How visual reinforcement on the donation page increases desktop conversion during a match

Experiment ID: #10783


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

Ended On: 02/20/2019

CaringBridge was running a Valentine’s Day fundraising campaign and had a $25,000 matching gift. They knew that most of their donations on these short, high-urgency appeals came through a few donation funnels that landed on the same page. While previous tests had focused on driving traffic, they wanted to see if they could optimize conversion by driving home the match language on the two days that the gift was applied. They created two versions of a sticky top banner for the donation page—one that emphasized the match for “your” gift, and another that emphasized the match for “all donations”. They launched a three-way experiment split between mobile and desktop to see how it affected conversions on desktop devices. 

Research Question

How will visual reinforcement affect donor conversion on the donation page during a short-term matching gift appeal?


C: Control
T1: Header (Personal Message)
T2: Header (All Donations)


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Control 26.4%
T1: Header (Personal Message) 32.8%24.4% 98.5%
T2: Header (All Donations) 27.5%4.2% 34.2%

This experiment has a required sample size of 569 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 1,832, 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
× 24.4% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The simple banner improved conversion by 24%. What’s interesting is that the language on the conversion pathway all mentioned the match as well—but none of the language on the page did. By reinforcing the match—which some people were just seeing for the first time—they were able to have a significant impact on conversion. 

It’s worth noting the significant (though not statistically valid) difference between the “personal” language and the “all donations” language. When your language speaks directly to the person on the site, rather than including them in a large, impersonal group, conversion is increased. 

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

Question about experiment #10783

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