Use technology to know what supporters think

This is only a test, but that does not mean taking no action. Testing can be applied in a variety of ways, and results of testing can be applied in many places across the fundraising spectrum

During the ASAE Technology Conference and Expo, Jessica Elenstar, Kyra Hicks and Sarah Rand of the National Retail Federation (NRF) presented a wide variety of tests that can be helpful in learning what supporters are doing or thinking, and they offered examples of what their organization tested and took away from the testing.

Among the items that can be tested:

* Newsletter timing. Some 44 percent of executives are most focused on news immediately upon waking up. Earlier email newsletter send times increase some, but not all, open rates.

* Touch points and impact. Companies showed distinct preferences for personal (diners, conferences) vs. electronic NRF engagements (downloads, webinars, newsletters).

* Layout and formatting. The meaningful metric is view rate: video views divided by pageviews).

* Video length. The longer a video is, the less likely viewers are to see the end, but even short videos lose a double-digit percentage of viewers.

* Content strategy, big and small. Less content still generates as many (or more) pageviews, and shorter copy can increase clickthroughs.

* Advertising. Thirty percent of the engagements on the landing page came from one of these sources.

* Event online conversions. The NRF developed online marketing messaging for specific sites sending visitors and registrations.