Digital Advocacy Campaign: How Do You Measure Success?

by The Campaign Workshop

Digital Advocacy Campaign Magnifying glass over numbers

Digital Advocacy Campaign - What Metrics Should I Care About?

Every digital advocacy campaign is different and has unique goals. Therefore, there are a variety of metrics that you should focus on depending on your goals. There is not a one-size-fits-all benchmark or metric to track the success of every digital advocacy campaign. For example, if you are running a donations campaign to raise money for your cause, the metrics you track will be very different from the metrics you would track if you were running an accountability campaign. It’s important to define these metrics and the benchmarks you aim to hit before you launch a campaign so that you can measure the success of the campaign while it’s running and ensure that you are on the right track. 

In this blog, I’ve divided advocacy campaigns into four buckets: awareness, accountability, donation, and list building. Each type of campaign involves a unique digital advocacy strategy, and this blog explains metrics that you will want use to measure the success of each type of campaign. 


Often, advocacy organizations will run campaigns to raise the public’s awareness of a certain problem or to let them know that there is an election or ballot measure coming up. To measure your progress in raising awareness, the digital advocacy metrics that you would be most focused on are impression volume, reach, and/or frequency to make sure that you are getting your message repeatedly in front of your intended audience. 


In an accountability digital advocacy campaign, the goal is generally to put pressure on legislators to take, or not take, a certain action. For example, the overarching goal of an accountability campaign may be to pass a bill or to kill a bill. To do this, your secondary goal may be to get key legislators to vote a certain way on a bill. 

With an accountability campaign, there are a few different types of programs you can run. Thus, there are different digital metrics that you might focus on depending on the type of campaign you choose to run. 

For example, you could run a click-to-call digital campaign, in which you serve mobile static ads to key legislators’ constituents. In this case, the ad would redirect the user to a mobile landing page that contains a button that they can click on to be patched through to their legislator. Here, the metrics that you can use to measure the success of your digital advocacy campaign are conversions—specifically, the number of times people click through the landing page to call their legislator—and CPA (cost per conversion). 

Another example of an accountability campaign is to geo-target ads to a state capitol building to get a certain message in front of legislators and their staff. In this scenario, tracking metrics that align with your goal won’t be so obvious. Similar to an awareness advocacy campaign, you may simply be focused on impression volume, reach, and/or frequency to make sure that you are getting your message repeatedly in front of your intended audience.


If your advocacy organization is running a donations campaign, the goal is, of course, to raise as much money as possible. With this type of digital advocacy campaign, the metrics that you care about the most are likely revenue and ROAS, or return on advertising spend. ROAS is calculated by dividing ad spend by revenue. Especially in this case, you should set a concrete benchmark that you can use to track the success of your campaign. This helps you ensure that you are making a good bang for your buck, or at the very least, that you are raising more money than you are spending on the ad campaign.

List Building

Often, advocacy organizations come to us for help running a list-building campaign to help build capacity. As we’ve written about in the past, there are a variety of digital platforms that you can tap into to run a list building campaign, from Care2—an online petitioning platform—to a Facebook conversions campaign. No matter which tool you choose, the digital metrics that you will care about the most are conversions—in this case, form completions—and CPA (cost per conversion). 

No matter the type of digital campaign you’re running, it’s important to define digital metrics that align with your goals so that you have a way of measuring the success of your campaign. One of the huge benefits of digital advertising is that you can track your progress in real time. Be sure to take advantage of this capability and check in on your digital advocacy metrics regularly to ensure that your campaign is on track to reach the goals you set out to achieve.  

We’re here to help. Have questions about running your digital advocacy campaign? Drop us a note below.