How aligning messaging between the ad and donation page impacted donor conversion Experiment ID: #7134

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: 7/14/2017 - 8/11/2017

The Heritage Foundation was testing out a new messaging stance based upon recent donor research. They were utilizing the “Drain the Swamp” rhetoric, used with President Trump’s campaign, that their donors found appealing. The advertisement on their homepage was about becoming a member of The Heritage Foundation and linked to the existing new member page that included a long value proposition about the reasoning and benefits for becoming a member.

We had the hypothesis that we could improve the overall donor conversion by improving the messaging congruence between the ad and the landing page. We decided to launch a new donation landing page that utilized the same “Drain the Swamp” rhetoric in the copy.

Research Question

Will sending visitors to a donation page with messaging congruent with the ad increase donor conversion?


C: Original
T1: Drain the Swamp Donate Page


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Original 0.06%
T1: Drain the Swamp Donate Page 0.03% -52.6% 95.3%

This experiment has a required sample size of 33,480 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 68,884, 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
× 52.6% decrease in conversion rate
× 64.8% decrease in average gift
83.3% decrease in revenue

Key Learnings

The treatment donation page decreased donor conversion by 50% with a 93% level of confidence. The cause of this decrease was not necessarily the congruence of the page but, likely, the removal of much of the value proposition and benefits messaging associated with becoming a member. We’ve found that “membership” is a strong offer for Heritage donors and by removing this language, we actually decreased what many people found appealing about donating to Heritage.

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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.