This presentation was conducted at the NiUG Conference, 2010.
This presentation was recently conducted at the 2010 NiUG Conference in Cairns, Qld, Australia.
This is a presentation I gave at the 2010 Associations Forum Conference on 28 July 2010.
If you’re a charity or fundraising organisation then I’m hoping that by now you already have a donation page on your website. Check? It was hard work right? You had to get the security sorted out, the wording, the merchant banking stuff – and then for every donation you have to figure out how to deal with the information, how to get it into your donor management database and how to send the receipts and thank you letters. I get it, it’s a real challenge.
In fact I would posit that it’s so challenging that by the time your done the last thing you want to do is tinker with it. Or perhaps more to the point – you don’t have the ability to change it.
This is typical, and fairly common. Web development requires specific skills and not everyone has those skills. However that should never prevent you from playing with new ideas in an effort to make your website better. So as a fundraiser should you go and learn how to do web development? NO! However you should at a minimum have a good working relationship with your web development team so that you can try new things and not have to re-invent the wheel every time.
DM is Slow
Rule #6 is all about testing. Testing is something you’ve been doing for a while now however typically you’ll do it in your direct mail pieces. As an example you’ll know that this time last year you sent out a direct mail piece and that it got a 2.4% response rate (as an example). So using that information and knowing what was sent out last year you try a few things, you send out the same DM piece as last year as your control piece but then you introduce variations to small groups testing things like wording, imagery, colour schemes, even paper types in an effort to get a better conversion rate. Then in a few months time you can compare the response rates between your control, the same control from last year, and the new variations you’ve put in place for this year and see what worked best. Why? So that next year you can use the piece that had the ‘best’ response rate, and then do more testing.
What’s the problem here? There’s really no problem, except that there really aren’t many ways to do this better. It’s simply frustrating because it’s so time consuming. It might take you up to 18 months before you really have a good idea of what worked better.
Online is fast
So you recognise the importance of doing testing, so what’s stopping you from doing this online? Firstly there are many benefits:
- It’s Fast. You can start testing today, and then have some indication of the results in hours or days.
- It’s Random. The tools take care of randomisation for you, so if you have three different scenarios you are going to test then the tools can push different scenarios to different visitors for you.
- It’s Accurate. You are able to see the numbers for yourself, see how many people saw which scenario and which of those people clicked and which donated. And then compare that to your control and get precise measurement.
Will it completely revolutionise your online giving process? It might… be probably not. But wouldn’t you like another .5%, or maybe another 1% or 2%? Think of how many gifts you get in a year and the value of those, then add a couple of percent. In some cases that might be a salary, or a well, or a child’s life. That’s worth it!
Please remember that I’m not telling you to stop your DM and go exclusively online, I hope that goes without saying.
The way I would start this process of online testing is by reviewing what google have to offer. There is a tool from google called the website optimiser which allows you to set up different scenarios for things you want to test and then run the test and see the results.
There’s a video here of how it works.
I (very) occasionally get asked “how do I use twitter”, above is a 10 minute video on just that. Enjoy. Comments?Read More