Opt in to opt in testing

The new opt in requirements under GDPR (which will start being enforced on May 25) have a lot of us freaking out.

Enter the team at Forward Action – they’ve got you covered through this excellent opt-in checkbox and language test:

We tested two different versions of opt in copy on a petition page for All Out. Our aim was to see if using the copy to emphasise different incentives to sign up for emails could increase opt in rates.

So far so good.

We tested this approach on two petitions (adapting the copy appropriately for each petition).

The results were striking. On the first petition, the “campaign win” framing produced a relative increase of 48% (statistically significant). Opt in rate rose from 52% on the “theory of change” control to 77%, the highest opt in rate we’ve seen on a petition to date in our testing.

They saw an increase of nearly 50% more people subscribing to the All Out email list purely through focusing the opt-in language on the person signing the petition.

Of course. OF COURSE!

And for All Out, this testing is definitely worth the effort. From Forward Action again:

Legal compliance is, of course, one half of the role opt in language has to fulfil — but it also has to actually get supporters to subscribe, and charities and campaigns groups cannot afford to ignore this second role. Email list growth is essential to the success of digital programmes: it is the foundation upon which your digital fundraising and ability to mobilise to win campaigns is built.


All Out’s ability to fulfil its mission is greatly increased because they took to the time to invest in testing. As a result, their ability to fundraise and win campaigns will be considerably stronger.

This is exactly why I put testing at the top of my list of Best Practices for Online Fundraising.

Full and explicit opt-in (to physical mailing lists too!) is only one part of GDPR, but it’s great to see one org absolutely smashing it.

Great work Forward Action and All Out!

(If you haven’t already, go read the full write-up here)