“Stage those donation pages,” and Other Discoveries from the 2016 RNC Testing Report
(co-authored with my excellent co-worker, top summer softball draft pick, freakishly knowledgable Disney fan, and digital organizing wiz Nathan Adams)
Republicans won in 2016. Against the odds, they waged a campaign that took down Democrats across the country and catapulted Donald Trump to the presidency. There are a lot of pieces going around about why this happened. This isn’t one of those.
Earlier this year, the RNC released their testing booklet from the 2016 election. For years, Democrats have had a superior presence on social media, and had an upper hand in digital organizing tactics. With the release of this booklet, we can see this upper hand diminishing as the RNC brings a younger, savvier demographic into their fold. Below are a few takeaways worth knowing.
1. Stage those donation pages…
Many things came out of the Obama 2012 election in terms of testing and data. One of the more overlooked findings is quite simple — stage your donation pages. This was, once again, proven true by the RNC.
Staged donation pages are donation pages that take you through multiple steps, each being on a different page. Breaking down donations doesn’t make the donor feel overwhelmed and increases your percentage of completed donations — especially on mobile. The RNC found that they earned 30% less when they switched from the staged donation pages to single forms.
2. …Then pre-fill them
After finishing a petition or coming from a donation ask on an email, the RNC found that, the higher the amount you pre-filled on the donation page, the more revenue you received. Donation forms should always be pre-filled. Each pre-filled option from both the petitions and the email landing pages showed a lift in donations. Failure to do this = leaving money on the table.
3. Make pages official
One of the most interesting tests was adding a text box indicating the website (and, in turn, the donation) was to the OFFICIAL campaign. This had an immediate increase in revenue, bringing in 46% more than donation pages without this content.
If you are a small nonprofit or running a local campaign, this is a great way to easily increase the number of donations without spending more than 5 minutes working on the website. If you are running a larger organizing effort, this will help distinguish you from the other fundraising efforts out there while adding a sense of security for your supporters.
4. Language matters
Considering what to put as your language to get more signups? According to the RNC, “I’m in” is 18% more likely to drive email signups than, “Add my name,” and 20% more likely than the traditional “Sign Up.” These results can be seen in use on the current Trump site.
Weren’t even aware you could change that little button on your website? Most website options used by organizing efforts give you a template that you can then tailor to give your supporters the best experience while giving you, hopefully, both more data and more money. Find out how to change not only the language on the site, but also the language within the buttons. This will give you an added layer of success.
5. Apparently, green buttons work best
Green. The color of money and the faces of Democrats at 2 AM when the election was called. Green buttons for donations performed well, while green buttons for volunteer signups led to a whopping 30% increase in conversions vs. red and blue counterparts. This worked the same for green trim in drawing people’s attention to specific areas of the website. Unfortunately, Trump’s patented orange was not tested for buttons or trim.
6. Bonus: What has two thumbs facing up and performs well when tested against other images?
Trump images with his thumbs up were the most effective images for Republicans in the 2016 election.
Curious to learn more about what the RNC found to work and what didn’t? Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think — https://www.gop.com/rnc-testing-booklet/.
And if you think just one person might like this article, hit that little heart icon to share. It’s green, so clearly Medium.com is listening to the RNC.