I Give It A ‘B’

The Agitator

Recently I received a Quarterly Impact Report from Possible , a nonprofit providing health care services in Nepal. It’s a modest-sized organization that has treated a bit over 300,000 patients in that one country since 2008.

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TESTING: When A/B Tests Attack (your results)

The Agitator

In yesterday’s post we talked about when A/B tests show results, but all that’s really there is noise. Today, we’ll flip that on its head: sometimes an A/B test shows no result, but there’s an important finding just below the surface.

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The Quick and Dirty Guide to A/B Testing Your Donation Page

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Enter A/B testing. Although testing might seem a little scary if you’ve not done it, there are simple tests you can perform to ensure you’re getting the most out of your online donation pages. Set up a second donation page with that variable changed.

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Ask and Answer - A Tale of Two Oranges

Social Media Bird Brain

Two Oranges by Carolyn Texera Sometimes it isn't a question of apples and oranges, but a question of two different flavors of oranges. not-for-profits clementine nuance Business not for profits A/B testing valencia ask Small nonprofit orangesThe small nonprofit where I'm currently contracting couldn't decide whether the solicitation letter they were sending out should have the ask upfront or in the middle.

Roll out some testing to liven up those Summer months


We run a lot of multivariate tests on donation landing pages throughout the year. But when Summer rolls around, virtually every organization we work with sees a big seasonal drop-off in their visitor traffic and conversions on their top donation pages. Testing and Analysis A/B test

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Download Your Multi-Channel Fundraising Campaign Worksheet [FREE]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Or if you have been taking donations through your website, but want to take it to the next level, we have tips on how to optimize your webpage, run A/B tests, and segment your email list.

Still Time for this Year-End Tweak

Getting Attention

Just take a look at how overstuffed your inbox is right now with requests for donations from so many orgs, plus all the other regular and season-specific stuff. Here’s how to test your email subject lines: Note: Most email providers have a built-in A/B testing tool.

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Ep237: How Visit.org is Partnering with Nonprofits to Offer Unique Travel Experiences

Selfish Giving

Today on CauseTalk Radio , Megan and I talk to Michal Alter , Co-Founder and CEO, Visit.org , about how this B-Corp is curating different local travel experiences — ranging from free to several thousand dollars per person — all in the name of social good!

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Get Attention With Your Next Multichannel Campaign

Getting Attention

For example, if you’re releasing an email appeal, post the same call to action on one of your social media channels for a short time after the email goes out. Caveat: Since each channel has a different tone, style, and posting length, it’s important that you repurpose calls to actions that are appropriate for each channel. A/B test your email subject line before sending. Say you are launching a national campaign and you have 10,000 email addresses on your list.

Your Most Valuable Marketing Lesson Learned in 2011?

Getting Attention

I’d like to end the year by asking you to respond to a simple but vital question: What’s the biggest marketing lesson you learned (or re-learned) in 2011? Here are a few examples: Don’t fail to get a final proof before sending a brochure to the printer.

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Searching Your Nonprofit’s Web Site—A vs. B Makes a Huge Difference

Getting Attention

I’m a devoted participant in Anne Holland’s blog, Which Test Won. Which do you think works best, A vs. B? This is such a tiny difference.” ” Well, the truth is that tiny differences in layout and design can make a huge difference in your results.

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Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Thomas Negron

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Don’t be shy – tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro. Catskill is a refuge for farmed animals rescued from cruelty and neglect. I have a call with a sales rep and request a proposal. It’s time for a walk!

Last Chance: Share Your Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom — Before midnight

Getting Attention

Here are a few of the submissions we’ve received: Make professional development and continuing learning a priority – and protect the time. Do an A/B split (comparing response on two versions) on a fundraising campaign landing page on your website before rolling out the campaign.

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10 Email Resolutions for the New Year


While we’re all guilty of making some email mistakes (too long of a subject line, multiple asks in one email) we’re always looking for ways to improve. Anyone can send emails but the key to having a great email program: high deliverability rate. Lucky for you, EveryAction has a study on how you can improve your deliverability - you can access it here. Setting up A/B tests should be easy and intuitive. You shouldn’t have to be an email expert to use a good CRM.

