The Science Museum Group is a consortium of five national museums in the UK. This has given us a unique opportunity to test different approaches at each museum, and to embed learnings, whilst continuously honing our approach to online giving. Many of the lesson learnt during the pandemic will stay with us in the years to come. Among our findings were how best to monetise the new government mandate for capturing visitor details for test and trace purposes, and the introduction of free ticketing our museum admission. With our doors shut for most of last year we also looked at how we could convert more of our digital audiences into donors too. We will look at how some simple changes to our websites have increased our general online donations as well as looking at some simple approaches that anyone can adopt to nudging more of your visitors (online and IRL) into becoming donors and getting them to give more when they do.
The main things that we will be focusing on are: introducing museum admission ticketing and including a donation as part of that, and how we have increased it by looking at how much to ask for, what order to put the donation amounts in, different layouts and different ways of highlighting different amounts and the impacts this had on the conversion rates and the average donation amounts. We will also explore at the impact of introducing a secondary ask in the basket when the booker checks out, and what this has done for our conversion rates and again the psychology behind how much to ask for and what to focus on in a second ask.
We have also introduced tickets for our free virtual events and looked at where in the journey to include a donation ask and how does this ask needed to differ from a ticket for an actual physical visit to one of our museums.
Finally, our websites have been a key source of online donations this year. Early on we realised as our doors were shut that web visits were less and less about visit-related content and so we looked at how best we could monetise the whole website and pivoted away from our historic strategy that had largely focused on visitors that were engaging with our ticketing funnels and purchase pathways.