We’ve been working to make it easy for our clients’ supporters to contribute, sign petitions, and fill out other online forms -- and we’re happy to say that it’s paying off. Over 50% of our clients’ online contribution and other forms are now being prefilled in whole or part. And our clients have themselves to thank for it.
That’s because our FastAction and ActionProfile features work across our network of thousands of Democratic candidates and progressive organizations; more Democrats use NGP VAN than any other digital toolset. If a supporter fills out a form on one client’s site, that information can be stored to a profile, and prefilled on other client’s online pages, making it easy for that supporter to contribute and help other those other clients. There are now over 9.45 million profiles in the network.
What’s the result? Well, obviously, our clients and their staff deserve the credit, but as you might have seen in our coverage in the New York Times a few weeks ago, we did an analysis that showed Democrats are raising 34% more money online in the 2014 campaign cyclethan they did in the 2012 cycle. You also read that Republicans are behind on launching a single-click feature and building a network.
So what is FastAction?
FastAction is a quick, convenient, and secure way to raise more money and increase conversions on NGP VAN online forms pages. It provides supporters with the opportunity to save their contribution information in what we call a FastAction profile. From there, users return to pre-filled forms for a one-click contribution process again and again on any of our client form pages. No more re-typing information, including credit card number – a feature that is especially important for a new generation of donors who increasingly use mobile devices.
You can enable single-click actions just by authorizing via your Facebook, Twitter, or Action ID (NGP VAN clients’ user accounts; which is handy, since we have hundreds of thousands of users who just happen to be progressive activists, adding to an incredibly powerful network effect). And you can send emails from NGP VAN that allow single click contributions right from the email, without having to interact with a web page at all. People with FastAction profiles are contributing 3.2 times as often.
NGP VAN’s pre-filled client forms work for the grassroots components of email and petition pages as well. They also work across our client base, which is particularly relevant given that NGP VAN counts thousands of campaigns and organizations amongst our clients. In terms of online giving, it’s like the Obama campaign’s "Quick Donate” feature, but better. "Quick Donate" only worked on BarackObama.com. FastAction and ActionProfiles utilize the powerful network effect of NGP VAN’s large and connected client-base, and can be used on any of our form pages.
It’s safe too. We never save or store your credit card number. FastAction payments are accomplished by using a secure token-based credit card system provided by an industry leading payment processing company.
We also provide some other features that lead to NGP VAN forms being prefilled:
ActionProfile saves personal information (but not the credit card) when a person fills out a client’s NGP VAN forms, and uses that information to prefill the next form they land on. Again, this feature benefits from the broad NGP VAN client network, and it works across contribution, petition, volunteer, and other NGP VAN forms.
Secondary Ask allows forms to be sequenced, and for the second form to only display the fields that weren’t filled out on the first form. For example, a person signing a petition could be asked to contribute, and wouldn’t have to fill out name, address, email or other fields they had already filled out. This also works well for a monthly giving upsell from a single contribution. SmartLink is a link in a broadcast email that pre-populates a form, including information that only NGP as the fundraising database has, such as highest previous contribution (offline or on), or most recent pledge. Prepopulating the amount correctly can lead to higher average gifts. And, we’ve focused on enhancing your outcomes in other ways:
Sophisticated A/B Email Testing: NGP VAN allows customers to easily test up to 10 different versions of the same message, testing everything from subject lines to sender to content, all with sophisticated reporting that makes it easy to compare performance across a number of key metrics, and choose the most successful message. This allows clients to maximize the money they raise with each email.
Multi-step forms: Pioneered by the Obama 2012 campaign, multi-step forms led to higher conversion rates than standard forms for Obama’s re-election effort. NGP VAN provides progressive campaigns and organizations large and small with the opportunity to take advantage of these higher conversion rates through our multi-step forms.
Mobile-Friendly: All of NGP VAN’s contribution pages are mobile responsive out of the box, meaning they size correctly based on the device viewing the page, and can also display the correct keyboards for the correct fields. As more and more donors visit contribution pages on their tablets, phones, and other devices, forms like NGP VAN’s that are easy to use on those devices will continue to increase conversion rates.
So, what are your takeaways? If you’re a client, encourage your contributors to create ActionProfiles. Utilize these other features, and benefit from the increased conversion rates (feel free to contact our amazing Support team for help, as always). And if you’re a Democrat who's not a client… well, maybe you’ve got something to think about. NGP VAN’s online contribution tools are the most popularly used by Democratic campaigns, in part because of affordable partner packages like EmilysPluggedIn.com for pro-choice Democratic women candidates, DLCCGo.com for state legislative candidates, DMO-Go.com for municipal candidates, and DCCC1.org for U.S. House candidates.
We’re very happy to see our clients raising more money online. But you won’t see us resting on our laurels. Watch this blog for an upcoming announcement of another new innovative fundraising product!