MinnPost’s independent journalism and in-depth analysis of current issues make it a valuable Minnesota resource. As a nonprofit, the publication relies on donations from readers. When they were selected for the Facebook Journalism Project accelerator program, MinnPost’s team saw an opportunity to increase their audience of loyal readers and donors by making strategic improvements to the website and online giving process.
Our work with MinnPost focused on improving both the user experience and the technical infrastructure in a few key areas. First, we set out to learn more about MinnPost’s readers and their experience of the website by conducting in-person interviews and usability testing. We observed users navigating through MinnPost’s existing website, gathering their feedback on what they liked about the site and what tripped them up.
From there, we created clickable prototypes showing new versions of the home page and donation flow, and invited feedback from users on the changes. Without overhauling the site’s branding or layout, we recommended design updates to make the home page feel less cluttered, help calls to action stand out, and make the donation transaction easier to complete.
One of the MinnPost’s team’s challenges was that they weren’t sure they were capturing the best data about their readers and donors, because their tools weren’t reliably communicating. We reviewed their tech setup and made fixes to ensure that information was being shared accurately between Mailchimp, their email marketing and newsletter tool, and Salesforce, the CRM they use to keep track of their audience.
Another goal was to invite readers to engage more deeply with the site. We worked with MinnPost’s team to craft a series of pop-up and banner messages that could encourage actions such as subscribing to newsletters — targeting visitors based on their membership status and, via cookies, their previous interactions on the site. We set up an integration with the free Google Optimize tool to conduct A/B testing and enable the MinnPost team to refine their messaging over time.
The result is a website and team equipped with the tools to increase donations and reader engagement — allowing them to sustain and thrive as a nonprofit newsroom.