Posts Tagged ‘user research’

Get your Organization’s Social Media Profile from Rapleaf

Want to know which social networks in which your email subscribers participate and how active they are?

Rapleaf gives you demographic, psychographic and behavioral information such as a social graph and online social media activity about your email subscriber base.

I liked this product when I worked at Media Contacts, and I still like it in my new role working with social change organizations.  Today I participated in a conference call with the Rapleaf team about how non-profits can use their product.  They also discussed a case study about a large non-profit focused on women’s issues and how they used Rapleaf’s reports.

Here is some info you can obtain from Rapleaf’s social media profile –

Rapleaf Report Info

Rapleaf Report Info

Don’t worry, your membership PII is safe.  They also merge multiple email address into one record, which somewhat helps take care of out-of-date email addresses.

And even better news –

You can upload a partial sample of up to 1,000 emails on their website and get a report for free!  (A full aggregate report costs a couple thousand dollars for 10-20,000 emails.  The full aggregate report is worth it if your organization is considering a significant investment of staff resources in social media and you have a much larger email subscriber base.  Rapleaf also offers a more specific report tying each email to each social network on your list for pennies per record)

Here is some sample data they send in their aggregate report (just the tip of the iceberg) –

Check out a full sample report here.

Your subscribers' social networks on Rapleaf

Your subscribers' social networks on Rapleaf

Some questions you can learn the answers to –

  • Do your subscribers use social media? (READ: Should you invest significant resources in social media?)
  • Which online social network(s) does your base use? (READ: Where should you be to talk with them and expand your reach through their networks?)
  • How many friends do they have? (READ: How influential in social media are your subscribers?)
  • How active are they? (READ: Can I engage my supporters to spread my message to their friends and help raise money for my organization?)

Rapleaf Friend Counts

Rapleaf Friend Counts

Rapleaf gives you an incredible opportunity to use social media to personalize your marketing efforts, segmenting your base to target only those who would be interested in in particular message.  Imagine the increase in email opens and conversion rates!

Rapleaf Demographics

Rapleaf Demographics

Case Study

I wrote an earlier post on the how the Obama team sent me an email about volunteering for their “data team” during the election.   I believe they used Rapleaf to segment their subscriber base and learn that I was an analytics professional – I know I never gave them that info.  My position at the time was Manager of the Data and Analytics group and Occupation/Title is part of the demographic info in the report.  (I have a call set up with one of Rapleaf’s founders.  I’ll confirm this point and update this post.)

Case Study from today’s conference call – A large non-profit focused on women’s issues


  • They are considering a larger, more strategic social media campaign
  • They have created basic fan pages on Facebook with limited success
  • They have 25,000 + members


  • They didn’t know if social media was popular with their memebers
  • They had sparse demographic data through offline surveys so they didn’t know much about their subscribers
  • They needed to persuade internal management of the importance of social media

Questions they Wanted Answers to

  • Confirm their membership bias to older women
  • Is social media worth it?
  • If so, which networks should they use?

Info Gained from the Study

  • Demographics of the membership base
  • Number and distribution of social media usage
  • Activity levels of members

How they used the Info Gained

  • Justified a social media campaign to their management team
  • Launched targeted ad campaign on Facebook (the main social media tool of their membership)
  • Collected benchmark data for campaign ROI
  • Initiated a communications strategy for reaching a younger audience (the report showed that their membership skewed younger than they though because younger people did not fill out the offline surveys)


  • Increased their Facebook fan base by 10x with an email campaign to members to join them on Facebook
  • Targeted ad campaign on Facebook increased donations
  • Ad targeting increased media efficiency

If you are interested in other demographic and psychographic research about your website visitors, as well as your online media reach and response, check out my blog post on Quantcast Marketer, another free tool you can use to learn more about your online audience.

Feel free to ask me more about research tools such as Rapleaf and Quantcast and how to use the results to improve your organization’s online communications.


Quantcast Marketer – demographics, psychographics and better targeting

Quantcast focuses on quantifying  real-time characteristics of digital media consumers to better target customers.  Quantcast is based on inference modeling, combining directly-measured traffic data from Quantified Publishers with sample-based audience reference points (over 160 billion events monthly).

In short, Quantcast uses data from tagged publishers to determine who an internet user is likely to be.

Quantcast Marketer demographic and affinity breakdowns provide insights to drive offer and media plan optimization.

3 Categories of Events You Can Tag

  • website conversion stages
  • paid search clicks
  • display ads impressions and clicks

Data Obtained

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Education Level
  • Children in Household
  • Geolocation
  • Site Affinity

Using Quantcast Marketer, you have complete control over which media/events are tagged and measured, how they are aggregated, and most importantly who has access to the data.   By default Quantcast Marketer reports are only available to the Marketer client, with no public access.

And the best news, Quantcast Marketer is free to use (for now and the foreseeable future)!!

Here’s a example –

Quantcast Marketer Example of Demo and Psychographic Data

Quantcast Marketer Example of Demo and Psychographic Data

You can see the % of Demo and the data indexed to internet population.  This helps find skews in the data.

In this chart, you can see display impressions, clicks and conversions.

For paid search, Quantcast enables advertisers to quantify audience relevance through demographic reports specific to search engine and ad group.

Say for example you sell tickets to various events on your website.  You are interested in distinguishing between audiences for different events to better target other potential buyers.  To get this info, you would place a Quantcast Marketer pixel on your order confirmation page and pass in a variable for each event.  Once Quantcast has gathered enough sample (typically >500 per cell), you will get demo- and psychographic information about your users.

I worked with Quantcast for several clients and we gained some amazing real-time insights during the camapigns.   Below I am quoted in a case study created in partnership with Quantcast.

“Quantcast delivers branding metrics to a medium that was previously focused on direct response with little insight into ‘who’ is actually clicking on the ad. We had a hunch that our client’s audience online was different from the audience offline. The insight available from Quantcast provided us with the ammunition we needed to change the way the client perceived their target audience online.”

Sheethal Shobowale, Insights Manager, Media Contacts

Read the full case study on the Quantcast website or download the PDF here.

For a detailed description of the Quantcast Methodology, click here.  Quantcast Corporation is a team of engineers and mathematicians.  The company’s scientific advisors include Dr. Trevor Hastie, Chairman and Professor, Department of Statistics at Stanford University, and Dr. Jerome Friedman, Professor of Statistics at Stanford University.

Feel free to ask me about using Quantcast to learn more about your organization’s web traffic.  Great stuff.