How the donor incentive impacted conversion with The Daily Signal Experiment ID: #8877

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: 4/6/2018 - 4/19/2018

In a recent experiment, we discovered that a membership offer with a set deadline increased donor conversion by over 550% compared to the standard Daily Signal donation offer. This deadline was based upon the ending of the annual Membership campaign so once the date had passed, we were not able to use it again. However, we had the hypothesis that, while the deadline impacted likelihood to give, it was not the only reason the new offer outperformed the control. We decided to run an experiment using the same membership offer but without the end of month deadline. This would allow us to separate the urgency factor that had been a part of the previous experiment.

Research Question

Will a membership offer be more appealing to The Daily Signal audience than the standard donation offer?


C: Daily Signal
T1: Membership


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Daily Signal 0.02%
T1: Membership 0.04% 137.1% 99.9%

This experiment has a required sample size of 41,176 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 254,399, 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
× 137.1% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

We saw that the membership offer resulted in a 137% increase to donor conversion compared to the standard Daily Signal offer. This is a great learning for two reasons:

  1. We have found a new control for the donation offer on the site that will essentially double the gifts and revenue being acquired.
  2. We discovered just how important that urgency factor was in the conversion process. When we removed the deadline from this offer, we saw a conversion rate that was 1/3 the conversion of the offer with a deadline.

In the future, we will move forward with the membership offer as the new control and we will know to utilize deadlines and relevant campaigns whenever possible.

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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.