Why testing matters in online fundraising

Which Test Won is a great blog to read, if for no other reason than this: It keeps you humble.

Like this post: Amsterdam Printing — Button Test

The difference between the two was subtle. Different words, slightly different size. Same color, same placement.

But one drew 45% more revenue per visitor. That’s a smack-down!

I studied both. Both seemed strong in ever-so-slightly different ways. I finally chose one, based on some similar testing I’ve done.

I got it wrong.

That’s the way it goes when you visit that site. You get it wrong sometimes, and right sometimes. Part of the sport is reading the comments. People there give their reasons for their choices. Most of the people who were wrong seem to have just as good reasoning as those who choose right. But they’re still wrong.

We couldn’t have predicted the winner of this test. We know we’re preaching to the choir, but when you’re not sure what copy to use, optimization testing can help you find your answer!

Nobody knows it all. Only your donors can tell you the truth about what works best. Actually, they can’t tell you — they can only show you.

Meaning this: Test as often as you can. Especially online, where our general body of knowledge is still thin, new, and changing fast. No matter how smart you are, you don’t know it all.


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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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About the blogger

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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