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Proof Point #2: Email Subject Line Length Matters, SOMETIMES

Getting Attention

The best email subject lines are short [50 characters or less]…and provide the reader with a reason to explore your message further. What’s a nonprofit communicator to do? Are hit with a way-off marketing request.

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Your Most Valuable Marketing Lesson Learned in 2010?

Getting Attention

I’d like to end the year by asking you to respond to a simple but vital question: What’s the biggest marketing lesson you learned (or re-learned) in 2010? Some examples might be: Don’t fail to get a final proof before sending a brochure to the printer.

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A Little Hair of the Dog

The Agitator

But it took a for-profit to give an interesting example of a next logical step in the identity process: Tito’s Vodka for Dog People (which I learned about through the Neuromarketing blog , to give credit where it’s due). This test was for a large disease organization.

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The 5 Questions Nonprofits Always Ask Me About Fundraising Emails

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Some about content, but a lot about mechanics. A good email appeal is part art and part mechanics. It dials up your emotions and proffers giving as a fix to outrage, fear or sadness, or as a display of loyalty, pride or duty. Next, A/B test your subject lines.

Direct Mail Test Results

The Agitator

The Agitator has been featuring various A/B tests as reported on Which Test Won ? Here’s their first example of a head-to-head direct mail test … in this case, centered on the offer. Which offer wins: A $35 Special Membership or a $45 Membership + Dining Discounts? So far their tests have all been of the online variety. The test was conducted by Nebraska’s NPR station, and we have heaps of public TV & radio readers … so here it is.

Mixed Links for Nonprofit Marketers

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Nancy Schwartz talks about A/B testing for websites and what a big difference tiny changes can make. Take a moment to answer their brief 4-question survey, NTEN 2012 Communication Mix. If you had busy week like I did, relax and enjoy some Mixed Links!

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But Why?

Ann Green

You’ll answer a question, and she’ll respond with “but why?” A lot of our communication isn’t focused on why something is important. As you work on your messages, pretend your donor is a four-year-old who keeps asking “but why?” Give a specific example.

Your Boredom is a Bad Way to Measure Success

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I get this question a fair amount, and it came up in the Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits E-Clinic this week: Once we find the voice and style that works for us, how much do we need to get creative every month? Getting creative is NOT a high value goal in direct mail. (I

Rochelle Zeidman: Featured Fundraiser

A Small Change

Development is a means to an end. Ours is a rapidly changing profession — stay tuned in to change so you will be an effective leader. Have a plan a, b and c for your organization and monitor closely. You guess: did we ultimately receive a gift?

Wanted: A Theory of How to Activate Multiple Cause Marketing Campaigns

Cause Related Marketing

In this season of the year, it’s easy for a retailer to be involved in two or three or even more cause promotions at the same time. Case in point is this recent weekly flyer from a local grocery chain with 24 outlets called Fresh Market. Got a theory?

Direct Mail Is Here to Stay (and How)


Knowing the methodology has evolved, how do we cut through email clutter and reach donors in a personal way via their mailbox? We worked with external vendors, so as you can imagine there were a ton of spreadsheets involved. When I started at EveryAction I knew one of the first things I wanted to work on was a direct mail planner to make some of that work easier. There’s often a lot of back and forth in direct mail. Direct mail can be a bit of a dinosaur.

Explaining Abstract Numerical Concepts–Like “Eleven”– To Your Boss

The Agitator

Any discussion of metrics in The Agitator must include a nod to “ The Curse of Fundraising Innumeracy ” about an Agitator reader who tried to keep a straight face when someone said they had a 95% retention rate. Isn’t that a bad ROI?

Simple E-tail Cause Marketing

Cause Related Marketing

There’s a lot of fundraising going on at retail these days, oftentimes the easy to execute paper icon campaigns. A lot is at stake for cause marketers. Worldwide e-tail represents no less than a $770 billion business. Cause-Related Marketing does a world of good.

7 Online Donation Page Mistakes to Avoid

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Has it been a while since you''ve updated your organization''s online donation page? When a donor goes to your donation form from your email appeal or website, do they feel like they have been transported to a different planet? A donation page that looks like your other campaign materials and your nonprofit''s website makes your donation experience familiar and seamless. Usability testing will help you uncover any issues that may derail a donor.

