How an in-line appeal that becomes a sticky bar with a small donation CTA and opt-in for an email reminder impacts donor conversion during a Calendar Year-End Campaign


Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 12/13/2022 - 12/25/2022

Historically, this organization used a combination of sticky bars and slide-outs with messaging around the urgent need of helping youth experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity  and have tied this urgency back to either a donor goal or a revenue goal. During their calendar year-end campaign, they often use a sticky bar with a daily donor goal countdown to convert visitors to their article pages into donors.

They wanted to test this against a design inspired by one of Wikipedia’s tests where there is an in-line appeal that becomes a sticky bar when scrolling. Instead of emphasizing the matching challenge in effect and the donor goal, the in-line appeal would ask the reader to consider the value they’ve received during the past year from their articles and tell them that less than 1% of readers donate to make these articles possible. Once the reader scrolled to continue reading the article, they would be prompted with the following, “If we have given you $5 worth of truth about housing insecurity this year, take a minute to donate.” They would then be asked for a gift of as little as $5 to “keep these exclusive articles possible to provide guidance to transform lives.”

If the visitor clicked the button to give, they would go to the donation page with the amount they selected. They could also click, “maybe later” which loaded an embedded HubSpot form that allowed them to opt-in for an email reminder to give. Those who opted in would receive an email reminder before the end of the campaign to make their gift.

Our hypothesis was that the conversational and value-driven copy on the in-line design and sticky bar, coupled with the option to opt-in for an email reminder would increase donor conversion by increasing the appeal and exclusivity of the offer. We would also be tapping into the donor’s desire to not lose access to these articles by highlighting how few people give to make them possible.

Research Question

We believe that an in-line appeal that becomes a sticky bar reminding visitors of the value they’ve received from this organization’s articles will increase donor conversion by increasing the appeal and exclusivity of the offer


C: Sticky Bar with People Counter
T1: Dear reader urgency with Scrolling Sticky Bar


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Sticky Bar with People Counter 0.01%
T1: Dear reader urgency with Scrolling Sticky Bar 0.06%334.2% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 13,404 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 262,593, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 334.2% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The new messaging and design crushed the control sticky bar with a daily donor goal. What is remarkable is that the avg gift was $29 despite the fact that the CTA was to make a $5 gift. This showed that readers felt that they were receiving much more value from the articles and content and wanted to make sure that it would still be available to them in the new year.

It’s also worth noting that the dear reader/slide-up treatment brought in a $10,000 gift. We’ve pulled this out in the recording of this experiment so as not to skew the average gift or the revenue to give a more accurate picture of the overall results.

111 people opted in to receive follow-up emails to remind them about giving opportunities to this organization. We will be monitoring this segment to see downstream conversion as well as sending specific appeals to them reminding them that they asked to know more about ways to give at a later date.

We will continue to refine the messaging of this bar for future urgent campaigns as well as test into leveraging statistics of how few visitors/pledge signers/readers, etc donate to see if this messaging increases donor conversion on acquisition offer donation pages as well.

We also want to test the opening line, “we humbly ask you, don’t scroll away” in other places to see if that conversational approach can improve conversion by keeping people on the page longer. For example, on an instant donation page after someone has requested an eBook or signed a pledge. Will that headline keep someone on the page long enough to read the donation appeal?

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #54891

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.