[Year-End Fundraising] Beginner’s Guide to Split A/B Testing

17 Percent BetterNeed convincing that Split A/B testing is worth the time?

Data doesn’t lie. Here are data points that show Split A/B Testing:

Testing allows you to learn what works and what doesn’t, and make communication decisions based on actual data, rather than hunch.

What to Test

If you’re new to Split A/B testing, you’ll get the most bang from your buck by first testing:

  • Email Subject Lines
  • Opening lines
  • Positive Frame versus Negative Frame
  • Email Headlines
  • Email Images
  • Call-to-Action Wording
  • Call-to-Action Button Coloring
  • Call-to-Action Button location
  • Landing Page Layout
  • Images on Landing Page
  • Trust Logos on Landing Pages
  • Landing Page Copy

How to Test

The most popular tools for testing your landing page, or any webpage, are:

  • Optimizely. Create a test using their point-and-click editor. Easy to implement the winner once the test has given you results. No coding or technical knowledge needed.
  • Visual Website Optimizer. Another easy-to-use tool with great results analysis. Their clickmaps show you where website visitors are interacting with your pages–insight the other tools don’t offer.
  • Unbounce: Use their drag-and-drop-editor to design your landing pages or use anyone of their multiple high-performance templates as a starting point. Unbounce reminds of us of MailChimp’s best practice templates.
  • Convert: Use Convert’s quick wizard to modify elements of your page design for an easy A/B test with good integration with Google Analytics.

Most email campaign software has built-in tools for A/B testing. However, here are some great guides and resources:

If your email campaign software doesn’t have a built-in testing tool, we recommend that you use the 10/10/80 split test. This is where you:
  • Use 10% percent of your list to test one subject line or email element
  • 10% to test the other subject line, or email element, at the same time
  • The remaining 80% of your list receives the best-performing email a few hours later

Analyzing Your Results

Careful not to test too many things at once. If you test too many elements at the same time, you won’t know what drove results or didn’t.

For example, test your trust logo location on your donation page versus testing two completely different donation pages with different images, copy, trust logo location, and call-to-action wording. Then you know if placing your trust logos above the fold increases conversions or not.

If  just want to know which of two options is more effective – then go on ahead and test two completely different options against each other. But generally speaking, this kind of approach doesn’t help you understand why one version outperformed the other so you can replicate the results, or build upon them.

[Year-End Fundraising] Series

We’ve now completed the entire series of strategies and tips for year-end fundraising campaigns. You can see all the posts here:

We hope you found this series useful for 2013 and will consider archiving these tips for your 2014 Year-End Fundraising.

Photo Credit: TheBusyBrain via Compfight cc