Client Spotlight: AFL-CIO

Client Spotlight: AFL-CIO

Client Spotlight

Welcome to our first client spotlight. This is a new occasional feature for us. We’ll be highlighting the different ways that our amazing clients have used our platform tools and consulting work to optimize their digital work. We’re starting off with the AFL-CIO, who was one of our first clients, and has worked with us to run robust testing programs to further engage their supporters.

What’ve they been doing

I chatted with Andy Richards, Digital Strategist for the AFL-CIO, about what they’ve been doing with the ShareProgress toolbox. Andy has been working to come up with innovative ways to test the social sharing language that the AFL-CIO uses in order to engage current supporters and activate new audiences.

The AFL-CIO has created over 400 share pages through ShareProgress. Those pages have prompted supporters to share AFL-CIO content over 100,000 times–and those shares have resulted in 38,000 more people taking action in support of the AFL-CIO’s mission. The AFL-CIO isn’t just creating share pages, either. They’re A/B testing within their share pages to ensure that their content reaches the largest possible audience, and that they are using the best possible messaging to engage people.

Tests that inform messaging

The AFL-CIO has run over 35 tests on different components of the AFL-CIO’s digital messaging. A few of them have produced results that were both significant and could be broadly applied across AFL-CIO digital messaging.

One such test was trying out a direct ask in the share email subject line. The AFL-CIO tested “Sign the Petition: Stop Anti-Worker Legislation in Missouri” against “Here we go again.” The direct ask was the clear winner, with a p-value under 0.01. That’s a lesson that can be applied to any share email subject lines, and can be further tested for even more data (does “Sign the Petition” provide the boost, or does the demand after it work equally well on its own? Further testing needed!).

The AFL-CIO has also been able to test messaging specific to its work. One recent test used the share email headlines “Sign the Petition: Stop Paycheck Deception Laws in Missouri” and “Sign the Petition: No anti-worker laws in Missouri” to see whether “paycheck deception” or “anti-worker laws” proved to be more powerful phrases. The “paycheck deception” phrase increased the conversion rate of the email by 14 percent, proving that “paycheck deception” is a little phrase that packs a big punch. This kind of testing can be replicated with all kinds of messaging questions. Rather than relying on a gut feeling about which phrases resonate more strongly, the ShareProgress tools make it possible to test out which phrases will move supporters to action.

Testing lessons learned

I asked Andy Richards about any best practices that have come out of amping up their digital program with ShareProgress. He shared what the biggest take-away has been for him:

“We’ve also learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work from testing we’ve done. We’ve run multiple tests through ShareProgress on subject lines, content of email shares, titles and descriptions for Facebook posts, whether an interrogative versus imperative ask performs better, and a variety of other short-term to long-term tests. All of these tests have helped us find new best practices that have increased action rates and engagement from our list.”

We’re excited to be able to highlight the great work that our clients have done using the ShareProgress tools. If you’d like your organization to be highlighted in future posts, shoot me an email at


Written By

Anna Schmitz