How candid tone in an email appeal impacts click-through and donations. Experiment ID: #6064

Harvest Ministries

Harvest Christian Fellowship exists to bring Christians closer to God and to bring nonbelievers to a saving relationship with Him by showing how God's Word and faith in Him are applicable and relevant to everyday life.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 2/1/2017 - 2/6/2017

Harvest Ministries send a monthly appeal from Pastor Greg Laurie. Pastor Greg is the founder and lead pastor of this organization. Through a series of testing, they have learned that their audience responds best when the tone and copy of the appeals are more casual and personal. While they have found a way to write the copy to make it sound and connect with the reader as if Pastor Greg has written it himself, they felt like it was missing his candid personality. To test this, they developed a treatment for the appeal that included some phrasing that was more in-line to Pastor Greg’s personality and gave it more of a conversational tone.

Research Question

Which email would get more clicks and ultimately more donations?


C: Standard
T1: Candid


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Standard 5.8%
T1: Candid 7.8% 34.6% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 1,218 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 22,114, 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:

    34.6% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment email that included more candid/conversational phrasing from Pastor Greg had a 34.6% increase in clicks from the control. Not only did more people click through to the landing page, but more people gave – there was a 34% increase in donations! We’ve known that the Harvest Ministries audience responds well when the message is more casual, but the more we can add Greg’s true personality into it, the more engaged people will be. This reinforces the idea that people give to people. People want authentic, conversational communication and to feel as though Pastor Greg is communicating with them personally.

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Experiment Documented by...

Courtney Gaines

Courtney is the Senior Director of Optimization at NextAfter. If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.