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Game Changing Tests
to Try Now
Lynn Mehaffy, CFRE, Vice President
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Amy Sukol, CFRE, Vice Pres...
What We are Going to Discuss Today:
• How to Design a Test
• How to Pick a Winner
• Tests that are Making a Difference!

•...
If You are Going to Test …
Do it Right!
• Determine what you are trying to achieve.
• Only test one thing at a time.
• Spl...
How Do I Pick a Winner?
• Set a goal for the test i.e. have a hypothesis.

• Look at test results in relation to the desir...
What is Game Changing?
Less = More?
• Meals on Wheels groups almost
always do more than just serve meals.
• Will donors give more if they
know th...
“Agency” Message
Throughout the Package
The Results!
Senior Services of Snohomish County - (Pacific Northwest)
February Renewal 2012 - Active Donors MRC last 36 m...
Less = More
(part 2)
Do You Always Need a Letter?
No Letter
The Results!
And again … No Letter
The Results!
• New streamlined package provided:
• 20% lift in response rate
• 17% savings in cost

• Tested into decal (v...
More = More?
• One group found that adding certain design
elements to the OE and reply form lifted
response and average gi...
Added Artwork
The Results!
Segment

Quantity
Mailed

Resp.

Percent
Response

Gross
Revenue

Ave
Gift

Cost Per
Thousand

Cost Per
Segme...
More = More
(part 2)
• One group had always used two sheets of
labels but wanted to reduce cost.
Could They Eliminate One Sheet?
Results!

Package Description

Control
Single Sheet

Quantity
Mailed

87,833
87,820

Resp.

1,074
922

Percent Gross Ave C...
Close a Window = Open a Door
• Package and list fatigue were dragging down
a longstanding control.
• Numerous tests (messa...
Closed Face Envelope
The Results!
Close a Window = Open a Door
(part 2)
• Premium package plagued by low value
giving.
• Can we wean prospects away from the...
Closed Face Envelope/Fewer Labels
The Results!
A Little Reminder = Big Giving
• Successful past appeal was being used again.
• Many current donors had responded well.
• ...
Remind Them They Gave in the Past
The Results!
So Many Ways to Ask …
• There are almost as many ask strategies as
organizations.
• It pays to keep trying new ones!
• Her...
“Other” vs “Your Best Gift”
The Results!
Up or Down?
The Results!
Tis’ The Season?
The Results!
Would Donors Give Just $5 More?
The Results!
Other Testing Ideas …
• Outer envelopes: to tease or not to tease –
keep asking the question!
• Font size: sometimes size ...
One Last Winner!
• One organization was only successful with
internal prospecting, but it was flagging.
• The last acquisi...
Prospect Alumni Kit
The Results!
• Investing in the new data enabled the
organization to acquire 470 new donors at
breakeven.
• Not truly a te...
One Cautionary Tale

• Using a yellow OE to call attention to an emergency
campaign dropped the response rate 12.5% and th...
Lynn Mehaffy, CFRE, Vice President
lmehaffy@lautmandc.com
Amy Sukol, CFRE, Vice President
asukol@lautmandc.com

Lautman Ma...
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Game Changing Tests to Try Now

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Lynn Mehaffey & Amy Sukol from DMA NF Conference February 2014

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business
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Game Changing Tests to Try Now

