Wikimedia Deutschland/new-editors

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Current Status[edit]

  • 2020-01-19 - We published two evaluations of 2019 campaigns: the e-mail campaign 2019 in October targeting donors to also become volunteers for Wikipedia (in German) and the Wikipedia Action Day 2019 in November 2019 (in German).
  • 2020-01 - Wikimedia Deutschland now offers a newsletter (in German) featuring news and interesting stories about Wikimedia, Wikipedia, and Free Knowledge.
  • 2018-10-(19-28) - In the Autumn Campaign 2018 we tested a completely new approach – a combination of online campaign with an offline event – the “Wikipedia Aktionstag” (in German) – across borders of Germany. Together with the local spaces in Germany, Swiss and Austria 11 local Wikimedian groups welcomed people and shared their knowledge about Wikipedia.
  • 2018-08-(01-12) - The Summer Campaign 2018 gave us more clarity on different user journeys.
  • 2018-05-(02-10) - With the Spring Campaign 2018 our cycle starts again.
  • 2017-01-(01-15) - Thank You Campaign in January 2018. This is the last campaign of the cycle we initially planned and the first one of the next cycle in 2018.
  • 2017-10-(04-17) - After all findings of the previous campaigns and a pretest of the banners and landing pages the New Editors Campaign in autumn was realized.
  • 2017-07-(11-18) - To get more information on live tracking and perception of banners we run an additional New Editors Campaign in Summer.
  • 2017-04-(12-22) - In Spring 2017 we ran our first campaign with a detailed and working tracking of the clicks and registrations.
  • January 2017 - Our very first New Editors Campaign started.


Since 2007 the number of active editors is constantly declining. To set a contrast to this development WMDE is testing online campaigning to convince Wikipedia readers to edit Wikipedia.

Motivation and Scope[edit]

Our motivation was to stop the downward trend of new editors (>10 edits). Therefore, we planned four campaigns throughout 2017, including the January campaign in 2018. With these campaigns we tested the underlying assumption that online campaigning on Wikipedia can attract Wikipedia readers to get involved and become an editor (>10 edits).

As it is our first attempt to attract users with online campaigning in Wikipedia, we decided to use an iterative approach: We ran the first two campaigns on a low banner diet (between 5-20%) to learn more about the effects of campaigning.

Questions we were interested in:

  • Which effect does online campaigning have on readers and editors of Wikipedia?
  • What works and what does not work to attract new users and motivate them to edit Wikipedia (banner design, calls to action, user journeys, videos, approaches to “learn Wikipedia”, etc.)?
  • Which means are there to measure campaigns?

After running the first campaign on a low banner diet, we used the findings to create a big campaign with an 80% banner diet. With that approach we made sure to gain crucial insights at the beginning and to use only best practices on a big scale and guarantee the most positive impact of campaigning.

Key findings and results[edit]

  • Use simple and actionable call to actions (CTA) for banners (e. g. You can improve the accuracy of Wikipedia! CTA: Learn how to improve articles).
  • Use a factual and clean design for banners to attract new users. This is perceived as more accurate and professional than colorful and creative banner designs (and is more accepted by Wikipedia readers).
  • Explain very briefly and clearly the next steps to edit Wikipedia on a landing page. Videos help people to understand and learn.
  • Guided tours help people to get an overview of Wikipedia’s “buttons” before starting with the first edit.
  • Campaign periods not during holidays. People use Wikipedia mostly on Mondays and least on weekends (at least in Germany).
  • Get as much feedback as possible from the community and if possible from external organisations to test messages and designs before running a campaign.
  • Implement daily monitoring of the key indicators to adjust at any given moment.
  • User journeys with just one option work best: banner → landing page → registration

Campaign results in detail[edit]

Initially we planned four campaigns with an ascending banner diet:

  1. Thank You Campaign in January 2017 (100% → Please note: The main part of the banner is from the Fundraising team aimed to attract new members of our NGO. Only one small button directs the users to our landing page for new editors)
  2. Spring Campaign in April 2017 (5-10%)
  3. Autumn Campaign in October 2017 (80%)
  4. Thank You Campaign in January 2018 (100% → Please note: The user first sees a banner from the Fundraising team. After four impressions the 'new editors banner' gets displayed.)

