ActBlue Express Lane
In this article:
- How to get started
- Creating ActBlue Express Lane links
- Putting ActBlue Express Lane links into an email
- How to choose your link amounts and structure
With ActBlue Express Lane, donors can give with a single click right from your email or website — no contribution form needed. When an ActBlue user, who has saved their payment information with us, clicks on an ActBlue Express Lane link that you’ve created, their contribution will automatically be processed and they’ll be taken to a thank you page.
We have over 13 million ActBlue Express users who can use ActBlue Express Lane to give to all of the campaigns, committees, and organizations that use ActBlue with a single click.
How to Get Started
In order to use ActBlue Express Lane, you’ll need to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us here so that a member of our team can enable the feature on your account. ActBlue Express Lane is only available to campaigns and organizations who use ActBlue exclusively — both on their websites and in their fundraising emails.
Once we’ve enabled the feature on your account, you’re all set to create your ActBlue Express Lane links and start raising money!
Creating ActBlue Express Lane Links
Navigate to the Contribution Forms tab in the menu on the left side of your Dashboard, and locate the contribution form you want to create an Express Link for.
Once you’ve located your form, click on the name of your form to be taken directly to it.
Once you’re viewing the form, click on the “ActBlue Express Lane” button from the “More” dropdown located on the form navigation bar (form navbar) at top.
You’ll now see the “Custom ActBlue Express Lane Link Creator.” Here you can select the dollar amounts for your ActBlue Express Lane links, the link text, and the refcodes. Please note that you can build your own links, but we highly recommend starting with our link creator until you learn the ins and outs of ActBlue Express Lane links.
To start, scroll down to “Configure pre-set options.” In the Amounts box, input the preset contribution amounts you want in your links, separated by commas with no spaces.
The “Sentence” box is where you’ll enter the text for your donation link. It’s very important that it’s clear to your donors that clicking a link will result in an automatic contribution. Your link language could follow our model, which says “Express Donate: $5,” or follow other variations such as “Click here to donate $5 immediately.” Type the word “AMOUNT” in all caps where you want the contribution amount displayed in the link.
The “Other text” box should be left filled with “Or donate another amount” so that your donors can choose an amount other than the ones you’ve specified. This link is not an ActBlue Express Lane link. Instead, donors will be taken to your contribution form where they can decide how much they want to donate.
We highly recommend adding refcodes to your ActBlue Express Lane links so you can track which dollar amounts perform the best and optimize your links over time. Type in a refcode in the “Refcode” box and check off the box that says “Include amount at the end of the refcode” to create a unique refcode for each dollar amount.
Once you’re done customizing your ActBlue Express links, scroll up to the beginning of the Custom ActBlue Express Lane Link Creator to see a preview.
Putting ActBlue Express Lane Links Into an Email
Once you’re satisfied with the preview of your ActBlue Express Lane links, you can copy and paste the code from the code generator into a fundraising email or onto your website. Just scroll to “Get the Code” in the creator, then copy and paste the HTML.
It’s extremely important that you include the first line of code, which contains important disclaimer language for your 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. Failure to include a clear disclaimer may result in the deactivation of the ActBlue Express Lane feature on your account.
Before you send the email to your donors, double check that your links are working properly and that the amount shown in the donation link text matches the amount in your code (which is what donors will actually be charged when they click).
Please note: Our tools will generate the proper link, but if you are building your own ActBlue Express Lane links, be very careful that you do not include the “express_lane=true” parameter in the code for the “Or donate another amount” link. Your donors (and lawyers) won’t be happy if you automatically charge people for donations they haven’t agreed to.
Additionally, if you have contacted and been approved by ActBlue to use pre-set recurring forms and are using them in combination with ActBlue Express Lane, you must follow ActBlue’s policy and explicitly and clearly ask donors for recurring contributions immediately before the donor clicks the link to give. In addition, any pre-set dollar amounts in the links must reflect what is in the ask. Here is an example of this in action:
Read the full pre-set recurring forms policy and get helpful language examples here. ActBlue will contact any groups that do not follow the policy and will limit use of the feature until proper adherence with the policy can be achieved. Repeated failure to adhere to the guidelines will result in a group no longer being able to use pre-set recurring forms. If you would like to request the ability to use pre-set recurring forms or have questions, reach out to your ActBlue contact or email@example.com!
How to Choose Your Link Amounts and Structure
We have some basic recommendations for selecting ActBlue Express Lane 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.
First, it is very important to include the “Or donate another amount” option with your links. You will lose out on money if you don’t include this.
We generally recommend that you select three to five different dollar amounts for your custom links and start with the lowest dollar amount. We’ve found these guidelines to be useful from our own A/B testing.
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.
You should look at your contribution history and see how much people have typically given to your campaign when deciding on these amounts. 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 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 ask donors that have a history of contributing $10 at a time to contribute $50.
Ultimately, we recommend testing and experimenting with different strategies to see what works best for you and your list.