Donation Buttons Cover thumbnail hero image Donation Buttons Cover
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.

The problem is that most people who clicked the button went to Buy Me A Coffee and didn’t actually finish Buying Me A Coffee. Only one guy ended up completing his purchase for $3. An RPM of $0.75.

I’d be ecstatic with a $10.75 RPM from this, but a $0.75 RPM is a waste of prime screen real-estate. Clearly if this is going to work I need to find a payment platform that converts better than Buy Me A Coffee does.

Can You Increase Your Conversion Rate With PayPal Donation Buttons?

Luckily PayPal has reasonably simple donation buttons that you can set up on your website. And I can’t imagine anything that’s easier to set up that’s going to convert better.

So experiment #2. Now when you click my donation button you get a popup that’ll take you straight to PayPal. In theory, this should convert visitors at as high a rate as I’m going to be able to convert them.

These buttons will take you right to PayPal’s website to complete your purchase (the actual screen is taller and has my payment details on it, it comes up automatically though). So it’s a pretty simple transfer.

This experiment is ongoing. But, in January (once I have some real data to work with) I’ll update the results.

Will Larger Tip Suggestions Increase RPM’s?

The initial tip suggestions in my dropdown box was $1, $5, and $20.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2020-09-27-at-6.54.30-AM.png

Most people just clicked the button on the initial tip suggestion of $1. In theory, if I increased the suggested denominations to $3, $10, and $20 it would increase my RPM. Again, I will update this post in January and let you know my results.