We recommend using reference codes (which we’ll refer to as refcodes) for every fundraising link you send out. Refcodes are specific links that collect useful data on your emails by tracking which link a donor used to give. For example, was it the first link in the email? Was it in version A or version B of your email? Refcodes will record that information for you, so you’ll have a better feel for what your donors are responding to.
Using refcodes, you can easily measure which version of your fundraising email generates the most money in a test send. If you’re asking supporters to fundraise on your behalf, or planning an event with fundraising hosts, you can give them custom links with a refcode pre-loaded to track their donations. Or, if you’ve got multiple links in an email, you can find out which link most people are using to give.
Most importantly, if you’re using ActBlue Express Lane, refcodes are critical for determining which donation link amounts people are clicking. If you have questions about using refcodes with ActBlue Express Lane, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s how to create a refcode:
- In the Promote tab of your form, enter an appropriate word or phrase, with no spaces or punctuation marks, into the refcode section.
- Copy the link and place it in the appropriate spot in your fundraising email or on your website.
Here’s what it will look like.
The pink section is your refcode, orange is the amount, and green is the number of months (if you’re pre-setting for a recurring donation).
- To see how many people have given using that link, go to the Statistics tab of your form. You’ll see all of the contributions broken down by refcode, as well as your total contributions.
USING MULTIPLE REFCODES
If you’re running a complicated and intensive testing program this feature is for you.
Sometimes a single refcode isn't enough to collect all of your data, especially when you want to keep track of additional items such as link placement. That’s why we allow you to build a second refcode into your links, using the “refcode2=” parameter. Here's what it looks like:
The refcode2 parameter won’t be displayed in your Statistics page, but you can find all of that data when you download the CSV for your contribution form.
Scroll to the bottom of the chart on the Stats page and you’ll see totals for the form, like displayed above. The contributions are listed by refcode, so you can determine which of your links generated the most funds. You’ll also see the number of pledged recurring contributions, the projected funds raised from those contributions, and the total funds the form brought in initially.
You can also see if the percentage of contributions for a specific refcode were made using a mobile form, as well as compare the conversion rates for your various refcodes.
If you want to download your data as a CSV to do further analysis, scroll down to the bottom of the “Stats” page and click the drop-down menu, “Additional Tools.”
You can also search for a specific refcode. You’ll see that option in the top right hand corner of the refcode table on your form’s Stats page, which provides you with a detailed breakdown of contributions for the specific form you’re viewing.
If you’ve entered a specific refcode you’ll get a detailed breakdown of the contributions generated by that specific link.
You can also see your donations broken down by refcodes in a chart on your Stats page. Click “Toggle refcode chart.”
You’ll see a chart like the one below with a visualization of your contributions by refcode.