How the kind of conversion event used in paid acquisition campaigns impacts donor conversion Experiment ID: #13950

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: 3/25/2019 - 4/15/2019

Focus on the Family offers people a free video series on the topic of intimacy in their marriage. This content offer is promoted through paid Facebook ads. Historically, we have optimized these campaigns based on a custom conversion we’ve set up that triggers if a person signs up for the particular content offer. This method has worked well to grow email files through paid media, but in recent months we’ve been testing a different kind of conversion goal within Facebook (a native purchase event) to see if we can not only acquire new names for the organization, but acquire new donors more effectively. The purchase conversion in Facebook optimizes the campaign for purchases/donors instead of new names. Would we be able to increase donor conversion just by the kind of conversion event used within our Facebook campaign?

Research Question

How would the kind of conversion event used in paid Facebook ads impact donor conversion?


C: Intimacy Series- Custom Conversion
T1: Intimacy Series- Purchase


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Intimacy Series- Custom Conversion 0.06%
T1: Intimacy Series- Purchase 0.13% 129.4% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 12,601 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 297,243, 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
× 129.4% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The purchase conversion helped increased instant donor conversion by 129.4%! This is a significant learning and shift in the way we will set up future acquisition campaigns. The purchase conversion allowed Facebook to optimize the campaign based on people who were making a donation. When someone would make a donation, it would tell Facebook to go find more people like the donor that just gave and target them. Because the purchase conversion optimized for purchasers/donors, instead of names, we did see a slight increase in the cost to acquire a name, but the benefit of increasing donations and revenue far exceeds that metric. 

Experiment Documented by...

Courtney Gaines

Courtney is a Vice President 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.