How the value proposition of an ad impacted the motivation of donor traffic Experiment ID: #6343

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: 3/14/2017 - 3/20/2017

The “Dear Reader” call out on the (TDS) website had become a significant source of donors for The Heritage Foundation. The message in the treatment highlighted the nonprofit nature of the work and the benefit it provided to the reader.

The organization had recently come under attack from some of the more mainstream media outlets due to TDS’s level of access within the White House. Using this attack, we decided to test out a new value proposition that depicted The Daily Signal is an alternative to the mainstream media. We also added urgency by mentioning the potential loss of access due to the attacks.

Research Question

Will the “alternative to mainstream media” value proposition increase the number of donors from the site?

MECLABS Conversion Factors Targeted

C = 4m + 3v + 2( i - f) - 2a ©

Copyright 2015, MECLABS


C: Nonprofit Value Prop
T1: Alternative to Mainstream


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Nonprofit Value Prop 0.02%
T1: Alternative to Mainstream 0.06% 165.4% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 22,777 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 275,137, 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
× 165.4% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The new “Alternative to Mainstream Media” value proposition was able to significantly increase donor conversion rate by 165%. Interestingly, the click through rate for the ad increased by only 12% (which was not statistically significant). This would imply that the ad was not necessarily more appealing but, instead, it produced a higher motivation for those that it did attract which made them more likely to give.

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Related Experiments

This experiment is part of a series of experiments aimed at improving overall results. Take a look at some of the other iterations:

Experiment Documented by...

Kevin Peters

Kevin is the Chief Technology Officer at NextAfter. If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.