How reduced copy and a more direct headline affect donor conversion Experiment ID: #5936

Dallas Theological Seminary

The DTS mission is, “to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.” They strive to help men and women fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, or more simply: Teach Truth. Love Well.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 11/11/2016 - 1/5/2017

Dallas Theological Seminary offered a free online course called How to Read the Bible Like a Seminary Professor to allow their donors and prospects to experience the value proposition of the Seminary. Although they had a good donor conversion rate, they wanted to see if they could improve email acquisition by making the value proposition on the signup page more appealing.

They created a treatment with a more direct headline: “Learn to read the Bible like never before”. Then, they removed the bulleted list from the copy to reduce the overall length of the copy, hypothesizing that it was not core to the value proposition on the page.

They split traffic to the page and launched an A/B test to determine a winner.

Research Question

Will reduced copy and a more direct headline positively affect email acquisition rate?


C: Original
T1: Short copy New Headline


Treatment Name Revenue per Visitor Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: Original $0.63 $63.11
T1: Short copy New Headline $0.59 -6.0% 50.0% $65.43

This experiment was validated using 3rd party testing tools. Based upon those calculations, a significant level of confidence was not met so these experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

The treatment version produced a slight decrease in email acquisition, though it was far from valid. This shows that more radical changes need to be made to the page to significantly increase email acquisition rate.

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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.