Responsive design through continuous testing
The first step to handling a new level and new donors was to overhaul PIH’s website — moving it from a more traditional, old-school website to a responsive design that promotes giving — and keeps donors engaged when the disaster moves out of the social consciousness.
Getting the clutter out of the way and optimizing the user experience was one component, Rospars says. So BSD and PIH went through and stripped the website of barriers for visitors, including the donation process. PIH now utilizes the same Quick Donate tool that the 2012 Obama campaign successfully used for its online fundraising (the Obama campaign was a client of BSD), so e-mail subscribers can give in one click through e-mail.
Then, BSD and PIH used multivariate testing to optimize every facet of the digital fundraising space, including launching the responsive website based on test results. They tested (and continue to test) everything from homepage and donation design to photos, calls to action, donating prompts, different messages to different ZIP codes and more. They also test every e-mail with various messages, creative, copy, landing pages, taglines that show up on search engines, light boxes, stories, etc. — and then see what the audience tells them through response.
The website also is optimized for mobile, and everything is done with the donor in mind — while always testing new things to try and improve results.
“We set up tools to listen to what donors want,” says Dan Thain, director of campaign development at BSD. “We get insights from our audience and through testing to build the most effective and simple message we can to pull on their heartstrings and get them to give.”
PIH has invested in a long-term testing strategy, relentlessly focusing on testing and using data to drive strategy and creative. It also incorporates an “always on” digital communications program through e-mail, social media, advertising, and integrated digital and direct-mail communications.