How different value propositions on an in-site donation ask affect clickthrough rate Experiment ID: #7091


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: 7/17/2017 - 8/3/2017

CaringBridge’s user interface offered several different opportunities to give. One of these was internally called the “donate box”, and contained a personalized message that was placed in the updates section on an individual user’s journal page.

The control message had a simple straightforward ask: “Honor [FirstName] with a donation to CaringBridge. You make [FirstName]’s website possible”.  They wanted to test different messages to see if they could radically increase clickthrough rate, and with that increase in traffic, increase conversion rate and revenue.

They developed three treatments:

  1. The first treatment reversed the order of the messages, focusing on the site itself: “[FirstName]’s CaringBridge site is supported by generous donors like you. Make a donation to CaringBridge in honor of [FirstName].”
  2. The second treatment showed the impact of the site: Help [FirstName] stay connected to family and friends. Make a donation to CaringBridge to keep [FirstName]’s site up and running.”
  3. The third treatment made an emotional appeal that offered the chance for the user to provide more than just funds for the author: “Show your love and support for [FirstName].Make a donation to CaringBridge to keep [FirstName]’s site up and running.”

Since CaringBridge has large amounts of traffic, they launched a 4-way test to determine a winner.

Research Question

Will different approaches to the prospect-level value proposition increase clickthrough rate?

MECLABS Conversion Factors Targeted

C = 4m + 3v + 2( i - f) - 2a ©

Copyright 2015, MECLABS


C: Control
T1: Treatment 1
T2: Treatment 2
T3: Treatment 3


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 0.50%
T1: Treatment 1 0.42% -16.1% 71.3%
T2: Treatment 2 0.50% 1.3% 6.6%
T3: Treatment 3 0.48% -2.6% 13.4%

This experiment has a required sample size of 96,968 in order to be valid. Unfortunately, the required sample size was not met and a level of confidence above 95% was not met so the experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

After several weeks of testing, none of the copy variants produced any significant lift over the control. While this was disappointing, a further review of the data found that one of the variants produced a significant increase in revenue after the click. This showed that the value propositions might not produce a result immediately, but might inspire a higher motivation to give.

Share this research with a colleague

Our mission is to help elevate the field of fundraising by openly sharing our research and inspiring a wider community of testing and optimization. If you have found our research to be helpful, insightful, or even just interesting—please share it with a fellow fundraiser.

Experiment Documented by...

Jeff Giddens

Jeff is a Senior Vice President 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.