Fundraising 2011/Test Updates/August

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August 5th, Steven Walling Test[edit]

Great news! We’ve found our first volunteer appeal to perform on a similar level with our founder appeal. The fundraising team has been testing 2011 fundraising messages for about two months now. We’ve found successful programmer and staff appeals but this is the first editor appeal we have seen perform anywhere near the other appeals.

We tested new banner text with an appeal from long time editor, Steven Walling. Up until now, our best volunteer banner text had been, “Please read: a personal appeal from Wikipedia author Steven Walling.” In this test we tried, “Please read: a personal appeal from an author of 191 Wikipedia articles.” Steven’s volunteer appeal included a new comparison with the other top websites’ number of servers and employees where he said, "Wikipedia, the #5 site on the web, serves 411 million people per month -- with 370 servers and 73 employees."

Website Comparison

Key Findings

  • The new banner had about a 20% higher click rate than the Jimmy banner and overall Steven's appeal performed pretty close to Jimmy’s donation level.
  • The clear and direct appeal that emphasizes Wikipedia's utility and efficiency was effective in Steven's editor appeal.
Author of 191 Articles
Jimmy Wales Banner

Next Steps

The results from this test are really encouraging. The Storytellers have just returned from Wikimania. While at Wikimedia’s annual conference, we interviewed over 40 editors from around the world with different Wikipedia experiences and stories. Right now we’re in the process of sorting through this mountain of material to start writing fundraising appeals to test. The successful test with Steven’s author appeal is really motivating to find more successful appeals from different editors. We’ll find plenty of new things that work and other things that won’t work, but this year we want the fundraiser to rely as much as possible on voices of many different members of our community.

You didn’t have to attend Wikimania to get involved. We will be interviewing people from all different areas of the world over the next several months. If you're interested in sharing your story and explaining in your own words why donating is important, please send a message to wikistory(_AT_)

Raw statistics
title impressions views donations amount amount50 avg_donation avg_donation50 click_rate don_per_imp amt_per_imp amt50_per_imp don_per_view amt_per_view amt50_per_view
Jimmy 1170738 15890 327 6238.54 5338.54 n/a n/a 0.013777 0.000274 0.005221 0.004477 0.020400 0.389744 0.333350
Walling (Plain) 1171567 15577 249 6441.00 5041.00 n/a n/a 0.013478 0.000207 0.005345 0.004191 0.015740 0.408168 0.318220
Walling (191 articles) 1171721 19286 262 5863.00 5188.00 n/a n/a 0.016704 0.000218 0.004874 0.004310 0.013430 0.300300 0.265530
Full report
File:C JMvSW2 0805 US.pdf