Brand standards vs. what works in online fundraising

Great story in the Innovative Email blog: Change your calls to action & see your click-through rates soar.


Through testing, they discovered that green call-to-action buttons got more clicks than other colors. (Interestingly, they’ve also found that the effective call-to-action color varies from one industry to the next.) Unfortunately, the company’s website color-scheme demanded that the buttons should be red. Green buttons violated brand standards.


(The happy end of the story is that they were allowed to test the effective color against the brand-compliant color, and the difference was dramatic enough to persuade them to make an exception.)


The learnings:



If you find brand & consistency obstacles in your path when testing calls to action, remember that your job is to try and interrupt someone that is reading through their inbox. Your job is more difficult than that of the website because of this, so try to positively challenge any resistance, ask for a small-scale test segment that will still give you a significant result and let the results speak for themselves.

People exploring your website and thinking about giving didn’t read your brand guidelines. They don’t care about your tasteful color palette. In fact, they are more likely to notice a clashing color than a matching one! So even if your color scheme is full of good “response” colors, you might do better with something that stands out from them.


These issues exist not only online but in all media.


I realize this information would make brand cops gnash their teeth (if they read this blog, which they don’t). But you need to make a high-level decision: What’s more important, effective fundraising, or a well-guarded brand? The two frequently are in conflict. And if your decision is brand over effectiveness — why?


Thanks to BeRelevant for the tip.


Comments

6 responses to “Brand standards vs. what works in online fundraising”

  1. Great food for thought. I am a huge proponent of guarding brand identity, but I also understand the need to be flexible. I think the ‘try and see’ approach is great.
    On a side note, as a self-proclaimed color diva, there are ways to find contrasting colors that grab attention and still coordinate with a corporate color scheme. It can be argued that it is the contrast that grabs attention more than the actual hue.

  2. Great food for thought. I am a huge proponent of guarding brand identity, but I also understand the need to be flexible. I think the ‘try and see’ approach is great.
    On a side note, as a self-proclaimed color diva, there are ways to find contrasting colors that grab attention and still coordinate with a corporate color scheme. It can be argued that it is the contrast that grabs attention more than the actual hue.

  3. That contradict a discovery of Donor Digital time ago about the color of button (red one increase the click-trough to donor page), but a friend who is the Creative Director of one the largest Digital Company in Latin America talk me about green color is more effective and …. well, I applied his suggestion in my blog (www.gonzaloibarra.com) and change of red to green, in 1 day and after to send a newsletter I increased of 37 members to almost 60 suscribers in my commnunity. So, it’s true (green is more effective than red)!!

  4. That contradict a discovery of Donor Digital time ago about the color of button (red one increase the click-trough to donor page), but a friend who is the Creative Director of one the largest Digital Company in Latin America talk me about green color is more effective and …. well, I applied his suggestion in my blog (www.gonzaloibarra.com) and change of red to green, in 1 day and after to send a newsletter I increased of 37 members to almost 60 suscribers in my commnunity. So, it’s true (green is more effective than red)!!

  5. Hi Jeff – good stuff here, although what about tips for mobile email campaigns? txt is great, but there are interactive email tools that allow you to create PC-like email for phones. Have you looked at Artez?
    http://www.artez.com/blog/introducing-artez-mobile-communicator

  6. Hi Jeff – good stuff here, although what about tips for mobile email campaigns? txt is great, but there are interactive email tools that allow you to create PC-like email for phones. Have you looked at Artez?
    http://www.artez.com/blog/introducing-artez-mobile-communicator

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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