How an additional opt-in impacted email acquisition Experiment ID: #8946

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: 4/7/2018 - 5/3/2018

The Heritage Foundation did an analysis and discovered that subscribers that were not cultivated with their daily newsletter, The Morning Bell, were far less likely to convert to become donors. However, we had also found that The Morning Bell by itself was not an appealing enough offer to collected subscribers for a reasonable costs. With these two facts in mind, we decided to launch an experiment to see if we could acquire Morning Bell subscribers through other offers.

We decided to add a checkbox on the acquisition form for one of their eBook that would allow people to get both the eBook and the Morning Bell newsletter. We wanted to test this before rolling it out to measure the impact this checkbox would have on acquisition.

Research Question

Will adding an additional opt-in option for have any impact on email acquisition?


C: without morning bell checkbox
T1: with morning bell checkbox


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: without morning bell checkbox 15.7%
T1: with morning bell checkbox 18.1% 15.1% 75.3%

This experiment has a required sample size of 1,914 in order to be valid. Unfortunately, the required sample size was not met and a level of confidence above 95% was not met so the experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

After running this experiment for over a month, we did not see any statistically significant impact on email acquisition. Given the additional friction this checkbox could have caused, this is actually the ideal outcome since we are now able to acquire higher potential subscribers with no impact to conversion rate or cost.

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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.