How removing third-party quotes affects donor conversion

Experiment ID: #3397


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: 02/28/2016 - 03/10/2016

CaringBridge had featured quotes from a family who used the site on their donation pages for a monthlong campaign. After the campaign was over, the quotes stayed on the donation pages.

However, previous testing had shown that since CaringBridge is a very personal experience, and response often decreased when a third-party family (that was unfamiliar to the user) was introduced.

We developed a treatment page that removed the third-party quote and ran an A/B split test to determine a winner.

Research Question

Does third-party credibility decrease conversion when the primary value proposition is a personal experience?


C: Page with third-party quote
T1: Treatment with no quote


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Page with third-party quote 3.5%
T1: Treatment with no quote 6.8%94.3% 98.6%

This experiment has a required sample size of 350 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 1,066, 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
× 94.3% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

This is a powerful test that has implications for future appeals and fundraising campaigns. While the power of story can be a compelling addition to a fundraising ask, it might get in the way for a site like CaringBridge that serves as the conduit for person-to-person interactions.

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

Question about experiment #3397

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