Testing 101: 4 Steps for Optimizing Your Fundraising Approach

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That is why testing is a must for nonprofits. We’re doing our causes a disservice each time we don’t test — potentially leaving money, actions, and opportunities on the table. Here’s a quick primer on how effective testing works: Step 1: Be clear on your goals.

Donors Are Ticked Off by Excess, Unrequested Solicitation – Who Knew?

The Agitator

At a basic level, each new communication cannibalizes results from those communications around it. Thus, only 37% of the revenues that are “new” when you add a mail piece are from that mail piece. How many times in my career did I mail a piece where the costs exceeded 37% of revenues?

Get Your Email Read

Getting Attention

I’m on vacation and NOT WORKING (unlike what’s become a bad pattern). Instead, I’m rejuvenating, clearing space, and building energy for a productive fall and winter. It’s a necessity for good creative and intellectual work, and sense of wellbeing. Heather is a web content and social media strategist who blogs at How to Reach People. Shape Your E-News around a Clear Brand, Message, and Call-to-Action. Use a strategic subject line.

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18 Email Subject Line Strategies That Will Increase Your Open Rates

Wild Woman Fundraising

Has it been a few weeks or a few months since you sent out your last one? Or there’s 4 ways to advocate for your cause, and you’re offering a free pdf about this! There’s no coincidence that this word happens a lot in movie trailers. A new monthly donor!

Where Does Fundraising Begin?

The Agitator

Well, not entirely, The Agitator would still give you a B+. As Godin says: “When the thing you sell has communication built in, when it is remarkable and worth talking about, when it changes the game–marketing seems a lot easier.

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Testing Your Donor Identities

The Agitator

Just split your identity files in half, sending half identity version A and half identity version B. If both prefer one messaging or the other, maybe you have a new control!). This is a painful, laborious process. is there a petition involved?

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Why Aren't More Nonprofits Using Pop-Ups on Their Websites?

Selfish Giving

Source: SumoMe If you are a new visitor to my website you probably saw my "welcome mat" that drops down and asks you to join my email newsletter list. (I That's why you are thinking, "Why would I want a welcome mat or pop-up on my website. SumoMe makes A/B testing easy!

37 Must-Have Web Visitor Strategies

The Agitator

All together, a terrific checklist, provided at the recent Bridge Conference by Sue Anne Reed (The Engage Group), Allyson Kapin (RAD Campaign), and Rob Manix (Defenders of Wildlife). Use a prominent donate button. Give visitors a reason to provide additional information. Include a clear call to action on every page. Have a clear goal for each landing page and remove any clutter. A/B test the donation landing page to find the best conversion.

Cause Marketing and Your Crowdfunding Project

Cause Related Marketing

So how do you stand out before a crowd of would be funders? And aside from the technology of their underwear, they used a BOGO approach that benefits the Uganda-based organization AFRI-pads. And, as I’ve noted in the past, without effective sanitary napkins, schoolgirls in the developing world miss a lot of school because they stay home during their periods. Buy a pair of Thinx and they’ll donate enough money to manufacture 7 AFRI-pads, which will be given to those in need.

Watch Your Pictures!

The Agitator

I subscribe to “Which Test Won” — a feed that proselytizes for A/B testing — both for the fun of testing my own instincts (and often disagreeing with their analysis) and just to remind myself that tweaks of copy, design and imagery, based upon testing, indeed matter. Here’s a recent test (actually a replay from 2009) that caught my eye, literally, because it was a test of two images. Even a guy can get this one right!

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Tens, Hundreds, Thousands, Millions, Billions

Get Fully Funded

Another just got a $355,000 grant. Another got a first-time gift of $10,000. In a recent note from the Institute for Charitable Giving, Jerry Panas shares this story: Everyone knows you can’t raise money during a difficult economic period, the worst Recession we have had in this country since the Great Depression. So they’ve gone ahead, and during these difficult times have reached $1 billion (that’s a B), and are over the goal.

How to get mobile donors to convert


For most nonprofits, there’s been a steady growth in the use of smart phones and tablets by visitors to their websites. This has led to a lot of consternation as organizations wrestle with the challenge of providing a better user experience for site visitors on smaller screens.