Public prefer ‘yes/no boxes’ to tick boxes on opt-in forms, CRUK finds

22 Mar 2017 News

Cancer Research UK has carried out consumer testing ahead of the move to opt-in only communication and has found that the public “prefer yes/no" boxes to than tick boxes, according to the charity’s director of policy.

A newly-released presentation by Sarah Woolnough, executive director of policy and information at CRUK - first shown at a policy event in January - gives details of the charity's consumer testing, ahead of its move to opt-in only communication with existing supporters.

It found that people prefer yes/no boxes to traditional tick boxes because “they have a better understanding of them”.

"We did quite a lot of testing to try to understand what makes most sense to the public and our supporters and how can we be as clear as possible," she said. "So something that we learnt through consumer testing was that people prefer yes/no boxes, they have a better understanding of that rather than tick boxes.

“And we wanted to pull out communication channel so that people were very clear and could make different choices about how they wanted us to communicate with them.”

Woolnough said that the charity had put “intensive support and resource” into its move to opt-in over the last 12-months, but said that CRUK are seeing “roughly 20 per cent” opt-in response rates from new supporters, compared to “about a 50 per cent not opt-out” rate.

“It is too early to say what the financial impact of this has been and will be, that will come in time. What we are seeing from new supporters, roughly a 20 per cent opt in. That compares to about a 50 per cent not-opt-out, but that does vary across channel. We expect that for existing supporters there will be a higher opt-in rate.”

‘150 different ways in which people give details’

Woolnough said that, for a charity the size and scope of CRUK, the move to opt-in had presented been a huge challenge, given the “complexity of touchpoints” the charity had with its supporters.  

“At Cancer Research UK we have over 150 different ways in which people give their details to the charity and that’s both online, offline, the process is that we centrally oversee third party suppliers," she said.

“So as you can imagine, the process of shifting all 150 processes to opt-in, looking for consistency and a good shared understanding across that, it has a resource burden and is pretty complex and it’s taken some time to think through and get right.”

She said that the charity had set itself the goal of opting in both new and existing supporters for communications across all fundraising channels by 1 July 2017. Woolnough said it was “an ambition” for the charity, but one “I am sure that we will meet”.

CRUK rolled out its first opt-in marketing campaign on Monday last week. The organisation said the campaign would target “current supporters; new supporters, and the general public”.   


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