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. An example of this is a great study by Karlan and Wood looking at whether emotion or education was a more potent factor in mail appeals. Insights that a one-size-fits-all testing outlook would miss.

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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. Basic A/B testing helps you decide which images, calls to action, and suggested donation amounts perform best by comparing the effectiveness of two versions of your donation page. 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

DonorDigital

We run a lot of multivariate tests on donation landing pages throughout the year. Frankly, I’m always urging our clients to run even more—since the more things they test, the more they learn (and the more money they raise!). 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. What can you do in the dead of summer to keep your testing program on track?

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Testing 101: 4 Steps for Optimizing Your Fundraising Approach

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You never know what marketing and fundraising strategies and tactics will work best until you test them. 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. We recommend creating an annual testing calendar in line with the scientific method so you can optimize your learning. Testing 101. Step 2: Outline a testable hypothesis.

Testing Your Donor Identities

The Agitator

You must test. But if you will be sullied by solutions that require filthy lucre, stop reading when this says “ Pre-Test Tool.”. The central challenge of testing identities is that they are often self-reported. So if you want to start testing identities on the cheap, start with pre-existing identity data. So now, we test? Just split your identity files in half, sending half identity version A and half identity version B.

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TEST RESULTS: Donors Care About Their Impact, Not Your Overhead

The Agitator

A significant factor in the donor’s decision to give rests in how s/he answers the question, “how am I going to feel if I make this gift?” You can view a full presentation on the DV/DMANF Study here.). The Test.

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Test your fundraising instincts

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Which Test Won? is a fun resource that regularly highlights A/B tests of emails, landing pages, and more. This week, Which Test Won? released their 2013 Email Testing Hall of Fame , a showcase of tests that nonprofit fundraisers can learn from. I was pleased to see the hall of fame included a fundraising test from a membership renewal campaign launched by People for the American Way.

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Direct Mail Test Results

The Agitator

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

Which Test Won?

The Agitator

Which Test Won? is a nifty e-newsletter that features results of a variety of head-to-head tests in the online arena — homepage design, copy tests, offer tests, social marketing, etc. They recently announced their first batch of ‘winners’ from a group of tests supplied by over 100 marketers. What you’ll see when you click here is a series of categories, usually with a first and second place winner (i.e.,

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Acquisition: Direct Mail Testing – Part 1

The Agitator

Tom’s post on the Obama campaign’s email testing prompts me to weigh in on one of the least understood and woefully mis-practiced skills in the direct response fundraiser’s repertoire – direct mail testing. Almost universally there are three, interconnected and very BIG PROBLEMS with how most nonprofit direct mail testing is done. Sadly, most testing becomes more habitual than strategic or purposeful. The A/B road to infinity.

Acquisition: Direct Mail Testing – Part 2

The Agitator

One of the biggest pitfalls in direct mail testing is the ‘baby & the bathwater’ problem. The problem occurs when an organization or its consultant creates and mails a test package with numerous test elements. Or to put it in the vernacular, a whole bunch of stuff is changed. When this happens, the results for that package are at the very best only a very crude measuring rod for performance. There is a better, empirical way.

Fundraising Evolution – Accelerated Learning: Testing & Research

Donor Power Blog

On the heels of Dirk Rinker chiming in on a recent post here , I thought it might make sense to devote some time to a topic that Dirk is a specialist in the area of - Research. . We all test, or we all should be testing. Step 1: Test. Maybe Mango, test.

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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. A/B testing of your subject lines (comparing the performance of two distinct versions of your subject line by simultaneously sending a test to two similar segments of your list to see which generates the most opens) will help you stick out in that crowd.

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Which Story to Share? (G.R.E.A.T. Stories)

Getting Attention

Sometimes we have so many strong stories available that it’s hard to select the best ones to feature in a specific campaign. At other times, it seems impossible to source the right story or find a fitting one to harvest from the story bank.

Raise more money online with a great headline

DonorDigital

If you could change just one thing on your website’s donation page and get a 50% lift in the conversion rate, you’d probably do it in a heartbeat. To understand what a lift of that magnitude could mean for your online fundraising program, imagine your donation page is converting 12% of visitors, comprised of 10 donations a day averaging $50 ($500 daily revenue). And getting the answer is easy with A/B testing.

3 Powerful Tools to Help You Optimize Your Nonprofit Website

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Or, you can refine and test your own website. Crazy Egg lets you see what your website visitors are doing with heat maps (a picture of where people click on your website), scroll maps (shows how far down the page people are scrolling to help determine where they abandon your page) and more. Use this link to get a 90-day free trial. offers A/B and multivariate testing for any stage of an action (sign-up, donate, volunteer, etc.). via GIPHY.

Three Simple Steps to Using Original Photos

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Before you take out the camera, though, check whether your organization has a policy regarding the use of original photos, specifically how to handle obtaining permission from people that will be shown in the photos. Written consent is the gold standard, but organizations obtain it in a variety of ways. There is also a “pocket” release (a small version photographers can carry with them) and a photo release for children. Have a Procedure.

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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. Participant rather than reader because each week Anne offers up a challenge, asking marketing geeks like us to vote on which version of the landing page design, e-news subscription form or donate here pop-up worked best: A vs. B. This week’s test pinpoints the best way to design the search box on your nonprofit’s website. Which do you think works best, A vs. B?

