How the tone of an appeal affects clickthrough rate Experiment ID: #7387

Buckner International

Buckner International is a global ministry dedicated to the transformation and restoration of the lives we serve. We are a Christ-centered organization that delivers redemptive ministry to the most vulnerable from the beginning to the ending of life.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 9/8/2017 - 9/8/2017

Buckner International was sending an update on their Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with an appeal to raise more funds for their efforts. One email in the test took a “story” approach of a family affected, while the other email took a more urgent approach, with a direct ask for funds.

Research Question

How does the tone of an appeal affect donor conversion rate?


C: Story Approach
T1: Urgent Approach


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Story Approach 0.98%
T1: Urgent Approach 1.5% 56.1% 91.2%

This experiment has a required sample size of 3,143 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 4,743, and the level of confidence is not above 95% the experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

Although this experiment didn’t validate, the 91% validation gives us a good look at the directional lift in giving from the urgent approach. The control had 4 gifts, while the treatment had 6 gifts, and an overall higher revenue total. The click-through rate had a direct correlation to the motivation of the donor in this case.

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...

Allison Jones

Allison is an Optimization Associate 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.