ActBlue Express Lane

ActBlue Express Lane is our single-click donation program that helps you raise more money and dramatically increases conversion rates. We’ve seen campaigns and organizations bring in 3x more money with Express Lane!

We encourage donors to save their payment information after contributing in order to become ActBlue Express users. Once a donor has an account, all they need to do in order to donate is click a link you provide. ActBlue Express Lane increases conversion rates for all users, but it provides an even greater boost when users are donating on a mobile device.

We have over 3.4 million ActBlue Express users who are shared across all of our campaigns, committees, and organizations. That means you’ll most likely already have a big pool of ActBlue Express users on your email list.

If you’re interested in having ActBlue Express Lane turned on for your organization, contact us here.

How it Works

ActBlue Express Lane works based on two factors: your donors will receive donation links with a special URL parameter via email and a cookie on your potential donor's device will generate Express Lane. If either of those isn’t present the donor will see a normal contribution form. For example, if you send a link without a parameter to an ActBlue Express User or you send a link with a parameter to a donor without an ActBlue Express account, they will see a normal contribution form. If this is the case, donors won’t get charged if they click one of these links.

ActBlue Express Lane works with both one-time donation asks and recurring donation asks.

We've built tools to make the building of the special URLs easy and quick. Once you have the basics down, you can skip the URL building tool and craft extremely customized ask amounts and strategies.

Here's How to Get Started:

To turn on ActBlue Express Lane, you’ll need to first email info@actblue.com, or a specific member of our team to enable the feature for your account.

ActBlue Express Lane is only available to campaigns and organizations who use ActBlue exclusively — both on their websites and in fundraising emails.

After ActBlue Express Lane is turned on, go to your contribution form and click the “ActBlue Express Lane” tab. There you’ll see our custom link generator.

Once you get to the link generator, you can select the dollar amounts for your ActBlue Express links, the link text, and the refcodes. The link generator will then spit out a block of code for you to use.

Enter the dollar amounts for your ActBlue Express Lane links in the “Amounts” box. These need to be separated by commas, with no spaces between numbers.

Place your link text in the “sentence” box. You must write “AMOUNT” where you want the dollar amount to be.

For example if you want your first link to say “Click here to donate $5 immediately,” the "sentence" box should read “Click here to donate AMOUNT immediately.”

The “other text” box should be left filled with “Or donate another amount” so that your donors can choose a different amount to contribute other than the preset amounts.

We highly recommend adding a refcode to your ActBlue Express Lane links, so you can track which dollar amounts performed the best and optimize your link structure over time. Type in your desired refcode and check off the box that says “Include amount at the end of the refcode.” It’s an optional step, but one that’s a quick and easy way to ensure that you’ll be able to differentiate between each link you send to donors.

Also optional is a monthly recurring parameter which turns your Express link into a recurring link, as well. In other words, when your donors click to give an ActBlue Express contribution they’ll also be committing to a recurring contribution. Scroll down to the recurring section to find out how to set this up.

Once you have filled in the boxes, you can copy the code generated in the bottom of the blue box.

Paste the code you copied from the link generator into the HTML version of the email you are sending to your donors.

Here’s what the code will look like:

<div class='express-lane-links'><p class='info'>If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:</p>

<p class='link amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/gamechange?express_lane=true&amount=5&refcode=top_link_5'>Express Donate: $5</a></p>

<p class='link amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/gamechange?express_lane=true&amount=10&refcode=top_link_10'>Express Donate: $10</a></p>

<p class='link amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/gamechange?express_lane=true&amount=25&refcode=top_link_25'>Express Donate: $25</a></p>

<p class='link other'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/gamechange?refcode=top_link_other'>Or donate another amount.</a></p></div>

When a donor clicks one of these links they’ll immediately be contributing the amount specified by the link — in this case, the links at the top of your email.

It’s extremely important that you include the disclaimer language in the code and that it is clearly visible in the email. The disclaimer states “If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately.” You want to be sure that your donors understand that by clicking the link they will be contributing immediately.

