How specificity and tone affect donor acquisition Experiment ID: #7617

Illinois Policy Institute

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 8/30/2017 - 10/17/2017

Illinois Policy Institute had a ton of daily traffic to their articles, but didn’t have a lot of revenue to show for it. They decided to test a “site-flow interruptor” that made an appeal to their readers in mid-article. This began to produce more donors, and the IPI team wanted to test the value proposition to determine what was copy was most effective. The control copy addressed the reader directly, and talked a lot about IPI. To attempt to improve response, they developed a treatment that started by thanking the reader and used a conversational tone. The treatment copy made it clear that they do not accept any money from the government. In addition, they added highlighted sections to increase visual identification and attract more attention to the box itself. Finally, they changed the call to action at the end to ask the donor to make a gift rather than telling them what their gift does.

Research Question

Will increasing the specificity and conversational tone of the ask increase donations and revenue?


C: Support IPI
T1: New Copy


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Support IPI 0.00%
T1: New Copy 0.01% 354.0% 96.6%

This experiment has a required sample size of 62,374 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 146,684, 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
× 354.0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment copy produced a noticeable lift in donations, though the overall amount of donations were quite low. This shows that there is potential in this copy, but it must either run longer or be more prominently placed to attract enough attention to generate significant results.

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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.