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How to Get a 1,000% Response Increase – Brad Davies from Salem Cultivat

In this episode, we hear from Brad Davies of Salem Cultivate. Brad gave this talk at our 2021 Digital Ministry Conference and shared about how AB testing can significantly increase conversion rates, even as much as 1,000%.

To start with an example of what AB testing is, read each piece of copy and decide which is better:

Version A

Turn your financial parenting trouble spots into a positive learning experience and request your copy of raising money-smart kids with your gift of $25 or more.


Version B

Invest in the future of the next generation. This time-tested book is one of the best resources to train your children to manage money wisely. Find out how you can get your copy when you support this broadcast ministry.

In the real scenario when AB testing was used on these two pieces of copy, version B had a 508% increase in responses. If you thought that version A would be more effective, you’re not alone. Our gut is not always right. This is where the power of AB testing becomes useful. It allows you to learn more about your audience and what is important to them. In the case above, the audience cared less for other parents in version A and cared more about the wellbeing of the kids in version B.

Hot Takes About AB Testing

You want a learning more than a lift. More important than getting a winner is the ability to learn more about what your audience wants. If you don’t learn anything, you won’t get much out of testing

If you don’t document test results, don’t even bother testing. By sitting down with the testing data, you can process and interpret the results to apply them in the future.

Start at the top of the funnel. Start by trying to reach as many people as possible. For example, ministries may want to start by trying to get as many emails from people as they can.

You learn more when you get it wrong. Sometimes the best way to learn is to have the results of a test completely miss what you thought would happen. Processing those unexpected results can help you to change your thinking and make the necessary adjustments.

Brad knows the significance of AB testing from experience. He and his team began testing where once people completed a survey, they could get access to a certain piece of content. One test gave a .43% conversion rate, another gave a .85% conversion rate. From there, Brad and his team knew they were on to something. From there, they took that knowledge and kept testing. They tested changing the imagery and title and began to find effective ways of increasing email acquisitions. Through their testing, they found that survey acquisition is the best way to get email addresses and the team eventually found a way to have over a 5% conversion rate.

Listen to the full podcast to learn more about how Brad and his team achieved a 10x increase in responses.



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