How a softened message attached to the Freedom Pledge negatively impacted donor conversion rate Experiment ID: #17212

Americans for Prosperity

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 3/16/2019 - 4/7/2019

In 2019, Americans for Prosperity’s development office received a new set of rules to prohibit the use of words in their communications that include “Freedom”, “Liberty”, “Big Government”, and more than 30 others, the development team felt it was appropriate to properly test the negative impact of limiting their ability to use these cornerstone words.

Research Question

How does the new “ban list” of words impact our campaign’s performance?


C: Original Messaging
T1: Softened Messaging


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Original Messaging 0.03%
T1: Softened Messaging 0.02% -32.0% 96.4%

This experiment has a required sample size of 202,005 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 465,482, 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
× 32.0% decrease in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

With a 96.3% level of confidence, we confirmed a decrease in donor conversion of -32% with the treatment messaging.

We did also identify a -6% decrease in email acquisition rate (99.7% LoC), as well

Although the cost per email acquired was relatively flat, these conversion rate decreases are compounding into an increase of +32% increase in gross cost per donor (GCPD).

This experiment validates suspicions that the updated (softened) messaging approach decreases momentum through the funnel, which ultimately decreases the donor conversion rate of the funnel. We will continue to monitor these changes, but fear that this trend has the potential to continue to get worse moving forward.

Experiment Documented by...

Greg Colunga

Greg is Executive 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.