While conducting the first two campaigns, we found that we need more testing and information to execute a large-scale campaign in autumn with a banner diet of 80% or more. Therefore we developed an additional fifth campaign:

  • Summer Campaign in July 2017

Below you can find the results of all campaigns in detail:

'Thank You' Campaign 2017[edit]


Dankesbanner 2017.png

Brief Explanation:

Our first campaign to attract new editors was supplementary to the Fundraising team's 'Thank You' campaign. The original 'Thank You' banner said thank you to the donors of the fundraising campaign. The redesigned banner contained three Buttons:

  • 'Thank You' text
  • Become a member of Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.
  • Get involved as an editor

With every campaign we wanted to answer a set of questions.


  • Do illustrations support the message / call to action?
  • Are introductory videos videos helpful for new editors?
  • Which of the videos is more attractive to users?

Campaign Parameters:

  • Length: 6 days (January 1 - January 7, 2017)
  • banner diet: 100%
  • User journey: banner → landing page → registrations


  • Illustrations attract people to get involved.
  • Wikimedia Commons is not suitable as media source for campaigning. The number of clicks could only be measured with a complicated workaround. In the meantime, we solved that problem with a video tool. An additional problem was that the videos need to be rendered at different screen resolutions. That takes considerable time. Hence, the videos need to be produced at least one week before using them.
  • Tracking of registrations was not possible – only clicks on the button on the landing page.
  • There were too many options in the 'thank you' banner. It was impossible to direct as many people to the registration as we assumed.
  • In addition, the landing page had too many options to get involved. The potential new users didn’t really know what to do next.

Landing page (German):

Spring Campaign 2017[edit]

Banner - correct mistakes

Wikimedia Online-Banner.jpg

Brief Explanation:

With the second banner campaign in spring we wanted to attract users with one simple call to action: correcting errors in Wikipedia. In contrast to the first campaign we used a very simple and plain design.


  • How appealing is the design of the banner and the landing page for new editors?
  • How does a simple call to action appeal to new editors?
  • Does a guided tour help to get started in Wikipedia?

Campaign Parameters:

  • length: 10 days (April 12 - April 22, 2017)
  • banner diet: 5 - 10% (of guest users)
  • user journey: banner → landing page → registration → guided tour


  • A simple call to action works very well (significantly higher conversion rate).
  • How to successfully implement tracking: to find a solution to that problem we needed know-how about SQL from our Software team and it took copious amounts of trial and error with the Campaigns Extension)
  • The planned impression and registration figures were not reached. Idea for future campaigns: implementing live monitoring of impressions and registrations (creating the possibility of raising the banner diet while running the campaign).
  • On a short term scale, the guided tour did not influence the number of new editors' edits. But numbers are not high enough to prove this finding.

Landing page (German):

Summer Campaign (additional) 2017[edit]

Banner 1 - factual approach

Wikimedia Online-Banner 1400x215px 17-06-22.jpg

Banner 2 - emotional approach

Sommeraktion animiertes Banner.gif

Brief Explanation:

As described in the Motivation and Scope, we decided to use an iterative approach in order to learn about the aspects of a successful banner campaign with every campaign. Having conducted two campaigns did not equip us with all the information we needed to run an autumn campaign on maximum scale. We decided to add a summer campaign to obtain additional information (see Questions).


  • Which approach is more appealing to potential editors: emotional illustration and text or a factual look & feel?
  • Does live monitoring in Wikipedia work?
  • Which of our video tutorials works best?
  • Does a guided tour really does not make a difference to the new editors edits?

Campaign Parameters:

  • length: 8 days (July 11 - July 18, 2017)
  • banner diet: 20 - 30%
  • user journeys:
    • banner (emotional) → landing page (emotional & not wiki) → registration → guided tour
    • banner (factual) → landing page (factual & on-wiki) → registration → guided tour


  • The emotional design does not cause significantly higher conversion rates compared to the factual design.
  • Daily monitoring works.
  • The message of the banner was not intelligible to users. Furthermore, the German Wikipedia community criticized the emotional message.
  • The video on top of the page was the one most clicked.
  • The click rates of videos were higher on the external (not on-wiki) landing page.
  • The Tracking of external pages is difficult and not comparable to wiki page views.
  • Guided tours have a slightly positive effect on new editors' edit numbers.

