Case Study

Action on Hearing Loss: Using Persuasion Design Principles to Increase Donations by 79%


Action on Hearing Loss
 is the UK’s national charity helping people who are confronting life-changing deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. The people they support may struggle with their condition. Or they may live well with it, in the face of barriers and lack of information. Action on Hearing Loss enables all of them to take control of their lives without assumptions being made about what they can or can’t do.

The Problem

The new Head of Public Fundraising was appointed in 2018 with a goal to deliver a step change in income generation. It was generally recognized that online channels and engagement supported by compelling content would be a key part of this strategy.

The holiday campaign for 2018 told the story of 19 month old Jenson who – thanks to the development of cochlear implants – had his first hearing Christmas.

The team were concerned that the existing donation funnel was not adequate to convey Jenson’s story, was not simple to use, and did not include an option to donate via Paypal. As such, they decided to build a new funnel on the Engaging Networks platform.

The Solution

Working with Accredited Engaging Networks Partner, 54 Degrees, Action on Hearing Loss revamped their donation funnel ensuring it was simple to use, increased motivation and had a very clear call to action.

54 Degrees worked with the team to ensure that Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion were incorporated into the design. While not all of these are relevant here the key focus was on:


The header and footer were completely stripped back removing all links that would take people away from completing their donation. In addition, the header was updated to contain the Action on Hearing Loss logo, logos of the payment types supported (Mastercard, Visa and Paypal) and trust markers stating the form was secure. The same approach was applied to the footer with only links relating to key policies and the fundraising regulator logo shown.


A timeline was incorporated demonstrating the difference their research has made. This highlighted that Action on Hearing Loss were involved in the research that led to the first implant in the UK. People were then invited to “help push through the next life-changing scientific breakthrough to transform more lives like Jenson’s”. Additionally, they included details on how the money would be used to support the organizations work.


The new donation funnel meant an omnichannel approach could be taken with the same content and creative being used offline, on social media and in email communications. This meant the user had a consistent experience throughout their engagement with the campaign.


Jenson’s story was told by his mum in her own words. This created a feeling of warmth and connection.


They also introduced Donna, Nan and Andy who shared the impact hearing loss had on them and included their age and photos. This showed that hearing loss comes in many forms and people can recognize themselves in their stories.

Finally, the form was reviewed to ensure that it was simple to use. This resulted in:

  • Multi-stepped form: The screens load instantly and the user can see progress at the top. They can also go back without losing data input.
  • Form fields: Were reduced so only minimal information was taken. Additionally, they used adaptive placeholders for field labels and make errors easy to fix.
  • Flexible Payment Options: Users were given a choice of credit card or Paypal.

The Results

  • Donations online increased by 79% year on year 
  • The average donation value increased by 4% 
  • 48% of donations came via Paypal. 

A Big Thank You

At Engaging Networks, we’re proud to work with great charities like Action on Hearing loss to improve people’s lives and make lasting change. Many thanks to Action on Hearing Loss for collaborating on this content. To learn more about this great cause visit their website.

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