Case Study

Making the Most of Supporter Profiles: A Q&A With Guide Dogs


The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provide mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people and they’ve run many successful campaigns through Engaging Networks.

Recently they added on our “supporter profiles” functionality. Helen Honstvet, Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs tells us if it was worth the investment.

Q – Why add-on our supporter profiles tool?

A – We want to find out how active our campaigners are, which campaigners are taking multiple actions, and what type of actions people are taking part in. This is because we aren’t sure of our campaigners’ retention rate after they have taken an action with us. We also want to tailor our communications with our supporters more effectively based on their interests.

Q – So You’ve Set These Profiles Up (On Campaigner Activity). What Are You Doing With the Data That You Acquire?

A – I attended a training session earlier this year, at which someone made the excellent point that there’s no point gathering metrics unless you are going to do something with the data. With this advice ringing in my ears, we have made use of the metrics in a few different ways:

  • We have started to build benchmarks for ourselves that dictate our objectives. We now know how many of our campaigners are likely to sign a petition and how many are likely to take part in a more involved action “ask,” such as writing an email to their MP or writing a comment on why they support one of our campaigns for their MP to collect at one of our events.
  • More importantly, we are using these metrics to communicate with our campaigners in a more targeted way. For example, we are now emailing campaigners who are frequently taking “higher ask” actions with requests to see if they want to take an offline action as well, such as meeting their MP in person or going out for a morning and asking people to sign a petition. For the people who are taking one action and then no more, we are going to be running a reactivation campaign with them. We’ll try to get feedback on why that has happened so that we can change our practices and hopefully convert them to taking multiple actions!

Q – Have You Got Any Other Profiling Ideas in Mind for the Future?

A – Yes! We’ve been thinking about how we can include information on actions that campaigners take outside of Engaging Networks within these profiles. For example, taking part in a 20-minute survey is a very high “ask” and we want to factor these supporters into our metrics. Similarly, we’ve been asking campaigners to send us photos of pavement parked cars via email, but we aren’t syncing information about how else they’ve been involved with us. We’ll be able to import this data into Engaging Networks and, as long as it’s properly tagged, we’ll be able to have a complete picture of our supporters’ behaviour.

We also plan to find out what percentage of any given action are actually new supporters – this will help us to know how well our campaigns are doing in terms of reaching new audiences, even when people don’t sign up to receive campaign updates from us.

Q – Any Other Tricks That You’ve Discovered With the Tool Now You’ve Been Using It for a While?

A – Once you have built a supporter profile, you can run the report extremely quickly whenever you choose. This means at bi-monthly intervals, I can find out how we have compared to the previous two months in about 5 minutes – which is fantastic!

Some thoughts from us…

It’s great to hear that Guide Dogs is making excellent use of the tool and have started to build some very useful benchmarks that will help them with their supporter strategies going forward. At some stage it would be very interesting to see some longer-term follow up data about how successful their reactivation programme has been once they start sending emails to this group of supporters. Or if they’ve had any more success in converting their highly engaged online activists into taking more offline actions. We’ll update this case study as and when we get the information.

If you’d like to get the Supporter Profiles tool switched on in your account so you can see just what your supporters are or aren’t doing, or if you have access already but feel that you’re not getting the most out of it, please contact us and we’d be very happy to help!

Helen Honstvet is the Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs

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