Landing page (German):

#1 (factual)

#2 (emotional)

Autumn Campaign 2017[edit]

Banner 1: More Precise Articles

Neue Ehrenamtliche Herbstkampagne Bannerentwurf3v2.png

Banner 2: Add Pictures

Neue Ehrenamtliche Herbstkampagne Bannerentwurf2v2.png

Banner 3: Add Sources

Neue Ehrenamtliche Herbstkampagne Bannerentwurf4v2.png

Banner 4: Get Involved

Neue Ehrenamtliche Herbstkampagne Bannerentwurf1v2.png

Shortly explained:

The previous three campaigns aimed to include all important learnings for the autumn campaign – as this was the campaign with the highest banner diet. In this campaign we used our findings and decided to test further with four different banners. We used a quite formal and factual design with three simple call to actions for each banner to get started:

  • You can make Wikipedia more vivid! CTA: Learn how to add pictures to articles (German: Du kannst Wikipedia anschaulicher machen! CTA: So bebilderst du Artikel)
  • You can improve the accuracy of Wikipedia! CTA: Learn how to improve articles (German: Du kannst Wikipedia genauer machen! CTA: So überarbeitest du Artikel)
  • You can improve the reliability of Wikipedia! CTA: Learn how to add citations (German: Du kannst Wikipedia noch verlässlicher machen! CTA: So ergänzt du Belege)

Additionally to the three simple entry points we decided to just call for registration in the fourth banner.


  • Do the users need further information on a landing page to start editing Wikipedia?
  • How does just a call for registration perform compared to the three different calls to action that have an additional landing page explaining next steps?
  • Which of the three simple entry points works best to get people start editing?


  • Currently a proper a/b testing is not possible with central notice options. Hence four (more than two) banners are shown randomly to probably the same users instead of showing only one banner repeatedly to only one reader.
  • users provided with more detailed information and a concrete call to action are more likely to register and also to edit after registering
  • the following call to action worked best to get people started: “You can improve the accuracy of Wikipedia! CTA: Learn how to improve articles” (German: Du kannst Wikipedia genauer machen! CTA: So überarbeitest du Artikel)
  • feedback from the community (online and offline) and a pretest with an external company on the different messages and the design led to the best product possible

Link zur Landingpage:

'Thank You' Campaign 2018[edit]


Dankesbanner 2018.png

Shortly explained:

Like our first campaign to attract new editors also this campaign was supplementary to the Fundraising Thank You campaign. The Thank You banner originally says thank you to the donors of the fundraising campaign. This time our banner were shown separately after the fundraising banner were shown to the readers. Thus there were very few users, that really saw a banner aimed to attract new editors.

With this limited conditions we focused our aims on finding out more about the training modules that we transferred from the english modules.


  • How does a Thank You banner attract to contribute as a new editor?
  • Do the users complete the trainings modules, when they start them?
  • How does the completion of training modules affect the editing behavior?


  • The very low banner diet and also the different messages – saying thank you for funding und also asking for contribution with editing – resulted in half of the average conversion rate in page clicks
  • The numbers of users completing a training module are very low (29 people) and thus cannot be transferred into common sense about the editing behavior that follows. Nevertheless, tendencies do not show any differences in people who did a training module or not.

Link to Landingpage:

Spring Campaign 2018[edit]

Banner 1 ("Your contribution makes Wikipedia better")

Neue Ehrenamtliche Frühlingsaktion 2018 Bannerentwurf 1.2.png

Banner 2 ("Every new word makes Wikipedia better")

Neue Ehrenamtliche Frühlingsaktion 2018 Bannerentwurf2.2.png

Shortly explained:

In this campaign we wanted to get more valid information on the training modules that we transferred from the english modules and its contribution to the new editors editing behavior.


  • Which banner text attracts more users?
  • Do the users complete the trainings modules, when they start them?
  • How does the completion of training modules affect the editing behavior?


