A new year means a fresh start for your fundraising program! What better way to perfect your small-dollar donor outreach than A/B testing? Especially after 2020, which was filled with unexpected challenges for nonprofits and their supporters, it’s important to check in on your fundraising strategies and make changes where needed. A/B testing allows you to compare theories and approaches rather than relying on assumptions about what your donors will like.
And you don’t need to be a data scientist to start testing and improving your contribution forms! Using AB Charities’ easy A/B Test Tool, you can build a fundraising program that resonates with your supporters and moves them to give. The test tool randomly splits every donor who lands on your form into two groups: one that receives the normal form (the “control”), and one that receives the altered form (the “variation”)!
A/B testing will help you create a data-driven grassroots fundraising program that can bring more people into your movement. Here are three tips for using our A/B Test Tool to learn more about your supporters:
Have strong goals in mind before setting up your tests
- What metrics are you going to use to define success? Form conversions — also known as the number of contributions — is the most basic metric you can use to compare your control form and variation, but we also make it possible to optimize your test for recurring conversions, recurring upsells, or Smart Boost upsells! Your A/B test results will always include form conversion rate, average contribution, and dollars per visit for each version of your form, so there are plenty of metrics to consider.
- Use the hypothesis field in the tool to record what you think the result of the test will be! Writing a hypothesis before the test begins and then comparing it to your results is a key part of checking your assumptions.
- We have a helpful automatic traffic allocation tool which is turned on by default for your test: It sends more supporters to the version of your form that is performing best based on the optimization you chose, while keeping the test scientifically sound. If you turn automatic traffic allocation off, you will need to click “Make winner” on the variation that performed best in order to stop the less-successful form from being shown to donors. Because of this, having a strong idea of what will make one form “win” over the other is key!
Test one variable at a time
- While you can select multiple form variables to test, choosing one will give you the most accurate results. By selecting one variable, you are ensuring that the results hinge on that one difference between the two form versions. If you want to test more than one feature, we’d recommend creating different tests on different forms!
- You can test the following variables on your AB Charities contribution forms: form title, donation ask, preset amounts, branding, thermometer, embedded video, or recurring promotion (like a recurring pitch or recurring incentive).
Maximize your fundraising by testing upsells!
- You can also test post-donation upsells with our A/B Test Tool. Upsells enable you to make a second fundraising ask that invites supporters to make bigger or sustaining investments in your nonprofit. Even a small increase in an upsell conversion rate can have a big impact on your fundraising program by helping you build out a recurring program or get more money in the door during a rapid response moment.
- Test a pop-up recurring or Smart Boost upsell to get the most out of your forms. You can compare different titles and asks for both types of upsells!
To build a strong small-dollar donor program, you need to listen to your donors. Spend a few extra minutes setting up A/B tests for your contribution forms at the beginning of the year to make sure your fundraising asks are as effective as possible, and then make it a habit to run new tests regularly! If you have any questions, fundraising experts are always here to help.