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Macy KittelbergerApr 18, 2023 12:00:00 AM6 min read

9 Performance Metrics That All Associations Should be Tracking

In today's digital age, associations need to have a strong online presence to engage with members, attract new ones, and achieve their goals. 

To measure the success of their digital efforts, associations must track key performance metrics that indicate how their website, email, and social media channels are performing—and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can master it all. 

Below, we dive into some essential metrics all associations need to monitor. We'll also explore how GA4 can help associations track these metrics and gain insights into their digital performance

Website Metrics For Associations


Views (known as Pageview in Universal Analytics) are a key website metric that shows the number of times a page on your website or app screen has been viewed by a visitor. It's a great way to gauge how well your content is resonating with your audience. 

For associations, tracking views on event pages can help determine which events are the most popular among members. By analyzing the page_view Events report in GA4, you can identify trends and preferences, and use this data to better understand your members' interests. Also, monitoring views can help you identify underperforming pages, allowing you to optimize them for better results.

screenshot of GA4 portal on the page_view Event ReportImage Source: Data Driven U

2. Average Engagement Time

Average engagement time is a key metric for analyzing the user journey across your website and mobile app. This measurement assesses the average amount of time your website holds a visitor's attention by calculating the sum of user engagement durations per active user. This can help you identify engaging pages and those that need improvement. 

For example, by evaluating the average engagement time for your association's blog posts, you can understand which topics resonate most with your members. Decreased engagement time could indicate a need to optimize content to provide visitors with more perceived value.

3. Engagement Rate

The GA4 equivalent to Universal Analytic's Bounce Rate, engagement rate measures how engaged users are with your site and mobile app. It is calculated by dividing the number of engaged sessions by the total sessions. GA4 defines an "engaged session" as one that lasts longer than 10 seconds, has one or more conversion events, or has two or more page views. This improved metric provides a more comprehensive view of visitors' engagement with your site.

screenshot of GA4 portal showing traffic acquisition metrics, including engagement rate

For associations, tracking engagement rate can help identify user experience or content relevance issues. By addressing issues such as page load speed, unclear calls-to-action, and unengaging content, associations can improve the member experience and encourage more visitors to join.

Email Metrics For Associations

4. Open Rate

Open rate is a key email metric that measures the percentage of people who open your association's emails. This metric is an important indicator of how well your email campaigns are performing and can help you identify which subject lines are most effective at getting members to open your emails.

Across all industries, the average email open rate is 21.33%, according to Mailchimp. For non-profits, specifically, the average open rate is 25.17%. How does your organization’s average compare?

If you’re looking for ways to boost your open rate, in addition to subject lines, consider factors such as email content, design, and timing. By analyzing this data, you can gain insights into how your members are interacting with your emails and which types of content they find most engaging. Use this information to create more targeted and effective email campaigns.

5. Email Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Email click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that measures the percentage of people who click on a link in your association's emails. This metric is an important indicator of how well your email campaigns are driving conversions.

metrics-for-associations-email-open-rate-1Image Source: mailchimp

Tracking CTR can be a valuable metric for email campaigns such as newsletters, membership updates, and fundraising appeals. By analyzing CTR data, you can better understand which types of content and calls-to-action your members find most compelling, and use this information to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

6. Conversion Rate

The email conversion rate measures the percentage of people who take the desired action after clicking on a link in your association's emails. This critical metric indicates the effectiveness of your email campaigns in achieving your association's goals.

For instance, tracking conversion rates on your association's membership renewal emails can help you identify which messaging and CTAs work best to convince members to renew their memberships. 

To enhance the efficacy of your membership renewal campaigns, we suggest delving into your conversion rate data. By analyzing this data, you can gain valuable insights into the most persuasive tactics and messaging that resonate with your members. Armed with this knowledge, you can then refine your approach and craft more effective campaigns that drive higher renewal rates.

Social Media Metrics For Associations

7. Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a social media metric that measures the percentage of people who interact with your social media content, such as liking, commenting, sharing, or clicking on your posts. It is an important metric because it signifies how well your social media content is resonating with your audience.

By tracking your engagement rate across multiple platforms (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok), you can gain a holistic view of how your social media content is performing and make informed decisions about how to allocate your social media resources.

8. Follower GrowthRate

Follower growth rate measures the percentage increase in your social media followers over a period, indicating how effectively you are building your social media audience. We also recommend digging into demographic data on your followers to better understand how they align with your membership data.

Insights on your follower growth rate can help you optimize your social media strategy to increase your association's visibility, credibility, and engagement to achieve your association's objectives.

9. Social Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Social CTR is a metric that measures the percentage of people who click on a link in your social media post. It's a crucial conversion metric that helps you understand how well your social media content is driving traffic to your website or other digital assets.

metrics-for-associations-social-mediaImage Source: Mainstreethost

To improve social CTR, you may want to experiment with different types of social media content, such as video, infographics, or quizzes, and include clear CTAs in your posts. You can also optimize your landing pages for conversion, by ensuring that the page content matches the social media post content and the CTA is prominently displayed.

How Google Analytics 4 Can Help Associations Track Performance Metrics

As many know, Google Analytics is sunsetting its Universal Analytics version on July 1, 2023, for the newest platform, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 differs from previous versions in several key ways, including a new event-based data model that allows for more detailed tracking of user behavior across your website and mobile app and more flexible reporting options.

With GA4, associations can gain insights into which pages on their website are the most popular, how visitors interact with their content, and which marketing campaigns drive the most traffic and conversions.

GA4 can track performance metrics across multiple channels, including social media and email. GA4 can also track user behavior across multiple devices and sessions, which can help associations gain a complete understanding of their members' interactions with their websites and marketing campaigns. It can inform strategies for improving user experience and increasing engagement.

Need Help Implementing GA4?

Start making data-driven decisions for your association's success by tracking these key performance metrics. And if you need support getting started, our team of certified Google Analytics experts is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our GA4 implementation services or join us for our upcoming webinar with Ready North, GA4: How to Track and Optimize Your Website's Success. Save your spot today

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Macy Kittelberger

Macy Kittelberger is an associate consultant at Ready North. She joined the agency in January 2021 with a background in public relations and marketing. Macy graduated magna cum laude in May 2020 from Kent State University with her Bachelor of Science degree.