  • 12% (147) of the registered users are interested in the editing training modules; these users are more likly to edit, but we cannot measure the quality of the edits.
  • The banner with the text "Your contribution makes Wikipedia better" shows much more registrations at the end although the clicks on the banners have quite the same number.

Summer Campaign 2018[edit]


Banner Sommerkampagne 2018 neue Version.png

Shortly explained:

In previous campaigns we learned, that users lack general knowledge about Wikipedia and thus do not try to edit the wikipedia. To get questions answered and get people engaged to edit the Wikipedia we created a FAQ campaign where we answer common questions new users might have before starting.


  • Do answers to frequently asked questions create more identification with the Wikipedia project?
  • Do the training modules lead to more edits?
  • Which banner attracts more users?


  • Length: 12 days (2018-08-01 – 2018-08-12)
  • banner diet: 80-100%
  • User journey: banner -> landing page 1 (FAQ) -> landing page (learn Wikipedia) -> registrations


  • having a second landing page reduces the total number of registrations. This additional step drastically reduces the end to end conversion rate
  • to have an informed decision for the users to edit the wikipedia the FAQ page might be helpful, but in another format, to not lose users in an additional landing page in the user journey

Autumn Campaign 2018 - Wikipedia Action Day 2018[edit]


Bannerentwurf Hebstaktion 2018.png

Shortly explained:

In previous campaigns we noticed that the culture and rules of Wikipedia are very complex and difficult to inform about in online campaigns. So why not closing the gap between potentially new editors and the community, that lives the culture and knows the rules?

We combined the online banner approach with an offline event, that took place at the same time in all German speaking chapters (Germany, Swiss, Austria). We promoted the offline event online. Additionally we invited people to learn online about editing, if they do not have the time and possibility to join a local event. In fact new editors had the possibility to register online and/or come to an offline event and register there.

We worked closely together with the community spaces, that we support all over Germany and included also the other German speaking chapters in Swiss and Austria. Not only the community spaces, that already had a venue created an event, but also small communities in other locations in Germany.

Here you can find some pictures and impressions (in German).


  • Do newcomers edit more, if they get in contact with real people?
  • Do people stay connected to the local community spaces after getting in contact at the event?
  • Do they feel attracted to the other local community events?
  • How effective are online banner invitations to offline events?


  • Length: 12 days (2018-10-19 – 2018-10-28)
  • Offline event on 2018-10-28
  • banner diet: 80-100%
  • User journeys:
    • banner -> landing page 1 (choose your location) -> landing page 2 (local event) -> participation at the event -> registration
    • banner -> landing page 1 (choose your location) -> (no location available) -> landing page 2 (learn wikipedia online) -> registration


  • The offline event created a lot of media attraction and is a perfect format platform to raise awareness consciousness about Wikipedia and that it’s based oncreated from volunteer work and also motivates volunteers through society's attention and appreciation.
  • Having a second landing page reduces the total number of registrations. This additional step drastically reduces the end to end conversion rate
  • It was difficult to help people to edit the Wikipedia, because there were too many participants at the local events. This needs to be considered next time

Thank You - Campaign 2019[edit]


Dankesbanner 2019.svg

Shortly explained:

Like the last years we designed a campaign that is supplementary to the Fundraising Thank You campaign. The Thank You banner originally says thank you to the donors of the fundraising campaign. Different to the last Thank You Campaign we created a combined banner, where three messages were send:

  • The thank you text
  • Attract new members for our association
  • And finally attract new users


  • How does a Thank You banner attract to contribute as a new editor (when it’s combined with the other messages)?
  • Do the users complete the training modules, when they start them?
  • How does the completion of training modules affect the editing behavior?


  • Length: 12 days (2019-01-02 – 2019-01-16)
  • banner diet: 100%
  • User journey: banner -> landing page -> registrations


  • Even with a combined approach to display all the messages at once the landing page was not clicked as much as in the last campaign. A reason could be that the users needed to first click the thank you text to see our message.
  • The results of the training modules tracking show a high abandonment rate. Half of the users do not finish the training modules. Hence, they should be revisited and improved.

