Online Optimization: Testing value prop to grow your tribe


I have a deep respect for the marketers at nonprofits.

How they deliver appeal and exclusivity to donors, in some circumstances, can potentially make or break solvency.

Consequentially, I would argue testing and optimizing value proposition for nonprofits is vital.

In this MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’ll take a look at an experiment from a Web Optimization Summit 2014 presentation from featured speaker Tim Kachuriak, Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer, Next After, on “selling the intangible.”

Before we begin, here are some background notes on the test.

Background: The Heritage Foundation, a think tank located in Washington, D.C.

Objective: To increase the donation conversion rate.

Primary Research Question: How does value proposition affect conversion rate?

Test Design: Radical redesign A/B split test


Side by side



Here are the control and treatment versions of the donation pages side by side.

According to Tim, the primary focus for his team was gaining a deeper understanding of how value proposition impacts donor behavior.





In the treatment, Tim and the team identified elements on the landing page that would likely have the greatest impact on value proposition:

  • Headline – Deliver value right up front
  • Bullets – Quickly highlight reasons to donate
  • Testimonials – Share third-party sources who are fans
  • Call-to-action – Make intentions for donors clear and easy





The treatment outperformed the control by 189%.

Fellow optimization fanatics should also take note here that the winner was also a long-copy page with the CTA below the fold.


What you need to understand

One thing Tim emphasized is offering a strong value proposition can help you move from gaining donations to growing a supportive tribe that wants you to succeed.

“By increasing the force of the value proposition, not only did we get more people to say ‘yes’ and give a gift, but they said ‘HECK YES!’ and gave at a much higher level,” Tim explained.

So there you have it.

Donors say “yes.”

But your tribe says “HECK YES!

The difference is in how you deliver the value that matters.


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1 Comment
  1. Aaron Nicholas says

    John I liked your blog. You have presented it so well.

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