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Driving Online Donations: A Real-World Test

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Driving Online Donations: A Real-World Test

  1. 1. Driving Online Donations:A Real-World TestMarch 2012
  2. 2. During pledge week,every boy’s and girl’s fancy turns to one thing 2
  3. 3. How do we best use our websitesto increase awareness and conversion? 3
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  7. 7. The big questions What online ad format is most effective at driving increased conversion rate and pledge amount? Do the intrusive ad formats negatively affect user engagement (e.g., bounce rate)? 7
  8. 8. The test Partnered with Michigan Radio A/B test splitting traffic among 3 test formats and a control Same messaging and creative used for all versions Deployed for pledge week (October 2011) 23k total home page visits during the test 8
  9. 9. Test setup We split the traffic (using Core Publisher, our Drupal- based CMS) • Randomized visitors and assigned a visitor-level cookie for the duration of the test We used DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers) to serve the ads  Sent the test version in the DFP call In Google Analytics, we used a visit/session-level custom variable to capture the test version • This custom variable was used to calculate: • Conversion rate • Pledge amount • Bounce rate 9
  10. 10. Control 10
  11. 11. Lightbox 11
  12. 12. Pencil push-down 12
  13. 13. Bottoms up 13
  14. 14. Pick the winner? 14
  15. 15. The results Control Lightbox Push-down Bottoms upConversion: 6.39% 5.65% 5.50% 5.49%Avg pledge: $126.52 $138.30 $124.90 $132.83Revenue: $46,181 $44,394 $39,968 $40,779Bounce: 37% 37% 37% 36%None of the options resulted in a statistically significant change in performance 15
  16. 16. What does this mean? Creating intrusive ads for pledge week is essentially a waste of time, resources, and money The standard 300x250 is at least as effective as doing something “special” Time is probably better spent on more effective ways of driving donations (e.g., email, mailings, offers) 16
  17. 17. Every test leads to more questions What if we tested different messaging or creative? Would the results be the same if we didn’t test during pledge week? What about the rest of the pledge funnel? For example, does the presence of a landing page before the pledge form help or hurt? 17