How a recurring ask in a Dear Reader impacts donor conversion and overall revenue Experiment ID: #17849


Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 5/29/2019 - 8/17/2019

Catholic News Agency has tested in to the use of a “Dear Reader” feature within their article pages. This feature gives readers of CNA the opportunity to make a gift to the organization after they’ve read an article. We hypothesized we might be able to increase the conversion and potentially the revenue from this feature if we asked people for a recurring gift instead of a one-time gift. To do this, we developed a treatment Dear Reader feature that asked people for a recurring gift and took them to a page where they were only able to make a recurring gift. This was tested against the control that had a one-time gift focus and linked people to a page where the one-time gift option was the default, yet they could make a recurring gift as well. 

Research Question

Would a recurring gift ask in the Dear Reader feature increase donor conversion and revenue?


C: Dear Reader One-Time Ask
T1: Dear Reader Recurring Gift Ask


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: Dear Reader One-Time Ask 0.00% $0.00
T1: Dear Reader Recurring Gift Ask 0.01% 88.8% 97.3% $0.00

This experiment has a required sample size of 346,513 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 887,338, 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
× 88.8% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The recurring ask focused Dear Reader not only increased donor conversion by 88.8%, but the overall revenue (looking at the six month downstream revenue projection) increased by 170%! A couple of factors contributed to the success of the treatment: 
1. The reason of why a person should become a recurring donor was clearly communicated. This reason resonated well with people and motivated them to support the organization on an ongoing basis.

2. The gift array was significantly lower than the one-time ask. This lower gift array opened the door for more people to be interested in giving as a whole (which is why we see the increase in overall donor conversion). While their initial gift may be lower with the recurring gift version, their overall revenue to the organization was much higher because of the ongoing nature of the gift.

We’d like to test in to a slightly higher gift array now to see if we can bump the average gift slightly, without having a negative impact on donor conversion, to have an even greater increase in revenue for the organization. 

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.