How expanding the value proposition in a prospecting email can impact donor conversion Experiment ID: #8175

Harvest Ministries

Harvest Christian Fellowship exists to bring Christians closer to God and to bring nonbelievers to a saving relationship with Him by showing how God's Word and faith in Him are applicable and relevant to everyday life.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 12/19/2017 - 12/26/2017

Harvest Ministries had a DVD premium offer that performed really well on an email to their housefile. We hypothesized that it might do well as an offer for prospecting email lists as well. The offer was a DVD about Steve McQueen. We used the housefile email as the control. The primary message on the control was about the DVD. We wanted to test this against a version that explained more about who Steve McQueen was and why a person might want to get the DVD. We didn’t want to assume that people knew who Steve McQueen was and would want this DVD about him. We split our first prospecting email list and tested these two versions on it.

Research Question

Which version would acquire more donations?


C: Control
T1: Treatment


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 0.70%
T1: Treatment 1.2% 75.0% 99.9%

This experiment has a required sample size of 2,605 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 17,046, 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
× 75.0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment version, where we talked about and explained who Steve McQueen was, increased donations by 75%!

When sending an email to a list of people that has minimal connection to your organization and have not been part of ongoing communications about the subject matter of the offer, it’s important to provide more context around the offer and expand your value proposition so that you can create the need in the mind of the end reader and ultimately convert more people to want and get the offer (and donate).

By testing the two different email versions with this one prospecting email list, we were able to send the most optimized version (the treatment) out to more prospecting email lists after this experiment and have an even greater return.

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Experiment Documented by...

Courtney Gaines

Courtney is the Senior Director of Optimization 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.