-41.1% drop How a radical redesign of the main donation form impacted giving

Date Added: August 16, 2019 Research Partner: Buckner International Element tested: Donation Page Form

Given the volume of traffic and the average gift size, we have struggled to validate an experiment on Buckner's main donation form in the past. With this in mind, we decided to test out a radical new donation form that changed multiple elements that we've seen work in the past with similar organizations. Specifically, we made the following changes:

  • We modified the form headers to be numbers steps instead of just labels.
  • We removed the gift array which we've seen help with organizations that have a large volume of mid-level and major donors
  • We increased the perceived security near the credit card form
  • We reiterated the gift size and impact near the donation button


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Not Valid How a radical donation page treatment impacts acquisition revenue

Date Added: August 16, 2019 Research Partner: Buckner International Element tested: Donation Page Form

After running for nearly six months, we had not been able to achieve a statistically significant lift to the donation page used with Buckner's 7 Scripture offer. After multiple iterative approaches, we decided to test a radical redesign of the page. We combined multiple factors based upon positive results seen with similar organizations. The down side to this approach is that it makes it difficult to isolate exactly what helped move the needle if a lift is achieved. However, the overall goal was to lift revenue and if that could be achieved then knowing the exact reason for the lift became less important.

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-32.0% drop How a softened message attached to the Freedom Pledge negatively impacted donor conversion rate

Date Added: August 16, 2019 Research Partner: Americans for Prosperity Element tested: Name Acquisition Copy

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.

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11.4% lift How decision friction impacts donor conversion

Date Added: August 16, 2019 Research Partner: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Element tested: Donation Page Design, Donation Page Form

On BGEA's primary donation page, they offer people 14 different gift designations to choose from during the first step in their donation process. In an effort to optimize the giving experience and increase donor conversion, we previously tested removing all of the gift designation hypothesized narrowing down the number of gift designation options to the top five. Using historical giving data, we pulled the top five designations and developed a treatment that featured just those five. People would still be able to see the other 9 options if they wanted by clicking the "See more>>" link. We also developed another variation of the treatment that emphasized the top giving option as the "Most Urgent" need and removed the imagery and copy from the rest of the gift designations.

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Not Valid How the experience on a donation confirmation page impacts subsequent gifts and overall revenue

Date Added: August 16, 2019 Research Partner: Focus on the Family Element tested: Donation Page Headline, Donation Page Copy

A lot of focus gets put on the optimization and improvement of the actual donation process and little attention is put on the experience after a person makes a gift. We hypothesized that improving this experience and making the donor feel valued, celebrated, and affirmed in their decision to make a gift to Focus on the Family we might be able to impact and improve subsequent giving and overall revenue from the donor in the future. To do this, we developed a treatment experience on the donation confirmation page that thanked the donor by name, celebrated the donor in the copy we used, reinforced the value proposition of their gift by sharing two testimonials, and even had confetti explode on the page as soon as the donor landed on the page. We tested this approach for over six months to really assess the impact that we might be able to have on giving over a longer period of time. Half of the audience during those six months experienced the control confirmation page and the other half experienced the "Super, Happy, Thankful" treatment experience.

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Not Valid How leading with a question impact email click rate

Date Added: July 23, 2019 Research Partner: Alliance Defending Freedom Element tested: Email Copy

Alliance Defending Freedom was sending out one of their weekly cultivation emails as part of a longitudinal experiment to improve email engagement. In the previous week, we had observed a surprising result in an experiment. When starting the email with a personal anecdote, we saw a decreased level of engagement. We had a hypothesis that this may be due to the way the two emails differed in their introductions. The control started with the question to the reader while the treatment started with the story. Since there were several other factors that could have led to the observed result, we decided to isolate the question factor and run another A/B split. The only difference in the control and treatments email would then be whether they begin with a question or a statement.

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13.1% lift How sticky bars affect conversion in non-match periods

Date Added: July 22, 2019 Research Partner: CaringBridge Element tested: Donation Page Copy

CaringBridge had run sticky bars on their donation pages to promote matching grants during their campaign months. While this tactic had generally lifted response by reinforcing the match, they wanted to see if it could be effective in non-match times as well. They created two different treatments for the sticky bar—one that reminded them that CaringBridge is donor-supported, and one that thanked them for their generosity and included a photo and name of a CaringBridge staff member, for increased personalization.

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-36.2% drop How adding a personal story impacted email engagement

Date Added: July 22, 2019 Research Partner: Alliance Defending Freedom Element tested: Email Copy

Alliance Defending Freedom was continuing the longitudinal experiment to increase cultivation to a targeted segment of their email house file. The goal of these emails was to simply engage the audience and provide them with ongoing content and stewardship. With that in mind, we wanted to find ways to increase that engagement. One hypothesis we developed was that we could potentially increase the personal-feel of these emails by including stories from the sender's own life. We believed this personal touch might increase the likelihood that someone would click on the email.

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246.7% lift How adding social proof impacts email sign ups

Date Added: July 22, 2019 Research Partner: NextAfter Element tested: Name Acquisition Copy

When we redesigned the NextAfter blog, one of the goals was to increase subscribers/email signups through both the placement and message of the offer. One new sign up placement was a  a large call to action area above the blog and we wanted to see which message would encourage people to sign up. For the control, we kept our old/standard value proposition about what you will get if you sign up but for the treatment, we added in the number of people subscribed and who they were — fundraisers and nonprofit marketers — to add social proof and clarity.

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