The Heritage Foundation

Discovering the Daily Signal’s value proposition with an inline donation ask

Experiment ID: #5546

The Heritage Foundation

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 08/18/2016 - 09/26/2016

The Daily Signal was originally launched several years back to serve as an unbiased news source. Since its launch, it has seen a significant boost in traffic with millions of people visiting each month. This site is an initiative that is run by The Heritage Foundation.

A decision was made recently to discover ways to start monetizing the traffic while keeping the actually content free for visitors. It was decided that we could position a donation ask at the end of each article. The question then became “what aspect of The Daily Signal would visitors be most willing to sponsor?” To determine this, we launched an experiment utilizing three different value proposition statements.

Research Question

Which value proposition will drive the most donations for The Daily Signal?


C: Donate Now
T1: Journalism & Reporting
T2: Keep TDS free


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidenceAverage Gift
C: Donate Now 0.00%$61.88
T1: Journalism & Reporting 0.01%275.5% 100.0%$108.50
T2: Keep TDS free 0.00%37.9% 51.2%$45.91

This experiment has a required sample size of 160,703 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 1,241,097, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 275.5% increase in conversion rate
× 75.3% increase in average gift
558.5% increase in revenue

Key Learnings

After a month and a half of running this experiment, we determined that the “investigative journalism” and “conservative policy analysis” aspects of The Daily Signal were more appealing to the readers than the other options. This value proposition lifted donor conversion by 275%. Our hypothesis is that this statement was the one that best tapped into the unique aspects of the website. While the other value proposition statements may have been appealing to visitors, they could have been said about any number of other websites.

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #5546

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.