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Driving Online Donations: A Real-World Test

  1. 1. Driving Online Donations: A Real-World Test March 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 websites to increase awareness and conversion? 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6
  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 up Conversion: 6.39% 5.65% 5.50% 5.49% Avg pledge: $126.52 $138.30 $124.90 $132.83 Revenue: $46,181 $44,394 $39,968 $40,779 Bounce: 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

Editor's Notes

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6848823919/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcfarlandmo/4086606502/
  • Custom Variables can be used to track dimensions that don’t exist in GA out of the box.Examples:Page category, Test Version, Membership statusThree Levels of scope with different persistence:Pageview – lasts only for the page viewVisit/session – Lasts for the duration of the session, expires at end of visitVisitor – Last for 24 months in the visitor cookieCode with 4 parameters: slot (1-5), name, value, scope (2=visit)_gaq.push('_setCustomVar',1,’PledgeTest',’AdVersion1', 2);Only Visitor Level custom variables are built in to standard reportsTo view page or visit level you will need to build a custom report
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kheelcenter/5277921657/
  • Conversion is on the visit
  • ×