How to use A/B (split) testing to optimise donations on your charity website
You may have come across the concept of A/B or split testing before, but have you ever used it to boost donations?
A/B testing enables you to randomly serve two different versions of a webpage so you can collect data on which performs best. In a simple A/B test, half of your potential donors will see one version of the page and the other half will see the other.
By monitoring and tweaking your donation page based on real data, you can increase your conversions rate and drive more donations.
Choosing what to test on your donations page
Where do you start when it comes to A/B testing? While there are no hard and fast rules, it makes sense to start on those page elements that are most visible to potential donors. These might include your featured page image, page title/heading and donation button.
You can then start focusing on more subtle elements of your page such as the suggested donation amounts and different form layouts.
It can help to break down a webpage into visuals, text, layout and process, as follows:
Images can be highly emotive and a simple image change might increase conversions significantly. This is where I'd start in any A/B donation testing.
These include your featured page image, the colour scheme of your webpage and the colour and contrast of your donations button. The font style and size can also be included here. Images can be highly emotive and a simple image change might increase conversions significantly. This is where I'd start in any A/B donation testing.
These include the actual page copy, your page title or headline and the text on your donation button.
Are you addressing your target audience? Does your headline attract attention and does it link directly to your copy? Does 'Click to support our cause' convert better than a simple 'Donate now' button?
You can also test whether you should include information about how donations are spent, key statistics or social proof. If you offer the choice between one off and regular donations, can altering your text increase recurring donations?
Where is your donation button on your page? Does it appear as a pop up? Is it on a 'sticky' header that follows your reader as they scroll? All of these elements can be tested.
Some donations can be completed in a click while others are set out in a step-by-step process. Try both ways and see which converts better.
Do you include a suggested donation amount? You can try varying this up and down or omitting it altogether. In this case, you will want to track both conversion numbers and overall amounts. If setting your suggested donation higher leads to a drop in donations but an increase in revenue, you might experiment further to find the optimum numbers.
Six tools to help you add A/B testing to your workflow
Here are six popular tools for you to explore:
Optimize could be the most suitable option if you are already set up on Google Analytics and have set up Goals. It is a free tool with an inbuilt editor within which you can edit anything on your webpage.
Optimize is also compatible with most websites. Once you've signed up for Optimize, you only need to copy and paste a snippet into your webpage header. If you do have a WordPress website, you can use the MonsterInsights plugin to connect the service instead.
This is another free tool available as a WordPress plugin. It is one of the most flexible options as it allows you to tweak and test any part of your webpage.
WordPress Calls to Action
If you are mainly interesting in testing the effect of different CTAs, this free WordPress plugin could be the ideal choice. You can change any type of CTA (button, link, social media icon, etc.) and there is also a handy CTA template you can use for saving time.
If you regularly produce blog posts, this freemium WordPress plugin enables you to trial different page titles. Over time, you will build up a picture of what types of title attract readers and persuade them to click 'Donate!'
Nelio A/B Testing
If you don't mind spending a little money, Nelio is a powerful A/B testing tool that also includes heat maps. One of the most versatile tools, you can optimize anything on your page and can even connect Nelio with your WooCommerce online store.
Are you ready to start your A/B testing process?
These are just a few ideas to get you started with your A/B testing journey. We recommend also looking at our blog post on behavioural economics for some powerful tips on boosting donations.