5 Easy Ways Nonprofits Can Use Testing to Increase Digital Engagement

September 27, 2018  |  Gabby Weiss

There’s no secret trick to instantly improving digital engagement for nonprofits. While it’s important to follow standard best practices, engagement rates depend highly on the preferences of one’s audience, which can vary greatly between nonprofits who serve a diverse array of communities and issues. The most reliable way for nonprofits to increase digital engagement is to test different techniques and messages with your own audience to determine what they respond to best, and follow the results. If you’re ready to start improving your digital program through testing, here are five places to get started.

1. Campaign Themes and Branding

Especially for annual campaigns or other regularly recurring asks, test the theme and messaging you are using by sending out two different versions of your appeal (make sure that they are the same in all other aspects aside from the changes that you’re testing) to similar samples of your audience to see which performs better. Take note of the type of theme and messaging that your list responds to and use this to inform future campaigns.

2. Donation page layout

Only about 1 in 5 users who navigate to your donation page will actually complete a donation, so your work isn’t done once a supporter has clicked the donate button. There are many elements of your donation pages that can be adjusted to test their impact on the form’s conversion rates, including the headline, photos or images, and the number and layout of fields in the form. Testing several versions of your donation page will help you ensure the maximum amount of conversions.

3. Different giving options

Your donation pages should offer users enough options to meet a broad range of donor preferences, without creating a cluttered and confusing experience. Testing the number of options and the way they are displayed can help you find the most persuasive balance for your supporters.

4. Homepage layout

Your website homepage is likely the first thing that most visitors see, so it’s important that it draws them in further, and directs them toward relevant actions such as signing up for email updates or donating. Testing different positions, colors, and more when it comes to those buttons and navigation options is important to ensure that your homepage is effectively converting traffic.

5. Email subscriber ask language

For nonprofits, an effective call to action is paramount. Many organizations have moved away from passive language such as “join our mailing list” or “sign up to receive our newsletter,” and toward active calls such as “take action” or “join the movement.” Replacing generic sign up forms with petitions that supporters can sign is popular with nonprofits in the advocacy field.

For more ideas and instructions on how to use testing to improve your organization’s digital engagement, download our complete guide!