How using social proof on a website can impact donor conversion Experiment ID: #22438

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: 7/17/2020 - 8/7/2020

During Focus on the Family’s summer campaign focused around their pro-life initiative, we wanted to see if we could impact donor conversion by using social proof to motivate people to give. To test this, we developed a slide in feature that appeared when a person visited the FOTF website that said, “[INSERT A PERSON’S NAME], from [INSERT CITY], made a donation to help save a child from abortion. You can help too>>”. The feature would show for 20 seconds and then disappear, but then reappear and refresh the name and city when/if someone on the website made a gift. We showed this feature on desktop and mobile devices.

Research Question

Can social proof help increase donor conversion on the FOTF website?


C: Control
T1: with Social Proof


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: Control 0.01% $0.00
T1: with Social Proof 0.01% 45.7% 72.9% $0.00

This experiment has a required sample size of 576,849 in order to be valid. Unfortunately, the required sample size was not met and a level of confidence above 95% was not met so the experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

We weren’t able to validate the results, but we did see a directional lift (46%) in donor conversion when the social proof feature was present. We also saw the most significant increase occur on desktop devices and returning visitors. The great news is that this feature didn’t have a negative impact, even on mobile. What we can learn is that people can be impacted and motivated by others. Seeing that someone on the site had just made a gift to save a baby from abortion motivated others to do the same. We’d like to continue to test into this principle, run it for a longer period of time, and experiment with the kind of language used to see if we can validate the results and even increase donor conversion even more through this tactic.

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.