Making A/B Testing Work For You

A/B testing is a tried and true strategy for grassroots digital fundraising – it’s how campaigns and organizations of all sizes and budgets make their fundraising programs better. Running A/B tests using ActBlue means comparing two slightly different versions of the same contribution form to see which performs better. When a supporter clicks on a link to the form, our ActBlue testing tool will randomly assign them to one of two groups: one group receives the standard form (the control), and one receives the altered form (the variable). Think of it like a science experiment!

If A/B testing is unfamiliar to you, it can easily fit into your current workflows. ActBlue makes it easy to track which form is more successful and also provides “automatic traffic allocation” – a tool that directs more traffic to the version of your form that is performing best. A/B testing only improves your fundraising by letting you know what form customization options lead to more supporters pitching in. 

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get you underway: 

Test your form title

Have you ever come up with two titles for your form and weren’t sure which was better? With A/B testing you can try both!

To get started, try testing a simple title versus a wordier option. 

Depending on your audience and what part of the fundraising cycle you’re in, one form title will do better than the other! That result will give you some strong copywriting guidelines to go by moving forward, so any team member can write a form title that piques the interest of your community.

Test different preset donation amounts

It can be challenging to figure out how much you should ask your supporters to give. Testing different preset donation amounts means two groups of donors will see two different sets of buttons with different donation amounts suggested. Try testing one group of lower preset donation amounts versus a group of higher amounts: 

In the results of this A/B test, you’ll see the amount of money you’ve raised on each form and the number of contributions your supporters have given. Depending on the goals of your fundraising campaign, the variation between these two statistics can help you figure out how much you should be asking your community to chip in!

Pro tip: Try running this same test, but optimize for recurring conversions instead of standard conversions! Optimizing for recurring conversions will mean the more successful form will result in more recurring contributions. This sort of test will help you understand what preset donation amounts are more likely to result in people making a monthly commitment!

Test hiding an embedded video

You might embed a video on your contribution form for many reasons: maybe your marketing team just put together a compilation of donor testimonials, or you’re hosting a virtual event! But have you ever wondered whether the video on your form increases contributions? 

Sometimes, if the video is not essential, less is more – try testing a form with a video against a version with the video hidden. 

If the form without the video wins the A/B test, it doesn’t mean you should never add videos to a form! It just means that your donors don’t need a video to engage with the topic you’re fundraising around at that particular time.

More tips and tricks:

  • Try running A/B tests before a big fundraising push so you have data to back up your strategy during the most important moments!
  • Your fundraising strategy can and should vary from region to region, so running the same A/B test on different forms for different audiences is often a great idea. 
  • Be careful not to draw conclusions about your whole program from one round of testing – many factors can affect the results, including the time of year and the audience who received the form. Multiple rounds of testing are always best!
  • ActBlue’s A/B testing tool encourages you to record your hypotheses and conclusions – writing down your assumptions and findings makes them easier to revisit down the road!
  • Are you becoming an expert on running contribution form A/B tests? A/B testing can apply to many other parts of your digital strategy, including email and social media. Try sending the same email with two different subject lines to two groups of your audience, and see which one has a higher open rate!