Focus on the Family

How the focusing on the fact that a content offer is free impacts donation conversion on the acquisition donation page

Experiment ID: #52537

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God's design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 02/19/2021 - 04/12/2021

As Focus on the Family increased their acquisition efforts, complaints that the donation page was misleading increased as well. People expressed concern that the donation page language made it seem as though they had to donate to receive the offer. So we tested their control copy with a focus group and only 61% of the people who read the page said it was clear that the video series was free. Our next step was to include the word free when the video series was mentioned on the donation page, in the body copy and in the header. We tested that with a new focus group and 70% of them said it was clear that the video series was free. So it was time to test it in the market place to see if this new donation page language would increase or decrease donor conversion.

Research Question

Focusing on the fact that an offer is free may decrease donation conversion.


C: Control
T1: Emphasis on Free


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidenceAverage Gift
C: Control 3.4%$0.00
T1: Emphasis on Free 2.7%-21.3% 90.1%$0.00

This experiment has a required sample size of 4,321 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 6,133, and the level of confidence is not above 95% the experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

The emphasis on free throughout the copy on this page decreased donor conversion by 21% at a directional level of confidence. This held true across all devices and demographics.

Our hypothesis is that the consistent mention of the series being free may have confused the reader around the purpose of the donation page. It may have also made it easier for them not to consider a donation. Or the control may have just made people feel like they needed to give.

Our next step is to test more straight forward language. This test included the word free in many places, but it never addressed the donation ask head on. We recommend testing language that is very clear in the purpose behind the ask such as “We want to be honest with you. You don’t have to give to receive the video series. It’s in your email inbox now. But it’s only there because people have given to Focus on the Family so that you can have it. If you think this ministry is important to share with others, will you join our donors in reaching more people who really, truly need this video series?”

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #52537

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