10 Steps to Data-driven Decision-making

Part 2

In last week’s post, we discussed 8 practices that sabotage commercial marketers’ and nonprofit landing pages alike, based on insights from Marketing Sherpa’s 2011 LPO Benchmark Report.

Today, we offer 10 steps to help your organization embrace data-driven design, as a means to improve your landing page performance:

  1. Select landing pages on your site that matter most (these pages have lots of traffic, make significant contributions to online revenues, or feature other top business priorities)
  2. Identify the main conversion goal (only one) on the page(s) you want to improve. This is the specific thing you most want visitors to do on the page.
  3. Collect key performance metrics for that page. (Most important metrics to examine are visitors, conversions, and conversion rate. Include page revenues and average gift size if it’s a donation page.)
  4. Take a fresh look at the page and identify things that don’t work. If you’re so familiar with the page that identifying its problems is difficult, try collecting informal feedback on page usability from an audience that resembles your target prospects, or hire a consultant with LPO experience who can provide you with unbiased feedback.
  5. Figure out what makes your audience tick – who are they, where did they come from, what do they care about? This will help you adapt page content so that’s its more relevant and interesting to your existing traffic.
  6. Collect objective evidence on what works best for your audience, i.e. live landing page testing (tests you ran several years ago no longer hold much value since online audiences and their preferences are constantly in flux).
  7. Assemble a team that agrees to work together and devotes a little time each week to developing and testing. Your competitors can be a great source of new ideas and tactics when you reach this step.
  8. Run experiments with a scientifically valid testing tool. Free or low-cost testing tools are much more plentiful than a few years ago (GCE, Optimizely, and Visual Website Optimizer are good options for nonprofits with tight testing budgets).
  9. Gather enough data to make a decision with high confidence. You should run tests for at least 2 weeks (maybe several months if traffic is light), and measure results with statistical validity to ensure that you’re making good decisions.
  10. Repeat! Testing is an iterative process, not a “once and done” type exercise. Learning is gradual and cumulative, so you need to keep at it to reap the rewards.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to work smarter, it’s time to get started.

Using data-driven insights to improve your landing pages that matter most, you’ll soon be converting more site visitors into supporters that help your cause!

See Part 1 of this post, 8 ways your organization is sabotaging its landing pages.

Dawn Stoner is Donordigital’s Director of Analytics & Testing and works with clients to help them increase online revenues with web usability best practices and landing page testing. Dawn speaks regularly about testing and optimization at industry conferences and publishes papers highlighting what’s working and not working with our testing clients.

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