How friction and anxiety influence donor conversion Experiment ID: #7834

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God's design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 10/5/2017 - 11/8/2017

Focus on the Family has a series of donation pages that receives a large volume of traffic each month. Each page focuses on a unique aspect of their ministry but they all share the same basic page template.

Instead of testing individual value propositions on each page, we decided to start by testing the form and landing page layout across all donation pages. The idea was that even a small lift across all pages would have a big impact on revenue.

For this experiment, we decided to do a radical redesign focusing on elements on the page that added friction and anxiety to the process:

  • We changed the page from a two column to a single column to create a linear flow down the page
  • We reduced the size of the image and positioned the headline so it will the first thing seen when arriving
  • We switched out the radio buttons for easy to press donation buttons
  • We removed the recurring ask from being the default option
  • We hide the recurring gift premium options to reduce the visual footprint of the form
  • We removed the optional fields of the donation form
  • We pre-selected the credit card since it is the most popular payment method
  • We placed the credit card and EFT section into its own container and moved to security seal to emphasize the security of that section
  • We moved the 3rd party credibility indicators from the sidebar to be near the submit button
  • We moved the “Other ways to give” options below the form so that the primary focus was on the immediate gift.

Once all of these changes were implemented, we split traffic equally across all donation page (excluding pledge / recurring gift pages).

Research Question

Will reducing the impact of the elements associated with friction and anxiety in the giving process improve conversion rate?


C: Control
T1: Decreased Friction / Anxiety


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 3.9%
T1: Decreased Friction / Anxiety 4.1% 5.5% 95.7%

This experiment has a required sample size of 64,821 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 138,246, 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
× 5.5% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment resulted in a 5.5% increase to donor conversion. While it is a relatively small percentage lift, since this test impacts all donation forms, it will result in a six-figure increase in revenue in the coming 12 months.

When doing a deeper analysis of the experiment, we found that the new treatment did not have as significant of an impact on traffic driven by email but was significantly more impactful for mobile traffic. For the mobile segment, it led to a 9.8% increase to overall conversion.

What this suggests is that the reduction of friction is not as important to a highly motivated audience (like email.) But for organic site visitors or those browsing on their phone, making the gift easier, was able to positively influence this lower motivated traffic.

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...

Kevin Peters

Kevin is the Chief Technology Officer 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.