’re ready to launch your campaign.

Tracking Results

You’ll be watching the donations or advocacy actions that come in through your CRM system, but you can also closely monitor your results in other ways.

If you have Google Analytics installed on your website and are tracking conversions, you can use Google’s URL builder to create UTM codes that will then help you see which conversions come in from each source (email, Facebook, Adwords, etc). Just go to the “Acquisition” tab in your Analytics account, and you’ll be able to see all of your results in one place, by goal, under “Campaigns.”

This is a great way to know which platform messaging to reinforce, and make any mid-campaign adjustments to boost results.

Looking for more tips? See how to launch a successful fundraising campaign.