How visually increasing urgency affects landing page conversion

Experiment ID: #323


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: 12/24/2014 - 12/28/2014

CaringBridge was in the final week of their 2014 year-end fundraising campaign and expected traffic to dramatically increase to their donation pages. They wanted to maximize on-page conversion by adding elements to the page to increase urgency: reminding people of the proximity to December 31st.

We knew that adding elements like a countdown clock and a thermometer would increase urgency, but we tested to see which element (or combination of elements) would maximize landing page conversion.

Research Question

Which combination of elements creates the greatest sense of urgency that allows for the increase in conversion?


C: Control - no urgency elements
T1: Countdown Clock Only
T2: Thermometer Only
T3: Countdown Clock and Thermometer


  Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control - no urgency elements 4.7%
T1: Countdown Clock Only 7.9% 68.1% 100.0%
T2: Thermometer Only 6.1% 29.9% 93.6%
T3: Countdown Clock and Thermometer 5.5% 17.7% 77.2%

This experiment has a required sample size of 898 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 9,409, 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
× 68.1% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The countdown clock was able to increase the urgency of the ask which, in turn, lead to the increase in conversion rate. However, when combined with the thermometer element of the campaign, it negatively affected the conversion rate. This may be due to the large goal seeming out of reach for the average donor. Whatever the case, for large campaigns like this, the countdown clock will be deployed in the future to increase conversion rate.

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

Question about experiment #323

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