How different value propositions on an in-site donation ask affect revenue Experiment ID: #7114


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 tested three different treatments to see if they could produce a lift in clickthrough rate:

  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.”

However, none of these experiments produced a significant lift in clickthrough rate. However, they decided to take a look at the conversion and revenue data after the click to see if either one had a downstream effect on these key metrics.

Research Question

Do different approaches to the prospect-level value proposition increase downstream conversion rate and revenue?


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


Treatment Name Revenue per Visitor Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control $22.62
T1: Treatment 1 $24.11 6.6% 61.1%
T2: Treatment 2 $22.90 1.2% 52.0%
T3: Treatment 3 $37.89 67.5% 99.3%

This experiment was validated using 3rd party testing tools. Based upon those calculations, a significant level of confidence was met so these 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
× 44.1% increase in conversion rate
× 16.2% increase in average gift
67.5% increase in revenue

Key Learnings

Although there was no difference in clickthrough rate, treatment 3 (with the emotional appeal) produced a 67% increase in revenue through a combination of an increase in conversion rate and a simultaneous increase in average gift. This shows that while the initial metric was not affected, those who chose to click on the third treatment had a much higher motivation to give, which resulted in more gifts at larger sizes.

Treatment 3 offered something that none of the other treatments did—a way to show love and support for the journal author. While the other three treatments showed ways that the user could support the site and connected the site’s impact with the author, the third treatment gave them a direct connection to the person they care for, and proposed a donation as the way to show love and support. This produced an opportunity to give that no other treatment could match.

This experiment prompts more testing around this language throughout the site, as well as testing around how to increase clickthrough rate on the donate box through accentuated placement and visual UI.

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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.