Clear communications emphasizing active choice increase subscription rates

Military users on laptop

Military users on laptop

What was the challenge?

Military OneSource is a DOD-funded program that provides information on military life to Servicemembers and their families. Its monthly OneSource eNewsletter offers a simple way to stay up to date on resources and programs. The current 60,000 subscribers are a relatively small fraction of the potential audience.

What was the program change?

We designed six email variants applying research insights to be sent to active duty servicemembers. Email variations included opt-in requirements, active choice subscription, and differing formats including lists and quizzes.

How did the evaluation work?

491,879 servicemembers were randomly assigned to receive one of the six email communications.


What was the impact?

Overall, the study added over 6,000 new subscribers to the newsletter, expanding the subscription list by more than 10%, and spurred 8,700 web visits. The study suggests simple, clear communications that present decisions as an active choice are effective at increasing subscriptions, and that lists appear to be more effective than quizzes, but brevity is most important.





Project Type

Impact evaluation of program change





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