  1. 1. Game Changing Tests to Try Now Lynn Mehaffy, CFRE, Vice President Lautman Maska Neill & Company Amy Sukol, CFRE, Vice President Lautman Maska Neill & Company
  2. 2. What We are Going to Discuss Today: • How to Design a Test • How to Pick a Winner • Tests that are Making a Difference! • Questions
  3. 3. If You are Going to Test … Do it Right! • Determine what you are trying to achieve. • Only test one thing at a time. • Split your data proportionally and randomly. • Test enough quantity to provide readable, replicable results.
  4. 4. How Do I Pick a Winner? • Set a goal for the test i.e. have a hypothesis. • Look at test results in relation to the desired goal: – Did you increase your response rate? – Did you increase your average gift? – Did you lower your costs? – Did you decrease your cost to acquire a donor? • Was the test result statistically significant? • Do no harm!
  5. 5. What is Game Changing?
  6. 6. Less = More? • Meals on Wheels groups almost always do more than just serve meals. • Will donors give more if they know they do more? • This message test made it clear.
  7. 7. “Agency” Message Throughout the Package
  8. 8. The Results! Senior Services of Snohomish County - (Pacific Northwest) February Renewal 2012 - Active Donors MRC last 36 months Qty Mailed Gifts % Resp Gross Ave Gift Total Cost Net Control - MOW Message 3,599 413 11.48% $30,883 $74.78 $2,824 $28,059 Test - Broader Agency Message 3,598 321 8.94% $20,228 $63.01 $2,824 $17,404
  9. 9. Less = More (part 2) Do You Always Need a Letter?
  10. 10. No Letter
  11. 11. The Results!
  12. 12. And again … No Letter
  13. 13. The Results! • New streamlined package provided: • 20% lift in response rate • 17% savings in cost • Tested into decal (vs. bookmark, and sticker)
  14. 14. More = More? • One group found that adding certain design elements to the OE and reply form lifted response and average gift. • Could adding more make it even better?
  15. 15. Added Artwork
  16. 16. The Results! Segment Quantity Mailed Resp. Percent Response Gross Revenue Ave Gift Cost Per Thousand Cost Per Segment Net Income % Cost Recovered Low $ Control $100+ Control 4,643 1,057 5,700 275 45 320 5.92% 4.26% 5.61% $9,567 $7,105 $16,672 $34.79 $157.89 $52.10 $731 $992 $779 $3,392 $1,048 $4,440 $6,175 $6,057 $12,232 282.05% 677.82% 375.48% Low $ Letter Art Test $100+ Letter Art Test 4,643 1,057 5,700 278 52 330 5.99% 4.92% 5.79% $9,217 $9,790 $19,007 $33.15 $188.27 $57.60 $731 $992 $779 $3,392 $1,048 $4,440 $5,825 $8,742 $14,567 271.73% 933.98% 428.07%
  17. 17. More = More (part 2) • One group had always used two sheets of labels but wanted to reduce cost.
  18. 18. Could They Eliminate One Sheet?
  19. 19. Results! Package Description Control Single Sheet Quantity Mailed 87,833 87,820 Resp. 1,074 922 Percent Gross Ave Cost Per Cost Per Net % Cost Response Revenue Gift Thousand Segment Income Recovered 1.22% $29,849 $27.79 1.05% $28,726 $31.16 $509 $443 $44,749 ($14,900) $38,915 ($10,188) 66.70% 73.82%
  20. 20. Close a Window = Open a Door • Package and list fatigue were dragging down a longstanding control. • Numerous tests (message, ask amounts, personalized teaser) failed to make a difference. • One simple change finally worked:
  21. 21. Closed Face Envelope
  22. 22. The Results!
  23. 23. Close a Window = Open a Door (part 2) • Premium package plagued by low value giving. • Can we wean prospects away from the premium with a closed face envelope?
  24. 24. Closed Face Envelope/Fewer Labels
  25. 25. The Results!
  26. 26. A Little Reminder = Big Giving • Successful past appeal was being used again. • Many current donors had responded well. • How do we get them to do it again?
  27. 27. Remind Them They Gave in the Past
  28. 28. The Results!
  29. 29. So Many Ways to Ask … • There are almost as many ask strategies as organizations. • It pays to keep trying new ones! • Here are four that made a difference:
  30. 30. “Other” vs “Your Best Gift”
  31. 31. The Results!
  32. 32. Up or Down?
  33. 33. The Results!
  34. 34. Tis’ The Season?
  35. 35. The Results!
  36. 36. Would Donors Give Just $5 More?
  37. 37. The Results!
  38. 38. Other Testing Ideas … • Outer envelopes: to tease or not to tease – keep asking the question! • Font size: sometimes size does matter. • Premiums and freemiums: does it pay to give it away? • Member versus supporter. • Personalization: how much is too much?
  39. 39. One Last Winner! • One organization was only successful with internal prospecting, but it was flagging. • The last acquisition in 2011 yielded a $90 cost per new donor. • Organization investing in data append that helped them “find” 29,000 long-ago alumni addresses. • Did it make a difference?
  40. 40. Prospect Alumni Kit
  41. 41. The Results! • Investing in the new data enabled the organization to acquire 470 new donors at breakeven. • Not truly a test – but worth a try for alumni type internal prospects.
  42. 42. One Cautionary Tale • Using a yellow OE to call attention to an emergency campaign dropped the response rate 12.5% and the average gift by 8%
  43. 43. Lynn Mehaffy, CFRE, Vice President lmehaffy@lautmandc.com Amy Sukol, CFRE, Vice President asukol@lautmandc.com Lautman Maska Neill & Company 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 301 Washington, DC 20036 202 296-9660 | www.lautmandc.com

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