Magic Pill

Are listeners who take part in an on-going experience more likely to donate or become members?

Description & Purpose

The Magic Pill is a content-driven experiment designed to improve the movements of new listeners through the conversion funnel (measured by our Dynamic Growth Dashboard) and increase donations while serving needs of our community. Interviews with listeners and non-listeners conducted by IDEO and BizLab between May 2015-January 2016 inspired us to create The Magic Pill with the CommonHealth team.

We Heard

“Help me find new stories that will inspire me”
“Use my pockets of time throughout the day intelligently”
“Feel in control of the content I consume”

A common thread throughout our interviews revealed an opportunity for WBUR to create a program offering that is tailored toward helping people decompress and support the needs of a busy population to take the pressure off.

The Magic Pill is a short, high-energy podcast that challenges listeners to a a 21-day exercise commitment to improve health outcomes in our community. It represents a new format of content delivery: an on-going experience that unfolds each day in the subscriber’s inbox. We’ve applied BizLab practices to content distribution by encouraging data literacy in the producers themselves, so everyone at the station more actively participates in the conversation with our audience using tools (like MailChimp, Stripe, and Evertrue) and techniques (like multivariate testing) that are new to WBUR. As a bonus, listeners will also be treated to a song in each episode sourced from our own Blockchain Music Library, highlighting independent artists and helping to inspire listeners to move their bodies to energizing music.

Working with the BizLab team is a bit like continuing to practice journalism but simultaneously crossing over into a tech startup where methods and meetings have a new and different flavor.

Carey Goldberg, Editor of CommonHealth

Current Status: Experiment Underway

We launched the premiere preview campaign, inviting users to gain early access to the pilot episode made available to the public on June 15, 2016. In one week (May 27-June 3) 1,126 people viewed the sign-up landing page and 576 of those visitors registered and received our welcome newsletter (a 51% conversion rate!). Open rates for the first email exceeded 70% – three times higher than our other station newsletters. Our experiment launched on September 1, 2016 with 4,383 early sign ups.

Future Goals

We aim to acquire 2,500 new listeners and converting 125 of them to sustaining members at $10/month. Our experiment will track how listening effects how and when people decide to engage with and contribute to WBUR.

Project Team

Dr. Eddie Phillips
Dr. Eddie Phillips

Carey Goldberg
Carey Goldberg

Amy Pedulla
Amy Pedulla

Shannon Dooling
Shannon Dooling

Meg Siegal
Meg Siegal

Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams

Johanna Brewer
Johanna Brewer

John Perotti
John Perotti