How elaborating on specific organizational initiatives affects clickthrough rate Experiment ID: #8095

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: 12/11/2017 - 12/13/2017

Dallas Theological Seminary recently began their calendar year end campaign, focused three pillars: The Call to Teach, The Will to Engage, and The Heart to Go. As they prepared to send an appeal on email focused on the second pillar–The Will to Engage– they wondered if an email that elaborated on the strategic initiatives they’ve created to engage culture would increase the clickthrough rate to the donation page. They created a treatment version and launched an A/B test to find out.

Research Question

Will an email that elaborates on specific organizational initiatives increase clickthrough rate?


C: Control
T1: Treatment 1


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 0.29%
T1: Treatment 1 1.1% 276.7% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 792 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 21,066, 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:

    276.7% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

They found that the treatment version did increase clickthrough rate by 276%. It’s clear the treatment version significantly increased recipient motivation, but why? There a few important elements worth analyzing in the second email. First, the introduction of the treatment version takes a more personal approach to the topic of cultural engagement. It highlights Dr. Bailey’s daily schedule of leaving his office and driving through the city of Dallas. This simple change immediately draws the reader into Dr. Bailey’s point of view and shows why this initiative is personal to him. Humans are storytellers. We love to have a concrete image to hold in our mind’s eye.

Second, the treatment version elaborates on three specific ways Dallas Theological Seminary is addressing culture and empowering individuals outside of the seminary walls. By describing at length these three initiatives–The Table Podcast, the Faith and Work Initiative, and a plethora of free online courses–DTS is reminding their audience where their financial support goes. It’s also important to note the subtle difference in the call-to-action. Instead of clicking to ‘make a secure donation’ this treatment email invites individuals to ‘invest in these initiatives.’ This is an approach that Dallas Theological Seminary will continue to work into the rest of their calendar year end campaign.

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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.