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"Please Rate Your Experience": The Effect of Calls to Action on Website User Conversion

By Dr. Dikla Perez
Location Bloomfield 527
Academic Program: BS
Tuesday 21 May 2019, 11:20 - 12:20

Website owners find it challenging to elicit payment from their users and convert them from free to fee-paying consumers. In this paper, we study possible avenues to increase a website’s conversion rate. Specifically, we study the causal effect of ‘calls to action’—prompts that require the user to rate the content or service— on users' monetary conversion.

We first present a controlled web experiment to establish a causal relationship between users’ exposure to prompts and their subsequent monetary contributions. Study participants watched videos on a video website and were presented with prompts to rate the current video. Users who were prompted to rate videos donated more money to the website compared with users who were not exposed to prompts. Notably, the prompts did not affect users' satisfaction.

Next, in two large-scale field studies, conducted in collaboration with a major publishing website, establish the applicability of our findings to real-life settings. Specifically, we show that users who are prompted to rate their experience become significantly more likely to convert to a paid version of the service.

Our research is novel in showing a causal relation between calls to action and user conversion, both in the lab and in the field. Moreover, we show that this effect is consisted across both compliers and non-compliers. Finally, we show that our results are robust to context (content website and web service websites) and business model (Freemium and donation-based).