How inline acquisition offers in place of ads affected clickthrough Experiment ID: #7848

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: 10/30/2017 - 11/9/2017

Focus on the Family currently uses DoubleClick for Publishers to manage ad fill throughout their website.  Most of the ads in rotation are for their own resources, giving opportunities, and some third-party offers. One such placement is a mid-roll banner targeting long-form article pages.  They hypothesized that an inline email acquisition offer that is contextually relevant for their audience may increase clickthrough and help capture more of the high volume of new visitors viewing these articles.

They already had a free online Marriage Assessment which has resonated well with visitors to their marriage and parenting content, so they split the traffic to articles in those categories and delivered an inline offer for the assessment in place of the mid-roll ad from DoubleClick to half the audience.

Research Question

Will replacing the mid-roll advertising banner with an inline acquisition increase clicks for this placement?


C: Mid-roll Ad Banner Rotation
T1: Inline Acquisition Offer


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Mid-roll Ad Banner Rotation 0.10%
T1: Inline Acquisition Offer 2.0% 1,870.7% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 223 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 242,062, 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:

    1,870.7% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The inline treatment increased the number of offer clicks by over 1,870%! This learning shows how the alignment of an offer, as well as its treatment, can be put to work to acquire more names. We hypothesize that a large portion of this impact is due to “banner blindness”—a web usability phenomenon where visitors consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information.  Banners also limit the amount of value proposition you can effectively communicate, which can decrease perceived value.

With high traffic and known content themes, we plan to test further into this placement—including moving it to the end of the content where we hypothesize we may be able to capitalize on the natural pivot/decision point created by completing the article.  Other potential tests include the headline, button, and value proposition copy as well as the inclusion of supporting graphical elements.

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...

Justin Beasley

Justin is a Data Analyst 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.