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September 27, 2020

What’s the Conversion Rate for Donation Buttons on Blog Posts?

I was browsing the web the other day and came across a blog with a donation button at the end of the post. It looked like this and said to buy him a coffee.

buy me a coffee

My initial reaction was that the conversion rate on donation buttons must be awful. But then I thought, “To compete with ads, he’d only need 1 out of 1,000 readers to donate $10.” Maybe this guy is actually a genius?

So should we remove ads on our blogs and monetize with donation buttons instead? I ran some experiments to find out!

What’s the Conversion Rate on a Donation Button!

Every good experiment needs a control group. I found a really cool site called vocal.media, where they placed a sexy donation button in a sticky footer. So I decided to add something similar to my site and see how many clicks it would get per 1,000 visitors.

The results? Out of the next 4,000 visitors, the button was clicked 5 times, and a total of $43 was offered to me. For a conversion rate of 0.125% and an RPM of $10.75.

That would have been a fantastic result! Except it didn’t actually happen. I used Buy Me A Coffee as the payment processor, and all the users dropped off before completing the checkout process. So I actually had a conversion rate of 0% and an RPM of $0.

However, this was an incredibly encouraging result! If you were to completely litter your site with ads, a $10 RPM from all the ads combined would be an acceptable result in some niches. Ads also hurt your site by annoying users, drowning out calls to action, and slowing down your site.

I almost beat ads on the first try with a widget that isn’t anywhere close to as obtrusive. If I could actually pull in a $10 RPM from this, that’d be an absolute game-changer for most bloggers reliant on ads out there. This experiment must continue!!!

So part 2 of this experiment. Let’s test the following two changes and see if I get better results.

  1. Increase the denominations in the donation box from $1, $5, and $20. The theory is I’ll increase my RPM’s if I up it to $10, $20, and $50.
  2. Add better payment processors to encourage people to actually check out after clicking the button. Apple Pay on mobile devices might make a difference.

Do You Get More Donations With Larger Denominations?

It takes time to run these experiments; check back next month, and I’ll tell you the answer! (consider donating to me).

Do You Get More Donations With a Smoother Checkout Process?

Again, this is going to take me a hot second to set up and test. But, if you come back next month, I should have an answer for you.

Thanks for reading! Is there anything with donations buttons that you think I should test? Let me know in the comments!

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