Are you testing within your charity direct marketing appeal? Is your testing effective? Testing in the charity sector is great. It leads to innovation, increases our knowledgebase and helps us to keep improving our results. Most of us are doing it across a wide range of activities covering different acquisition channels, new products, pricing, upgrade campaigns, retention, to name just a few.
A Guide to a better testing approach
Testing in the charity sector is great. It leads to innovation, increases our knowledgebase and helps us to keep improving our results. Most of us are doing it across a wide range of activities covering different acquisition channels, new products, pricing, upgrade campaigns, retention, to name just a few.
However, conducting tests properly can create its own challenges for an organisation. Some questions you may wish to consider when setting up a test include:
Do you have clarity around what you are testing and why?
Do you know what you are measuring, why it is important, and how it can then be applied?
Do you have appropriate controls in place?
Are some donors receiving an alternate control message or offer at the same time with all other variables remaining the same? If we test (a new offer, creative, website landing page) without having a control audience, we can’ t just say that the test has ‘worked’ or ‘not worked’ based on the results being better or worse than the previous time we conducted the exercise
Is there Roll-Out Potential?
When conducting a test can it be used in a meaningful way across other campaigns? Eg Testing the impact of a follow-up ask after x number of days post donation can be applied to all new donations.
How will you measure the results?
Many organisations test prolifically and the words “let’s test it”are used to gain approval from bosses. However, too often the test is completed and the next campaign is underway with little time allocated to creating post implementation results. It is also important to consider how the metrics are used to evaluate ensuring the results align to the original hypothesis.
How will you share lessons learned?
It is worth considering how the lessons can be shared across an organisation. If an organisation works in silos or has a relatively high staff turnover there is a chance you may find the same tests are being duplicated time and again simply due to people not knowing they had been conducted before.
Is there enough time to Test?
Ideally the answer here should almost always be Yes, as we should always be looking to learn and grow. There may not be time to create a complicated test, although creating small tests around messaging or ask strategies can be done relatively easily.
What are the expectations?
Remember a test is just that. It doesn’t always deliver the results you may expect, which is why it is called a Test! We should learn valuable lessons whatever the result. All too often this can be forgotten, with the word ‘test’ being used as a pseudonym for an expected success.
One way to conduct more effective testing is to create a Testing Framework that helps to facilitate better tests and a greater sharing of corporate knowledge. Such a framework includes ways to track current and past tests, maker-checker processes, guidance for inexperienced staff, and, ways to retain and share knowledge more effectively.
For more information on creating an effective Testing Framework in-house you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org