94.6 % International Rescue Committee s (IRC) Conversion Optimization Strategy. Case Study. Donation Conversion Rate Lift

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1 Case Study International Rescue Committee s (IRC) Conversion Optimization Strategy 94.6 % Donation Conversion Rate Lift Business: Sector: Optimized Conversion: Solution: International Rescue Committee (IRC) Non-profit Donations Marketing Optimization System

2 The IRC learns how the power of a positive message can boost donations by 94.6%! When International Rescue Committee (IRC) wanted to lift donations during the critical holiday season, they focused on their search marketing effectiveness and brought in WiderFunnel to deliver a full service conversion optimization strategy. The A/B/n test of many alternative variations found a new page design and content that lifted the donation conversion rate by 30%and nearly doubled donation dollars! Through some quick tactical moves during a real life natural disaster, they also learned how donation psychology affects landing page design. Here s how we did it. WiderFunnel Case Study: International Rescue Committee (IRC) WiderFunnel Marketing Inc. Call +1 (604) or

3 The Business Need As a non-profit, the IRC is always seeking to improve the conversion rate of donations from their important donation landing pages. Of every $1 the IRC spends, more than 90 goes to programs and services that directly benefit refugees and communities affected by crisis. They recognize the value of conversion optimization testing, and the impact even a modest improvement to their donation conversion rate would have to their overall funding efforts and in the work they do around the world. IRC knew they didn t have the internal expertise to get the best conversion optimization results on their own. To get the best results fast, they brought in WiderFunnel s expert team of Conversion Strategists to develop and execute a conversion optimization strategy. P a g e 1

4 Challenges Faced The IRC s donation landing pages are central to its fundraising efforts. They have to clearly make the case for why someone should donate. But they are also at the core transactional pages that need to let visitors donate easily, with minimum distraction. Given the complexity of the situations the IRC works in, a landing page needs to allay anxiety people may have about their donation, the IRC itself, or the benefit their donation will have. That s a tall order for any single page. Plus, the page has to perform double duty: Visitors to the IRC site would end up there after clicking on a Donate Now call-to-action on the site and, during times of breaking crisis, the page serves as a landing page from external campaigns. For example, the LIFT Analysis for the original Shredding Service landing page showed many factors that could have been reducing conversions. P a g e 2

5 The Solution WiderFunnel first evaluated all customer touchpoints to prioritize where testing should focus. They identified critical landing pages that had high revenue importance and opportunity for improvement. Then, WiderFunnel s Conversion Strategists dove into a thorough heuristic analysis of the donations page, to identify barriers to conversion. Our LIFT analysis identified dozens of copy and design elements that could increase relevance, clarity and urgency while decreasing anxiety and distraction and reinforcing the IRC s compelling work. Among other issues the team noted, the two-column layout of the form create anxiety, appearing more difficult than it actually was. The P a g e 3

6 form also lay below the page s fold and disrupted eyeflow. On the copy side, there was a lack of clarity around the programs the donation would support, and no positive messaging supporting the decision to donate. Once the roadblocks to conversion were identified, our team of analysts created an A/B/n strategy with a combination of dramatic redesign (or variable cluster ) tests with pinpoint single variable (or isolation ) variations. The tests were designed to generate the greatest amount of lift and learning for IRC. WiderFunnel quickly developed a series of test sprints that would deliver fast results and maximize the holiday time that the winning variations could be in market. Due to the holiday season timing, they avoided complex multivariate testing and in-depth user testing. WiderFunnel strategists had to narrow down their ideas to only the best performing possibilities to test by digging into their test results database. Early tests showed, surprisingly, that much longer persuasive copywriting and content was needed. While the inbound keywords showed visitors were aware of the increase. P a g e 4

7 The Result: Higher Conversion Rates and Even Higher Donations Plus a Valuable Lesson! For the first round of experiments, the WiderFunnel team developed two hypotheses to test: Variation A Long Copy: The theory driving this variation is that long copy would do a better job of explaining the good work that the IRC does and convincing visitors to donate. Long copy can often be a powerful tool when there s an emotional appeal to be made. In this variation, the long copy took up the top of the page, and the form was pushed down. Variation B Form-Focused: This variation started with the hypothesis that bringing the form up to the top of the page, alongside the copy, would give it a higher prominence that would lead to higher conversions. Our team took care of the creative design, copy writing, and coding, launching the experiment in time for the important holiday season, when donations are often at their highest. In the second round of experiments, which built on the winning variation from the first round, conversions jumped more than 30%. And the best part? Not only did the number of donors jump, P a g e 5

8 but they were also more generous: Revenue shot up by 94.6% --extending the work the IRC could do around the world! During one of the testing sprints, a humanitarian crisis hit: A typhoon in Southeast Asia meant the IRC had to mobilize an emergency response, launching a campaign to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. WiderFunnel understood the opportunity and quickly responded to the news by time-stamping the test and monitoring daily to allow segment analysis. This provided a rare opportunity to learn how their donors response changed in times of crisis compared to other times. Before the typhoon, variation A with the longer copy that helped tell the IRC story was ahead, converting at more than 12% higher than the control version. But after typhoon hit, the results changed: Suddenly, the conversion rate of long copy version actually dropped compared to the control. The lesson? While the long copy format worked well under normal circumstance, in the time of crisis, people landed on the site with a higher intent to give. In that case, the long copy actually got in the way! In another test sprint, the team discovered that more personalized, positive call-to-action had a big impact. Adding messages in just the right places, like, Yes I will donate a tax deductible gift and Every gift counts. Thank you! lifted donations. P a g e 6

9 Insights like that led to even greater improvement. By the end of the short holiday donation season, the donation conversion rate had increased by 30% in controlled tests and donation revenue was up an incredible 94% nearly double! Not only does that have a huge impact on the IRC s funding, but the results also gave the IRC marketing team real, actionable insight into how their potential donors react to messaging. That s a lesson they can now apply to all fundraising channels, and their overall communications and marketing strategy. P a g e 7

10 The Client: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) The International Rescue Committee is a non-profit organization that responds to the world s worst humanitarian crisis, helping people survive and then rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. P a g e 8

11 Quote We work hard every day to bring people our story and urge them to donate. Working with WiderFunnel really showed us how much harder our landing pages can work, too. We re thrilled with such a big jump in donations! - Giselle Benatar Senior Director, Digital Platforms and Innovation International Rescue Committee Conversion Rate Optimization Tip Copy Matters: Often the copy on an order form is overlooked for its ability to have a significant impact on your conversion rate. But this is when the visitor has their credit card out and is ready to commit so the messaging you choose for the order form is a crucial element to test. P a g e 9

12 About WiderFunnel The Original Conversion Optimization Agency, since WiderFunnel provides full service Conversion Optimization including: strategy, web analytics, wire framing, copywriting, design, development and website redesign. You get more leads and sales from the same website traffic. Get more information at Connect with us: Google+: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/widerfunnel Blog: / WiderFunnel, the WiderFunnel logo, Kaizen Method, Funnel Experiment, FunEx, L.I.F.T. and Landing page Influence Function for Tests are trademarks or registered trademarks of WiderFunnel Marketing Inc. All rights reserved. P a g e 10

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