How a softer call-to-action might increase donor conversion during high urgency campaigns on mobile devices Experiment ID: #15343

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: 4/23/2019 - 5/5/2019

Focus on the Family was running a campaign geared towards their pro-life initiative. To promote the campaign and get people to give, they featured a banner at the top of their site that asked people to give towards it. In an earlier experiment, where they test the call-to-action on the banner from a hard ask to a softer CTA, they found that it had little to no impact on donor conversion. To continue to test into this idea, they hypothesized testing a different soft CTA that would engage users, present an email acquisition opportunity, and give people the option to give. For the new experiment they tested the hard ask against asking people to sign their “Declaration for Life” pledge. They split their mobile traffic and tested this approach.

Research Question

Can we increase donor conversion with a soft CTA of signing the Declaration for Life?


C: Direct Ask
T1: Soft CTA - Sign the Declaration


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Direct Ask 0.01%
T1: Soft CTA - Sign the Declaration 0.01% -53.9% 99.3%

This experiment has a required sample size of 171,849 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 657,270, 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
× 53.9% decrease in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The soft CTA decreased donor conversion by 53.9%. And while we were able to acquire email addresses through the declaration, the decrease in donor conversion and revenue is too great of a loss. We will continue to test into this banner on mobile devices during campaigns to try and better understand the motivation of people for these campaigns. Maybe a value-add content offer would perform better than the options we have already tested and the control which is a hard ask?

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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.