Organizations of all sizes and causes can use A/B testing to boost their online fundraising results. A/B testing or split testing occurs when two versions of a website, webpage, email, copy or campaign are tested in order to see which version performs best. The version that gives you a higher conversion rate, for example a higher donation rate or click-through rate, wins! Below are four items nonprofit organizations can A/B test in order to optimize online fundraising campaigns. Remember to A/B test one section of an online fundraising campaign at a time and not all at once – this ensures that you know which section/change was responsible for higher conversions.
First, everyone likes to be personally recognized by name – even electronically. If your online fundraising efforts includes fundraising emails that address your emails to a person, sponsor, or donor than A/B testing is for you. Consider A/B testing the introduction of your email. Test to see see how donors respond when emails are addressed to them personally, be it formally or informally.
Also, consider using A/B tests at the end of your fundraising email or at the end of your fundraiser landing page. Test the name used at the end of an email or landing page to see which version receives the most conversions or donations. Do fundraising emails ending with the name of your executive director give you higher donation rates than fundraising emails that end with the name of your organization? If so, you know which email ending to use!
Ensure that your fundraising emails acknowledge someone at the beginning and sign-off with signature – supporters, donors, and anyone connected to your organization wants to know there’s a person or organization behind the fundraising campaign – even when it’s all online.
Call To Action Button
Second, online donations are likely the result of effective call-to-action (CTA) buttons on an online fundraising page. Consider A/B testing your CTA button during your fundraising campaign to ensure it works for your audience. Utilize split testing on your CTA buttons in terms of color (does it match with your brand or website layout), copy (does your CTA button copy reiterate how the online fundraiser benefits the donor), and image (ensure your campaign images near your button reiterates the fundraiser and shows the donor who or what the campaign benefits).
Length of Fundraising Appeal
Third, the length of your fundraising appeal influences donations and dictates your online fundraiser’s visibility when searched for on Google. If you’re new to the online fundraising world, aim for 500 words at minimum for your online fundraising copy. A/B test the length of your fundraising appeal – your results will tell you which version of your online fundraiser, given the varying lengths, solicits the most donations.
Finally, when writing an online fundraising appeal, consider A/B testing the words used. Make a list of words that fit your organization, its fundraising activities, the online fundraising campaign, and cause – donors may use these words when searching online for a cause. A/B testing the words used in your fundraising appeal tells you and your organization which terms and words resonate most with potential donors, supporters, or followers and can help you identify which version of copy can help your online fundraising campaign solicit the most donations.
There are many other components of online fundraising campaigns that nonprofits can A/B test. If your organization is small, try one or two split tests on one or two items over a period of a few online campaigns and record your results. Happy testing!