What Is an Experiment-Informed Program (EIP) and Do I Want One ?

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 by
The Campaign Workshop

Experiment Informed Program: An EIP or Control Group Test Can Improve Your Program

Many campaigns have been doing testing such as Experiment Informed  Programs (EIP) and other control group experiments, through the help of the analyst institute and other practitioners. This testing helps campaigns to learn about what works for them and what doesn’t.  These days, it’s considered best practice to include testing in your program.  While bigger campaigns have the resources to do an experiment informed program on a large scale, every campaign, no matter the size, can do an experiment informed program (EIP) or basic control group testing.

Experiment informed Programs Measure The Effect of Voter Contact:

EIPs involve testing one particular campaign program on a small portion of your voter universe, then measuring the effect of your contact. Control group tests are when you set a small portion of your universe aside and compare the difference between who got contacted and who did not. Any campaign can do this, whether you want to test your 40-person email’s efficacy or a massive statewide persuasion program.

The Basics of A/B Testing:

Something as simple as an A/B test is a great place to start. You can divide up your targets, and give one group one treatment, and another group a different treatment.  Whichever group responds the best to their treatment is the treatment you want to use on your whole target list.  For example, let’s say you want to send a fundraising email.  You have 500 people on your list.  Send 100 people one version of the email, and another version to a different group of 100 people.  Check which generates the most money.  Then send that version to the rest of your list.

Put Your Assumptions to The Test:

We all have opinions about what we think works best on a campaign, either by gut feeling or experience.  Why not take the time to put those assumptions to the test?  The cost is often just time, but if you build it into every part of your contact program then it just becomes one more step in the whole process, no more time-consuming than anything else.  In the end, you’ll have run a much stronger campaign and learned a lot.

Have questions about Experiment Informed Programs (EIP), Control group experiments or other types of  testing?  drop us a note:

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