How clarity of the value proposition through cause and effect copy affects donor conversion

Experiment ID: #4164


CaringBridge offers free personal, protected websites for people to easily share updates and receive support and encouragement from their community during a health journey. Every 7 minutes, a CaringBridge website is created for someone experiencing a health event.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 05/03/2016 - 05/26/2016

The majority of CaringBridge’s donations come through their tribute donation pages, where visitors can give support CaringBridge in honor of a friend or loved one. A previous test had shown the effect of organization-centric copy on donor conversion, and the team wanted to build on that learning. They proposed a test to the value proposition in the headline copy using “cause and effect” language.

The control headline had been tested many times — “You make [tribute name]’s site possible”. The team proposed moving this to the subheadline, and highlighting why the site exists in the main headline: “This website helps [Tribute name] stay connected to family and friends”.

Then, the original headline would assign responsibility (or credit) to the visitor below that copy.

They launched an A/B test to determine a winner.

Research Question

Will clarifying the value proposition in the headline using cause and effect copy increase donor conversion rate?


C: Control
T1: Increased Clarity


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Control 21.0%
T1: Increased Clarity 25.4%21.1% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 697 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 4,826, 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
× 21.1% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment produced a 21.1% increase in donor conversion. This tells us that by introducing the effect of the gift before highlighting the cause (the gift from the donor), we can increase the likelihood that the visitor will make a donation.

Too often, we ask people to donate without reminding them of the impact of their gift. This test prompts further testing of ordering of the statements to see if we can increase clarity and further increase results.

Experiment Documented by Jeff Giddens
Jeff Giddens is President of NextAfter.

Question about experiment #4164

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