Category Archives: Optimization case studies

UMM Logo

UMM site redesign and optimization

Union Mission Ministries boosts revenue with website redesign and optimization

The challenge

Union Mission Ministries (UMM) needed a new website to help them accomplish various goals:

• Track and convert donations effectively and efficiently

• Convey their value proposition and brand promise

• Recruit volunteers

Once the redesigned site was deployed, the ongoing challenge was to increase online giving by driving traffic from the homepage to the giving funnel – specifically the main donation page.

Russ Reid solution

We started by partnering with the Mission to redesign their website based on nonprofit and industry eCommerce best practices, employing the following:

• Donor-friendly information architecture

• Streamline, easy-to-use eCommerce solution

• A content management system with the flexibility to complete updates in-house

• Simple and effective site analytic tools to measure success

Next, we developed an optimization strategy and intricate testing plan – starting with a main donation page test. We proposed testing a variation of the top navigation that replaced the single “Give” label with “Donate” and added a new “Ways to Give” label. The “Donate” label would now link directly to the main donation page, while the “Ways to Give” label would continue to link to the “Give” sub-section. This new approach would provide highly motivated users an easy giving pathway directly into the main donation page while still allowing less motivated users the opportunity to learn more about UMM through “Ways to Give”.

The test hypothesis was that the switch from “Give” to “Donate” as well as the addition of a “Ways to Give” label would boost clicks by increasing the emphasis on giving in the minds of users, which in-turn would lead to higher online conversions.

Russ Reid worked with UMM to launch a 50/50 A/B split test of the two top navigation, which ran for 23-day period, and reached a confidence level of 99.9%.


• The website redesign increased online giving 181%!

• The Mission has seen more online volunteer inquiries than ever before

• The change from “Give” to “Donate” and the addition of a “Ways to Give” label increased the click-through-rate by 300%

• Increased traffic from homepage to donation form generated a 49% lift in conversions

• Next steps include ongoing optimization testing for incremental improvements

Control treatment:

UMM Control

Test treatment:

UMM Test


To view a downloadable PDF of this case study, click here.

UFB Logo

UFB Website redesign

United Food Bank website redesign increases online revenue

The challenge

United Food Bank (UFB) in Mesa, Arizona had a website that wasn’t working hard enough to drive engagement and donations. To meet their goals, they needed an effective, inexpensive, brand-aligned website that would maximize online giving while integrating seamlessly with their overall marketing strategy.

Russ Reid solution

Russ Reid worked with UFB to launch a brand new website in early December 2011. The new website effectively compelled users to engage in content that mattered most to them and aligned with the goals of the organization. The overall design was better and easier for new and existing donors to navigate. Major improvements included:

• Navigation

• Use of feature spaces

• Strong calls to action strategically placed for donors to easily find and click

Simply put, it’s now easier to access information about the Food Bank’s programs – and easier to make a donation.


• Website launched in December 2011 and in just that month, year-over-year online revenue increased 36%

• The following month (January 2012), year-over-year online revenue increased 56%

• By December 2012:

  • Year-over-year site visits were 7X higher
  • Online revenue doubled through integrated digital strategies
  • Transactions increased 59%
  • Average gift spiked to $141

UFB Website redesign

To view a downloadable PDF of this case study, click here.


IFAW giving page testing

IFAW optimization testing strategy boosts online giving

Website optimization is among the most important and lucrative tactics available to drive revenue growth on the web. The benefits of optimization testing – realized in substantial increases in page conversion rate – impact the results of all campaigns and activities that point traffic to those pages, multiplying the benefit of the investment several times over.

The challenge

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) needed to increase online giving by boosting conversion rates on donation pages. Faced with steep technical hurdles and limited in-house capacity, IFAW looked to Russ Reid to provide a testing platform solution as well as help IFAW develop a continual and iterative optimization process.

Russ Reid solution

Our initial step was to create a strategic testing road map in order to identify and prioritize critical opportunities. Based on the findings outlined in the road map, we established a strategic optimization testing plan. The following pages will detail two of these tests.

Test A: Increase conversion in main giving page

Our first priority was to increase conversion on the main giving page. So for this test, we proposed an alternative flow of the checkout form by removing the payment method selection – credit card or PayPal – from the “Donate Now” section.

