The Heritage Foundation

How does calling out the loss of exclusive membership benefits for lapsed members affect conversion rates

Experiment ID: #169202

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

Ended On: 01/31/2024

The Heritage Foundation is running thier annual Kickoff Campaign to acquire members. You can become a member by giving a gift of any size, one-time or recurring. This experiment was sent to lapsed members to Heritage asking them to reactivate their membership. For this test, we wanted to see how lapsed members would react to calling out what they will lose by not reactivating their membership in 2024.

Research Question

We believe that calling out what they will lose by not reactivating their membership for lapsed members will achieve a higher donor conversion rate because the fear of losing something can be a more powerful motivator than the prospect of gaining something of equal value.


C: Control
T1: Treatment #1


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Control 8.3%
T1: Treatment #1 17.1%105.3% 89.5%

This experiment has a required sample size of 112 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 148, and the level of confidence is not above 95% the experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

The key learning from this experiment is that calling out what lapsed members will lose by not reactivating their membership can be a powerful motivator for increasing donor conversion rates. The treatment in which the loss aversion approach was used saw a 105.3% increase in donations compared to the control with an 89% level of confidence.

In future experimentation, it would be beneficial to refine the messaging and presentation of the loss aversion approach to optimize its impact. Testing different variations, such as emphasizing specific benefits or highlighting the potential negative consequences of not reactivating, could help identify the most compelling approach.

Additionally, it would be valuable to analyze the characteristics and preferences of lapsed members who responded positively to the loss aversion strategy. Understanding their motivations and demographics can inform targeted marketing efforts to similar segments in the future.

Overall, this experiment suggests that leveraging loss aversion can be a successful strategy to reactivate lapsed members. Continued testing and refinement will provide more conclusive evidence and insights for future campaigns.

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #169202

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