Not Valid How more visual and design elements on a landing page affect downloads

Date Added: January 10, 2019 Research Partner: NextAfter Element tested: Name Acquisition Design, Name Acquisition Copy

NextAfter produces a number of reports, studies, and eBooks each year and has a 'template' for the download landing page which is very simple and copy heavy. With The Canadian Online Fundraising Scorecard there were some strong visuals and infographics within the report so we wondered if we shared more of the visual components on the landing page and gave the landing page a bit more of an aesthetic that matched the report itself if people would be more willing to download the report.



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-52.2% drop How validating shared beliefs on a petition affects downstream donor conversion

Date Added: January 10, 2019 Research Partner: Texas Public Policy Foundation Element tested: Name Acquisition Copy, Name Acquisition Form

Texas Public Policy Foundation was running a campaign to raise support for their Center for the American Future, which defended citizens against government overreach. They were running a petition of support for John Yearwood, a rancher who faced a threat from the government if he disturbed the habitat of a rare spider—one which he had never seen!

They ran an experiment on the petition page to see if adding a section that asked the reader to confirm their shared values—namely that Texas landowners should be able to use their land as they please, that the federal government should let property owners conserve their own land, and that the government should follow the 10th Amendment—would increase donor conversion. Previous testing had implied that these checkboxes could have an impact on email acquisition, but were more likely to have an impact on donations (more people would give after signing). They launched an A/B test to determine a winner. 



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236.1% lift How increasing urgency and perceived need affects donor conversion

Date Added: January 10, 2019 Research Partner: Texas Public Policy Foundation Element tested: Donation Page Headline, Donation Page Copy

Texas Public Policy Foundation was running a campaign to raise support for their Center for the American Future, which defended citizens against government overreach. They were running a petition of support for John Yearwood, a rancher who faced a threat from the government if he disturbed the habitat of a rare spider—one which he had never seen!

The petition was followed by a donation ask, which was not performing very well. They decided to create a treatment that redesigned the page and message to present the need and urgency in a more forceful manner, hypothesizing that it would increase donor conversion. The treatment page added a headline that thanked the signer. They then tried to heighten the stakes by telling the reader that the stakes of this case were high, and could possibly affect them. The next paragraph of copy focused on a single fact—Mr. Yearwood can't fund this case by himself, and hundreds of Texans are stepping up to help him fund it. Then comes the "but" statement—they are currently short of goal. They put a thermometer on the page that showed how close they were, and provided some social proof. 



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127.0% lift How refining a post-course donation page value proposition affects revenue

Date Added: January 10, 2019 Research Partner: Hillsdale College Element tested: Donation Page Copy

Hillsdale College had run multiple experiments on their post-course-donation pages, leading to a control that had not been beaten in some time. The control answered a question placed in the reader's mind—why does Hillsdale teach these courses for free? It then went on to explain how Hillsdale does all these courses without funding from the government and asked the reader to support the College. 
 

They decided to craft a new donation page value proposition that incorporated several new elements that they hypothesized would increase conversion. First they created a new headline that excited the reader, rather than simply thanking them. Then, they repositioned the following copy to position it as "must read" content, numbering the items so that the reader had some direction as to what order they were supposed to read in. 

They kept the same belief statement first, but made a distinction in how they approached discussing the funding of the courses. Instead of mentioning the lack of government funding, they positioned the course as a gift to the donor, provided by other generous donors. This introduced the concept of reciprocity—that people are more likely to give if something is given to them first. The third point reminded the reader that they were furthering their education, and expressed gratitude. Finally, they concluded by giving a mission to the reader—help reach the "millions more" who don't know about these courses. They reiterated the important nature of these courses, and then made an assertion: "We know exactly how much it costs to get a student enrolled in an online course. When you make a gift of $75 today, you will allow 15 more people to hear about this course." 

This communicates a few things to the reader:

  1. Hillsdale is prudent and strategic in marketing these courses
  2. The reader can have a defined impact with a defined donation amount—giving them a handle. 

They launched the treatment in an A/B test and watched results to determine a winner. 



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107.0% lift How positioning the Membership Ask as the best way to ally with the President impacted donor conversion rates for The Daily Signal readers.

Date Added: January 9, 2019 Research Partner: The Heritage Foundation Element tested: Advertising

After the "Trump Ask" did so well during calendar year end fundraising at converting The Daily Signal traffic into members for The Heritage Foundation, we decided to take the same message and roll it out against the standard "Dear Reader" membership ask.



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Not Valid How the amount you ask for impacts recurring donor conversion and overall revenue when motivation is neutral

Date Added: January 8, 2019 Research Partner: Focus on the Family Element tested: Donation Page Headline, Donation Page Copy

Focus on the Family has found great success with their recurring gift pop-up feature on their donation pages. This feature presents people with the option of changing their one-time gift into a recurring gift right before their gift is process. The feature is a pop-up that has value proposition on it for why they should become a recurring donor and lowers the gift amount to be 60% of what their original one-time gift was. A person would either click, "No, make my original gift" or "Yes, make my gift recurring". We hypothesized that decreasing the gift amount to be 25% of what their original gift was might increase the number of people willing to becoming a recurring donor. We tested this approach during year-end, when donor motivation was high, and found that even though the average gift of the treatment (25% version) was only 2.5% lower than the control (60% version), the ask of 25% the original value would result in both more recurring donors and increased revenue (despite asking for a lower gift). Because of the substantial impact this kind of experiment could have on revenue, we wanted to test this again during a time of year when motivation is more neutral. 



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25.3% lift How we validated the impact a new offer would have on email acquisition

Date Added: January 8, 2019 Research Partner: Alliance Defending Freedom Element tested: Name Acquisition Headline, Name Acquisition Copy

Alliance Defending Freedom had been running the current statement of belief on their blog pages as a method for email acquisition for well over three months. The statement related to one of their more recent cases, Jack Phillips, and focused on the need to fight back against government suppression of first amendment rights. Since it had been running for so long, we started to notice a decline in results as many of the visitors likely to convert had already done so. With this finding, we decided to launch a new statement of belief. This time, we opted for a statement that would be more evergreen, one that didn't rely on a specific case. We also wanted to try a more positive approach in the messaging to attract a different style of subscriber.

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50.3% lift How a matching gift influences donor conversion

Date Added: January 8, 2019 Research Partner: Museum of the Bible Element tested: Donation Page Copy

During the final days of their year end campaign, Museum of the Bible sent an email to their house file promoting the December 31 deadline and $1 million dollar goal. In addition to these two factors, the museum had also secured a matching gift that would double every donation received. It was decided to test out the impact of this matching gift via email. To do this, two similar but different emails were crafted with the primary change being the mention of the matching gift. Both emails were directed to the same donation page where the matching gift was not included in the copy.

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102.6% lift How lower cost premiums impact donor conversion

Date Added: January 8, 2019 Research Partner: Museum of the Bible Element tested: Email Copy

The Museum of the Bible was running the early part of their year end campaign. Since the urgency and motivation is relatively low in the middle of December, they decided to utilize a premium as part of the appeal. The original idea was to offer a DVD the documented the building of the museum for a gift of $150 or more. However, there was also concern that such a high price for the premium may dissuade many potential donors from making a gift. We decided to run an experiment where we offered the same DVD but for a gift of $50 or more. We would then measure both donor conversion and overall net revenue to the organization.

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