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Mixed Links for Nonprofit Communicators ? June 15, 2018

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

And this might help too – Facebook Experiments with A/B Testing for Page Posts. If you operate on a fiscal year, you should Checklist Your Way to End the Fiscal Year Strong. Roxi Morris reminds you to Tie Donors To Your Mission, Not A Tax Incentive.

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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. You can also download a new worksheet that will help you get everything ready for your next online fundraising campaign - from your website to email appeals to social networks. We’ve added another advice and tips page to the website – this one covers online fundraising.

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.

8 ways your organization is sabotaging its landing pages

DonorDigital

I’ve encountered every single one of them in my 7 years as a nonprofit consultant. Here is a summary of the operational behaviors that can sabotage landing page performance and some strategies for dealing with them: HiPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) decide : Do you let the arbitrary opinion of the highest paid person in your organization (or marketing team) determine what goes live on your web pages instead of data-driven insight? Part 1.

BEYOND CUTE: Why Nonprofits Should Try Emoji In Their Digital Marketing

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

There’s even a World Emoji Day – July 17. Here’s how a few nonprofits cleverly celebrated: Happy #WorldEmojiDay ! How would you express the idea of a library using only emoji? A #HabitatforHumanity emoji story: ????????????????? A/B test if you can.

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10 Email Resolutions for the New Year

EveryAction

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. Make sure to test emails on as many screen sizes and devices as you can get your hands on. Testing.

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3 Quick Tips on Creating Social Media Video that Stands Out

J Campbell Social Marketing

Social media video continues its dominance over all other social media content, solidifying its role as a critical and crucial element in any nonprofit digital marketing plan. . Google found that more than half the people who watch YouTube videos posted by nonprofits go on to make a donation. Also, we can’t hire a video production company to shoot, edit, and produce these kinds of videos. Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories are a great way to do this.

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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. In fact, Marketing Sherpa just released research on open rates for 9,300,000 emails , concluding that: There’s no relationship between the number of characters in a subject line and whether or not the email is opened. What’s a nonprofit communicator to do? Are hit with a way-off marketing request.

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5 Ways to Effectively Use Your CRM

EveryAction

A CRM is no different than any other tool that your nonprofit uses, in the sense that there is a difference between using it well enough to get by, and really getting the most bang for your buck. Because software programs are a strategic investment on behalf of the entire organization, it is important that staff in all departments are trained and able to put all of your CRM's features to use. Utilize A/B testing for more impactful emails.

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Boost online response by optimizing your donation landing pages

DonorDigital

without spending a nickel on more e-mails or Care2 names. Over the last three years, Donordigital has been running landing page optimization tests that have increased conversion rates – the percentage of people who land on a donation page who actually make a donation – by 10%, 20%, even more for some organizations and some pages. So what makes a better donation page? Provide a clear and compelling “ask” headline (Donate to save the whales!).

Mixed Links for Nonprofit Communicators

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Have a speaking engagement coming up? If you like to share video on Twitter, you’ll be happy to know that now Twitter Makes it Easier to Share the Right Part of a Live Video with Launch of ‘Timestamps.’ Do you have questions about A/B testing? Learn the answer to How Long Should I Run My A/B Test? Abby Jarvis shows you How to Design a Mobile Donation Form that Doesn’t Suck. Have a fantastic weekend!

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Direct Mail Is Here to Stay (and How)

EveryAction

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.

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. Lack of testing.

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.

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GUIDE: Using Donor Personas to Maximize Your Nonprofit Fundraising

EveryAction

It’s no secret that storytelling in the digital age is essential for nonprofits , but the efficacy of stories depends largely on how clearly and strategically they’re communicated to each unique segment of your audience, also sometimes known as a persona.

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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 The goal of direct mail is to find a “formula” that works and then do it until it stops working. So what’s a good way to deal with this?

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. Jeff Brooks shares a story about a nonprofit’s name change that has a successful outcome (for a change) in Shocking Truth: Nonprofit Changes Name in a Smart Way. If you had busy week like I did, relax and enjoy some Mixed Links!

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Mixed Links for Nonprofit Marketers

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Our friends at Network for Good have compiled a list of charities that are providing relief to those affected by the recent tornadoes. Do you regularly test different subject lines, landing pages, or other content to see which yields the best results?

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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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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. On the top left is their paper icon campaign, which is meant to deliver a holiday meal to families in need. To its right is an announcement that Fresh Market stores serve as a drop-off point for Toys for Tots. Got a theory?

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.

Is September the new December?

Sea Change Strategies

A research study by Google shows that in 2012 the number of donation-related searches was 30 percent higher in September than it was in August. You’ll not only generate more brand buzz prior to December, but you’ll also have field-tested your search pathway in advance of year-end. (2) 2) Create a compelling “Why Give” section on your site that shows your impact. . Here’s a great example from charity: water. Test lay-out. Test copy.

How to get mobile donors to convert

DonorDigital

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. By “conversion” we mean any kind of goal completion, such as a site visitor signing up for your email list or making an online donation.

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?” Here’s something you might see in a newsletter or annual report. Instead of saying something generic like please donate to our annual appeal, tell a story emphasizing why someone should donate to your organization.