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Optimizing your online fundraising

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Nathaniel Ward's presentation about online fundraising to Empower Action on September 19, 2013, which drew examples from The Heritage Foundation and focused on landing page optimization and the …

Nathaniel Ward's presentation about online fundraising to Empower Action on September 19, 2013, which drew examples from The Heritage Foundation and focused on landing page optimization and the importance of A/B testing.

Published in Technology , Business
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  • 1. Optimizing your online fundraising Nathaniel Ward September 19, 2013
  • 2. Let’s test your gut instincts
  • 3. Version A …?
  • 4. … or version B?
  • 5. Here they are side by side
  • 6. Version B outperforms version A 44.4% increase in conversion rate 95.14% confidence 3.3% increase in average gift 95.14% confidence 49.3% increase in revenue per visitor From $4.76 to $7.11; 95.14% confidence
  • 7. Let’s try another one
  • 8. Version A … ?
  • 9. … or version B?
  • 10. Here they are side by side
  • 11. Version B has a huge lift 134.1% increase in conversion rate 99.9% confidence 43.4% increase in average gift 99.9% confidence 236.3% increase in revenue per visitor From $7.45 to $25.06
  • 12. And these test results compound 49.3% increase in revenue per visitor From $4.76 to $7.11 236.3% increase in revenue From $7.45 to $25.06 Test 2: Donation form design Test 1: Overall page design 426.4% increase in revenue From $4.76 to $25.06 Cumulative
  • 13. The bottom line: if we hadn’t tested, we would have left about $400,000 on the table
  • 14. How I arrived at this way of thinking—a journey me in 2005
  • 15. My old way of doing things • Follow best practices • Measure against industry benchmarks • Execute online marketing “mechanically”
  • 16. Then we asked an important question: can we do better?
  • 17. Gut instinct is a bad approach “Many of the e-​​mails sent to supporters were just tests, with different subject lines, senders and messages. Inside the campaign, there were office pools on which combination would raise the most money, and often the pools got it wrong.” —Michael Scherer Time, 11/7/12
  • 18. The 3 drivers of online donations 1. Traffic to your donation page 2. Conversion rate on that page 3. Average gift
  • 19. The Flux Capacitor of Online Revenue Maximization
  • 20. How this model works Baseline + 26.2 % in 1 area + 26.2 % in 2 areas + 26.2 % in 3 areas Traffic 1,000 1,260 1,260 1,260 Conversion % 1.00% 1.00% 1.26% 1.26% Average gift $100 $100 $100 $126 Revenue $1,000 $1,260 $1,588 $2,000 Lift 0% 26% 59% 100%
  • 21. Think in terms of funnels • Your funnel is a series of interrelated steps that move someone to conversion • No step is independent of another Subject line Email copy Landing page
  • 22. Event registration funnel, version A Subject: You are Cordially Invited to a Town Hall Event in Indianapolis
  • 23. Event registration funnel, version B Subject: Don't Miss the Heritage Action Town Hall Meeting in Indianapolis
  • 24. Here’s how version B compares within the funnel 5.6% decline in open rate From 21% to 20%; 100% confidence 59.6% increase in click-through rate From 12% to 19%; 100% confidence 50.8% decrease in RSVPs per visitor From 23% to 11%; 100% confidence
  • 25. But it’s not the parts that matter. It’s the sum of the parts 126.2% increase in RSVPs per send From 12% to 19%; 100% confidence
  • 26. To maximize the sum of the parts, you need to test each element • Use A/B testing, not sequential testing • It starts with planning, thinking, and learning • Technology comes last • Don’t test just to check a box
  • 27. 6 steps to set up a successful test
  • 28. 1. Start with a clear hypothesis • What do you want to learn? 2. Identify your metrics • What counts as a win? 3. Design your test • Control for external factors, including time
  • 29. 4. Identify tools to measure results • Your ESP; Google Analytics; Optimizely; Omniture 5. Run the test, and be patient • Results could take days or weeks to come in 6. Aim for statistical significance • Helps ensure your results are repeatable • http://www.mystatscalc.com/
  • 30. Too small a sample can mean unhelpful data You want 90%+
  • 31. Unless you have a huge lift, you’ll need dozens of results
  • 32. A few mini-cases
  • 33. Hypothesis: changing the default gift to $50 amount boosts $50 gifts Control Treatment 1 +44% $50 gifts Treatment 2 +64% $50 gifts
  • 34. Version B Hypothesis: a timer will drive more revenue than a thermometer Version A
  • 35. The countdown timer outperforms the thermometer 8.64% increase in click-throughs 96.65% confidence 11.8% increase in gifts 7.5% increase in revenue per e-mail sent 100% confidence
  • 36. Hypothesis: adding a renewal button will increase revenue
  • 37. The renew-donate combo outperforms just a donate button 83.95% increase in site conversion rate 0.05% to 0.09%; 99.9% confidence 62.5% increase in revenue per site visitor $0.06 to $0.09; 98.8% confidence
  • 38. So to review . . . • Don’t trust your gut • Test everything • Always ask, “Can I do better?”
  • 39. Questions? @nathanielward