How Does Your Content Compare? Tips for Improving Click-Through & Conversion Rates | npENGAGE

How Does Your Content Compare? Tips for Improving Click-Through & Conversion Rates

By on Jan 3, 2011


Nonprofits have become more sophisticated at driving traffic to their websites. Direct mail may use different friendly URLs to test response rates. Email may test different “Donate” calls to action to improve click-through rates.

What happens, though, when visitors arrive at your website? Now that they’re one step closer to becoming a donor, event participant, or email subscriber, do you stop testing?

With so much emphasis on getting visitors to your website, do you know what motivates them to take that final step? Are you sure? If you’re testing important calls to action like Donate, Register and Subscribe, then you are sure.

Why is testing important?

It helps you get smarter over time. Decisions become data-driven, rather than based on gut feelings.

For example, your organization may hold an annual golf tournament. Do you know if people are more likely to click through and register if they see a photo of the golf course, or one that connects them to your cause? Hmmm. Does the color of the “Register Now” image matter?

While we may have a hunch, content testing provides answers.

Below are four ways to test an event landing page. A white vs. red “Register Now” image is tested. A golf course photo is tested against a photo that connects visitors back to the need for pediatric cancer research.

If you’re using Blackbaud NetCommunity, the Content Comparison part will run the test for you. The four different content variations will randomly be displayed to visitors. Most importantly, it will also track click-through and conversion rates, how many visitors left your site and when the test reached statistical significance. If you are not using Blackbaud NetCommunity, you could use Google Optimizer to perform this analysis.

Once statistical significance has been achieved, use the “winning” content moving forward. Winning is defined as the content with the best click-through and conversion rates.

What Other Content Should You Test?

Other than landing pages, the answer will vary by organization. A good starting point is your main calls to action, such as “Donate,” “Email Sign-up,” and “Volunteer.” While this example tested photos and a call to action image color, you could also test the headline, content, layout, and “hook.”

Has your organization done any content testing? What results have you seen? Please use the Comments box below to describe.


Mike Snusz brings 18 years of fundraising experience to his role as a Senior Team Lead on Blackbaud’s Professional Services team. He leads a team of digital consultants and works with nonprofits to improve their digital fundraising, monthly giving, email marketing and peer-to-peer fundraising programs. Prior to Blackbaud, Mike managed the turnaround of the Ride For Roswell from 2003 to 2005 in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. When he’s not contemplating fundraising, Mike enjoys hide and seek, tag, and dance parties with his two kids.

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