How a longer term campaign flight date impacted revenue and donor conversion rate in a Facebook Experiment ID: #21068

Americans for Prosperity

Experiment Summary

Ended On: 5/11/2020

As a part of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) response efforts, Americans For Prosperity launched a new open letter acquisition offer to allow concerned Americans the opportunity to add their name to an open letter to Congress to tell them NOT to use taxpayer money to bail out the states.

In launching the new offer, they wondered if launching the new campaign to promote this offer would be best if it used a 30-day campaign timeline (and 30-day budget) vs. a 6-month timeline (and 6-months worth of budget) in the campaign settings.

No other variable was tested within this campaign.

Research Question

Would launching with a longer term (and more budget over that term) impact donor conversion or revenue when compared to the traditional 30-day campaign launch timeline (and budget) setting?

Design

C: 1-Month Term
T1: 6-Month Term

Results

Treatment Name Revenue per Visitor Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: 1-Month Term $0.24 $21.15
T1: 6-Month Term $0.34 39.2% 90.1% $21.67

This experiment was validated using 3rd party testing tools. Based upon those calculations, a significant level of confidence was not met so these experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

Although we needed to turn this experiment off before it validated, the results were directionally accurate when we observed a +36% increase in donor conversion rate (LoC: 66%) and subsequently a 39.2% increase in revenue (LoC: 90%) when giving the campaign a longer period of time and budget setting.

Our net cost per donor also dropped by 35% for the 6-month campaign and ROI was up +40% when compared to the 1-month campaign type.

Key Takeaway:

Our hypothesis is that when showing the ad service platform (in this case Facebook) that we want to run a campaign, telling them that we’re willing to advertise for 6-months (and subsequently, can spend 6-months worth of budget in total) on this new campaign tells the algorithm that they stand to make more money when showing your ad, compared to other advertisers that might also be bidding to serve ads to that same user.

If you think of digital ad campaigns as an auction (which is what they are) — and you, as a buyer, show up with a big briefcase full of money — the auction house knows you’re a qualified buyer, and will provide you with preferential treatment. Just like with an auction, and as a buyer with a big briefcase full of money, you don’t have to actually spend the money you came into the auction house with. So, if the campaign isn’t performing well, you can always turn off your campaign(s) or ads.

Further experimentation may be required to validate this hypothesis, however, it might be advisable to simply run your campaigns for a longer period of time, with the total budget (under the “lifetime budget” setting) to ensure that you can garner better efficiency, better prioritization, and better return on investment for the same dollar spent by simply appearing bigger than you really are.


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.