Optimize, Test, Repeat
Friction in the donation process runs off people who could become significant lifetime supporters. To determine whether your organization is creating friction, see “Are You Turning Off Online Donors?” in Fundraising Success’ May issue.
Steps to follow
Once you establish clear goals and eliminate as much friction as possible, measure the donation page’s performance regularly. Without frequent measurement, you can’t determine what’s helping and hurting conversion. Measuring performance is easier than you may think, thanks to free tools that anyone can download and use. You don’t have to be a techie or analytics specialist. Just follow these steps.
First, integrate Google Analytics (or another analytics platform) with your e-commerce system. Here I focused on Google Analytics (basic service) because it is free and intended for marketers vs. webmasters and technologists. This service generates real-time statistics about a website’s audience, traffic sources, content and conversions. With Google Analytics you can determine if your visitors and donors originate from referral sites, direct hits to your site, search engines, e-mail campaigns, social-media networks or mobile devices, allowing you to clearly see what drives the most traffic.
Enable Google Analytics’s Ecommerce Tracking to learn about visitors’ transactions through your site or app, including information about:
- Revenue per donation
- Conversion and abandonment rates
- Average gift
- Time of day
- Message timing
- Spikes in your program, popular giving days, etc.
- A/B testing results
Be sure to implement the tracking code feature and use UTM codes (Google’s version of source codes) on all links in e-mails, banners, social media, etc., which is simple to do with Google URL Builder. This allows you to monitor the success of a particular campaign or other trackable activities.
Second, conduct A/B split testing of your donation page. Commonly used in Web development, marketing and traditional advertising, A/B testing evaluates the performance of two variations of the same content, based on a metric that defines success. The A/B test presents each version of your online giving experience in equal rotations. You then can determine which version is more successful and select that version for ongoing use. Set up your test(s) with Experiments in Google Analytics. (Pro tip: Don’t forget to turn on Ecommerce if you want to track revenue for your experiment for each test, not just conversion.)