Not Valid How “chip in” language affects recurring donations

Date Added: April 28, 2020 Research Partner: LifeSite Element tested: Email Call-to-Action

LifeSite's spring campaign began right as the corona virus pandemic started to unfold. So we wanted to test a smaller gift ask that would seem manageable as the economy began to decline,  but that would still provide LifeSit with a long-term revenue stream.

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27.0% lift How replacing a video thumbnail with a raw link affected email click rate

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: Dallas Theological Seminary Element tested: Email Design

With DTS, previous experiments had found that simplifying the email communications tended to increase engagement. This was applicable from solicitation emails to cultivation newsletters. We decided to test this concept with a video as well. Past experiments with similar organizations had shown that video thumbnail images tended to help increase clicks for a video-focused email but, given the recent DTS results, we wanted to validate that specifically with the DTS audience.

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Not Valid How a more personal tone in a direct mail letter can impact donor conversion

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: Back to the Bible Element tested: Name Acquisition Copy

Back to the Bible has shifted the tone and approach to their digital communication dramatically in the past year. The emails they send to people are very conversational, intentional, and personal. Their email file health has seen a dramatic improvement since this change was put in place. The focus of the emails has been to care for people and their spiritual life. Because of this responses digitally, we were curious how this approach might affect their Direct Mail strategy. To test this, we wrote two different Direct Mail letters. One letter was more traditional in nature - the call-to-action focused on the premium offer and included a P.S. at the end of the letter. The treatment was more conversational, soft, and personal in nature - more similar to the approach we've taken in their digital communication. We split their Direct Mail file in half and made sure there was an equal number of donors and nondonors for each variable.

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308.9% lift How simplifying an open letter’s readability impacted revenue

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: Americans for Prosperity Element tested: Donation Page Copy

As a part of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) response efforts, American's For Prosperity made available to concerned Americans an opportunity to add their name to an open letter to Congress as they planned a government response to provide citizens aid, as well as focused stimulus dollars to "restart the economy" again after the pandemic.

The open letter had become a wonderful engagement piece for the housefile, so they decided to open it up to prospective supporters to give them the opportunity to add their name alongside tens of thousands of other signers, as well.

Because the open letter was so popular, they decided to put a donation appeal behind it and test acquiring new donors, and did so very effectively.

But as time went on, the open letter signup (or email capture) rates were beginning to decline, so they wanted to experiment with increasing email signups. 

The original letter was carefully crafted by government affair and policy experts and when graded in a readability tool, it was projected to be at a 15th grade reading level. So, they thought: "What would happen if we dramatically simplified this language, and dropped it to a 5th grade reading level?"

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53.2% lift Will an even more personal tone and approach increase engagement?

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: NextAfter Element tested: Email Copy

Twice a month we send a 'digest' email that shares a variety of fundraising resources and research we've produced lately. Our emails are typically written in first person and quite 'human' and personal. In the week leading up to this digest, I shared a video of me shooting on a LittleTikes hoop in my backyard on LinkedIn that got a TON of engagement even though that's not what I post and it's not really the 'personal' social channel (assumption) and wondered what an even more 'me' focused email in terms of approach and personal tone would do with our audience. In this case, we added a few short paragraphs talking about my personal life and even linked to my son, my dog, and myself shooting hoops in the backyard. Things that don't really have any utility or value for the reader in terms of fundraising resources or ideas.

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-17.8% drop How interest targeting affects conversion and cost

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: NextAfter Element tested: Advertising

In this experiment, I started out simply wanting to refresh our housefile lookalike audience since our housefile has grown. In doing so, I wondered if we could actually see better performance by modeling off of a NIO Summit attendee list. Furthermore, I wanted to see how both of those compared to using pure interest based targeting. The primary goal of these ads is to drive new traffic to our website.

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-78.7% drop How the aspect ratio of a Facebook video ad affects conversion

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: NextAfter Element tested: Advertising

In this experiment, we had tested into using a talking-head style video ad for some audiences in our webinar promotions. But we wondered if we could actually get more registrations by using a square cropped video, which is Facebook's recommended video aspect ratio. The control was the full aspect ratio video ad. The treatment was the square aspect ratio. Both videos were exactly the same in every other regard, including the subtitles.

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25.5% lift Which is more effective in a subject line: “Mystery + Value” or “Mystery + Hyper-Personalization”

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: NextAfter Element tested: Email Subject Line

In this experiment, I was using NextAfter's 5-step subject line creation tool to craft a subject line for a new webinar. I ended up with 2 different, equally viable subject lines. The first emphasized "utility" or "value" while not giving away the exact topic of the webinar. The second was equally "mysterious" while laying heavily into personalization.  

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15.0% lift How using a different sender increased open rates

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: Americans for Prosperity Element tested: Email Sender

Americans for Prosperity has been using two senders to communicate to their house file for slightly more than a year now. Tim, the President of the organization, is the primary solicitor and has historically sent 1-2 weekly emails to promote news and updates to the reader. In the summer of 2019, we added an additional sender who largely cultivates the audience (doesn't ask) other than in the context of a high urgency campaign (as a follow-up to Tim's earlier solicitation emails if they haven't yet responded before the deadline). We wanted to specifically quantify how the audience responded to the two senders by running an A/B split test on a weekly cultivation email.

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347.9% lift How breaking your goal down into a smaller ask impacts revenue

Date Added: April 20, 2020 Research Partner: The Fund for American Studies Element tested: Email Copy

During the Founders' Day Campaign for The Fund for American Studies, we wanted to test whether presenting a smaller ask (or "micro ask") instead of a larger, nebulous amount (of their "most generous gift" amount) and what affect it would have on donor conversion rate or revenue collected in the context of this campaign.

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