How additional value proposition copy in a Facebook ad affects conversion despite added friction Experiment ID: #7020

Hillsdale College

Founded in 1844, Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college with a student body of about 1,400. Hillsdale’s educational mission rests upon two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. The College does not accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 7/16/2017 - 7/26/2017

Hillsdale College found that offering free online courses was an effective way to acquire new donors. Since these courses cover everything from The Great Books to our American Heritage, they are considered “evergreen content” meaning they will remain relevant to new viewers over time. Interested to see how more timely content would perform with the same audiences, they launched three new campaigns offering the most recent publications of Imprimis–their monthly digest on liberty. They know that having an extended value proposition in the Facebook ad copy increases email acquisition rate. They wondered if the additional friction of a ‘see more’ link–added by Facebook when a certain amount of characters is reached–would impact conversion. They launched an A/B test to find out.

Research Question

Will additional value proposition copy in a Facebook ad increase email acquisition rate despite added friction?


C: Control
T1: Treatment 1


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 0.22%
T1: Treatment 1 0.44% 104.4% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 5,763 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 122,795, 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
× 104.4% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

This test teaches us that we need to ensure there is enough copy to help readers understand the need to engage with a particular offer. The control copy made the transition between need/problem and the promise of the offer too soon, thus resulting in a significant difference in response.

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Experiment Documented by...

Kevin Peters

Kevin is the Chief Technology Officer 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.