The test hypothesis was that the payment method section was an unnecessary step in the checkout process and that the supporting monthly/single payment copy was causing confusion amongst potential donors – especially for those who would opt to give via credit card. Combining like steps into one section would reduce friction and create a more streamlined checkout process resulting in a lift in conversion rate.

Russ Reid worked with IFAW to launch an A/B split test, which ran for 26 days, and reached a confidence level of 98.1%.





Test B: Increase online sustainers

A top priority for IFAW was to increase online sustainers (monthly donors). To meet this challenge, IFAW needed to find new ways of promoting sustainer giving across and other online channels.

So our next test involved redesigning the homepage widget to promote sustainer giving in place of the one-time gift ask. Using the widget space to promote sustainer giving would increase product awareness and funnel highly-motivated users to a sustainer-optimized giving page. The test hypothesis was that the redesigned sustainer widget would boost traffic to the giving page, generating an increase in sustainer sign-ups as well as one-time gift conversions.

Russ Reid worked with IFAW to launch a 50/50 A/B split test, which ran for an 18-day period, and reached a confidence level of 99.0%.


Test A: Increase conversion in main giving page

The placement of the payment method selection within the “Payment details” area increased the donation conversion rate by 32.7%.

Test B: Increase online sustainers

• Sustainer homepage widget increased click-through-rate by 97.8%

• Widget increased traffic to donation form and generated 60% lift in conversions

• 25% of all conversions for the test treatment were sustainer sign-ups







KCET Website optimization

KCET achieves significant growth in website conversion through optimization

The challenge

KCET – the nation’s largest independent nonprofit public television station – has a content- heavy website, as it welcomes a variety of audiences: viewers looking for programming information, local residents looking for community events, parents and teachers looking for resources on education – and donors looking to support the organization or renew their membership.

KCET’s challenge is driving visitors from the various content-rich areas of the website into the giving funnel. Given that the website was not originally designed as a profit center, KCET was looking for a solution to drive and increase donations.

Russ Reid solution

In January 2012, Russ Reid engaged with KCET in a deep dive of KCET’s fundraising programs. Through this discovery session, the fundraising challenges on the website were unearthed – mainly the struggle between serving good content and increasing donations.

Russ Reid recommended conducting ongoing website optimization through A/B testing. We created a comprehensive testing matrix, outlining a variety of different tests that will help increase conversion. This battery of tests will be carried out over the next few months, testing each variable in a methodical and iterative fashion.

Below are two successful examples from our first tests.

Test #1: Donate button

In order to increase traffic to the main giving page KCET needed to find a way to increase the visibility of the Donate button located in the top navigation.

Russ Reid proposed altering the placement of the Donate button from the top right location in the upper auxiliary navigation into the left most position within the main navigation. The test hypothesis was that the change in location of the Donate button would increase traffic into the donate funnel.

Russ Reid worked with KCET to launch A/B split test testing the two Donate button placements. The test was set to a 50/50 split, ran for two full weeks, and reached a confidence level of 98%.

Control Treatment:

Control - Case Study


Test Treatment:

Test - Case Study 

The placement of the Donate button in the left position increased the click-through-rate to the main giving page by 60%.

Test #2: Main giving page

We moved the button, and it won as far as click-through rate; however, the total revenue raised was higher with the original location of the donate button. Noting this discrepancy, it became clear that the next test needed to be done with the main giving page so that we could both increase click-through rate and total revenue.

The RR digital team took KCET’s original main giving page and simplified and enhanced the most important assets of the page (i.e. dollar handles, why a donor should give – value proposition, incentives/benefits, etc.)


Test #1: Donate button

Click-through-rate increased by 60%!

Additionally, we determined the click-through-rate for “Support” for the control treatment was12% higher than the test treatment. This leads us to conclude that visitors clicking through”Support” are converting at a higher rate than those landing directly on the main giving form.

Test #2: Main giving page

One-time conversion rate increased by 34%.

Consequently, this improvement directly affected revenue-per-visitor, achieving a 34.5% lift –given that average order value remained constant across both treatments.

Next steps

As part of our ongoing optimization testing plan, we’ll looking into the testing variables such as price array and Donate button copy treatment.

To view a downloadable PDF of this case study, click here.