Summary: All Campaigns[edit]

'Thank You' Campaign 2017 Spring Campaign 2017 Summer Campaign (additional) 2017 Autumn Campaign 2017 'Thank You' Campaign 2018 Spring Campaign 2018 Summer Campaign 2018 Autumn Campaign 2018 (Wikipedia Action Day 2018,


'Thank You' Campaign 2019
Banner diet 100% (attracting new users was just a small button in the thank you banner of the fund raising) 5-10% 20-30% 80% 100% (our banner was shown only after the user saw four banners from fundraising.) 80% 80% 80% 100%
Impressions 29,5 m 7,5 m 12 m 34,8 m 16,2 m 30,6 m 23,5 m 92,4 m
(50 m on mobile devices)
168,5 m
(incl. mobile devices)
Page views 1,318 44,576 68,333 231,251 17,081 231,859 136,627 633,642 20,586
Registrations not trackable (there were 375 clicks on the button, that direct to the registration page) 319 (with 1,033 clicks on the button, that directed to the registration page) 158 1,054 120 1,243 111 211 615
Conversion (from impression to registration) 0.000012 (based on the 375 clicks to the registration page) 0.0042 0.000013 0.000030 0.000007 0.000040 0.0000050 0.0000020
(incl. mobile devices)
(incl. mobile devices)
attracted users > 10 edits (no proper tracking) 4 9 14 2 9 1 3 4


Community Feedback To guarantee an acceptable design of the banners we always asked the community on Wikimedia Deutschland’s site on Wikipedia at least 2 - 4 weeks before the campaign started. We presented the banner designs, landing pages, the user journeys and other additional features like guided tours. In this Wiki we summarised all plans, steps we undertook to create a campaign and finally the results of the campaigns.

Other Feedback In addition we strive to get as much feedback as possible. In community workshops or community conferences (like Wikimania, WikiCon) we explained our upcoming campaign and also further ideas on attaining new editors with the community. We also used our general assembly to ask non-Wikipedians. Direct questions on design and user journey with concrete drafts helped most to improve the campaign.

In the Autumn Campaign it was very helpful to connect with an external company to do a pretest of our campaign. Questions to a set of people about our user journey and the design of the steps and banners integrated a totally different point of view and really improved the campaign design.

Community Workshops Some Wikipedians also decided to conduct a workshop dedicated to onboarding options that would help to get started in Wikipedia.

Associated research[edit]

Survey: Welcome-culture for new editors at Wikipedia (2016)[edit]

To get a first impression of how new editors are welcomed in the Wikipedia we commissioned a survey in January 2016. In this survey we asked community members of different age that are contributing in Wikipedia. In total 686 people answered questions about how new editors are welcomed, what are the difficulties to start editing, who is willing to engage in new way of welcoming new editors – to name a few.

One of the main findings was, that the current culture does not welcome new editors. The respondents reported that newbies are often treated rude or do not have good opportunities to learn the rules of Wikipedia or how to communicate with others.

Survey: Wikimedia Deutschland Editor Survey 2016

Qualitative interviews about Wikipedia onboarding videos (2017)[edit]

In this survey conducted by German market research company GIM in February 2017 we wanted to know more about the video tutorials we created for new editors. In these videos we explain the main rules of Wikipedia and the how-to’s of editing. Additionally, the survey should give us more information on the motivational aspects of new editors and their impression of when and how newbies would expect help in the process of getting started.

The main findings are:

  • Wikipedia is very relevant for the respondents and they expect high quality of the articles in Wikipedia
  • People feel, that they need to be very competent in a topic before they feel enabled to start editing and often do not know, that they can edit Wikipedia
  • WikiCode is perceived as very complicated and many people are not willing to invest in learning WikiCode
  • The videos are perceived as very informative but at times quite amateurish

Survey: Wikipedia Onboarding Videos 2017

Benchmark Analysis (2017)[edit]

We also did a benchmark analysis in June 2017 in which community building strategies from different companies (NGO and commercial) were compared. The following aspects were identified as potentially helpful to integrate in Wikipedia:

  • establish more opportunities to share contributions or contributors on Social Media
  • opportunity to follow editors or their contributions to create more interconnectedness
  • exclusive events for editors
  • establish exclusive functions for editors

Analysis: Benchmarkanalyse 2017

Available material for adoption[edit]