Fundraising 2011/Test Updates/June/23

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June 23, 2011 Brandon & Ryan Appeal Tests[edit]

Last week, we tested a new appeal from WMF developer Ryan Lane against the Brandon Harris appeal we introduced in our previous test. We wanted to isolate the effect of the letter from the effect of the banner. We did that by using one banner with Brandon’s name and photo leading to two different appeals – Brandon’s original letter and Ryan's letter (both signed by Brandon).

Separately, we tested a Ryan banner-letter combo against a Brandon banner-letter combo. The pictures in the two banners were very different: For Ryan a plain head shot; For Brandon, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame glam shot!

From these two tests we learned that:

  • Ryan's appeal letter is another breakthrough performer. It did about 85% as well as Brandon's, which is still far, far better than any non-Jimmy letter we've ever had. This further endorses the method we're now using of interviewing subjects on tape and then extracting an appeal made of their own thoughts and words.
  • Brandon's "rock and roll" photo used in the banner had a significantly higher click rate than Ryan's plain head shot. This suggests that we should spend more energy getting visually interesting, striking photos of subjects.
  • It's possible that the effects of Brandon's picture and his letter, when put together, were greater than the sum of their parts. In other words, the two variables of appeal and banner may not be independent variables. But our hour long test didn't quite give us large enough sample to say that with confidence.
Ryan Lane Banner
Brandon Harris Banner

For our upcoming tests, we’re working on personal appeals from editors and donors. We’re still refining the interviewing process, and will be sharing some basic interviewing principles that facilitate effective appeal writing for our fundraising purposes. For a more in depth explanation of our testing methodology, please see the 2010 Fundraiser Report.

  • Test Report Key
US Test
  • Brandon Original Appeal - L11_BR2_Junetest_1
  • Ryan Appeal text - L11_BR2_Junetest_2
EN Test
  • Brandon Banner - B_BRvRL_Junetest_BR_EN-L11_BRvRL_Junetest_BR
  • Ryan Banner - B_BRvRL_Junetest_BR_EN-L11_BRvRL_Junetest_RL
  • Brandon Appeal -L11_BRvRL_Junetest_BR
  • Ryan Appeal - L11_BRvRL_Junetest_RL

Meganhernandez 18:22, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]