Another crucial part of building ActBlue Express Lane links is to remember that your “other amount” link should not have the “express_lane=true” parameter, which turns on ActBlue Express Lane for each individual link. The tool we’ve built will generate the correct links, so be sure to use it when building your own links. Your donors (and lawyers) won’t be happy if you automatically charge people for donations they haven’t agreed to.

Before you send the email to your donors, double check that your links are working properly and the contribution amounts coincide with the links you’re sending.

Here’s a sample ActBlue Express Lane ask:

We have some basic recommendations for selecting ActBlue Express link amounts and structure, but feel free to use your understanding of your donors and what works for your email list when making your decisions. You should also try out different tactics in different fundraising emails or in different segments of your list if it’s big enough.

We generally recommend that you select 3 to 5 different dollar amounts for your links. Typically you start with the lowest dollar amount.

The most popular amount donors choose to give is typically the lowest amount suggested. That's why it's important that you think about the goals of your fundraising campaign. Do you want to make as much money as possible or have as much participation as possible? If the goal is to increase participation, you should start with a smaller amount, such as $3 or $5. For a recurring donation ask, your amounts should be smaller since you are asking for donors to contribute that amount every month.

You should look at your contribution history and see how much people typically give. You don’t want to pick amounts significantly lower than your donors typically contribute, but at the same time selecting amounts that are much higher than average could drive donors away.

To help with this, you can create tiers of donors to help organize your email sends based on what your supporters have contributed in the past. You can separate these categories into low, middle, and high-tiered donors. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a $50 ask to your donors that have a history of contributing $10 at a time.

Test and experiment with different strategies to see what works best for you and your list.

RECURRING CONTRIBUTIONS WITH ACTBLUE EXPRESS

At ActBlue we’re big believers in monthly recurring donations. Our testing has shown that ActBlue Express Lane and monthly recurring is a powerful fundraising combination!

ActBlue Express Lane allows donors to set up a recurring donation with a single click. Just use the “recurring=true” parameter to set the link for unlimited recurring in the URL along with the other required parameters.

<div class='express-lane-links'><p class='info'>If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:</p>

<p class='link amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/consequences?express_lane=true&amount=10&recurring=1&refcode=bottom_link_rec_10'>Express Donate: $10 a month</a></p>

<p class='link amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/consequences?express_lane=true&amount=25&recurring=1&refcode=bottom_link_rec_25'>Express Donate: $25 a month</a></p>

<p class='link amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/consequences?express_lane=true&amount=50&recurring=1&refcode=bottom_link_rec_50'>Express Donate: $50 a month</a></p>

<p>Or donate another amount:</p>

<p class='other amount'><a href='https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/consequences?amount=10&recurring=1&refcode=bottom_link_rec_other'>https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/consequences</a></p></div>

Remember to turn on unlimited recurring contributions by heading to the Edit tab of your contribution form. Scroll down to "Recurring Contribution Options" and click to see a menu drop down. You can then choose "Use unlimited monthly contributions."

When working with ActBlue Express Lane recurring asks, you must clearly explain to the donor that not only will their card be charged immediately when they click the link, but also that their card will be charged monthly thereafter. The text for your links MUST read: "Express Donate: AMOUNT a month."

LIST MATCHING

Want to know how many ActBlue Express Users you have on your list? There may be members of your list that have never given to you before, but have given to other campaigns or organizations and have saved their ActBlue Express information, so we’ve made it possible for you to upload your list for us to match, but it’s not necessary for you to match your list in order to use ActBlue Express Lane.

We do not use uploaded email addresses for any purpose other than matching and annotating your list. We’ll keep the list of ActBlue Express Lane enabled email addresses for 48 hours after matching to allow you ample time to download, but we won’t hold on to your uploaded list any longer than that.

We’re happy to help you get started matching your list. Just email us at info@actblue.com.