Site Notices: People Actually Read Them?

Wikipedia Affiliate Button
Do people read site notices?
Yes.  Absolutely.  Our users respond to different messages… and we continue to test what messages resonate and drive donations.   Reflect back to my previous post and you’ll see that site notices with the thermometer had much higher click through rates than those without.
We decided that we wanted to test the impact of the meters over a few days (generating several million page views) to see how different notices performed with and without thermometers.  Phase 1a, below, we went down to 3 notices in random cycling.  One had a meter, the other two did not.

Phase 1a 11/28/08 to 12/01/08
Display Click Number Percent who
Total Average


% Throughs Donations Donated Given Gift







There Meter Wikipedia is there when you need it — now it needs you. 33.3% 20301 1480 7.29% $41,029.20 $27.72
Rely No Meter Wikipedia relies on your donations: please give today. 33.3% 10123 556 5.49% $16,978.68 $30.54
Easier No Meter
Wikipedia: Making Life Easier. 33.3% 8263 383 4.64% $11,768.39 $30.73

No meter 1 – collapsed n/a 655 18 2.75% $508.43 $28.25


In Phase 1b, we completely reversed the placements of the thermometer from our initial run.  As expected, those with meters had significantly higher clicks and donations.

Phase 1b 12/01/08 to 12/02/08
Display Click Number Percent who
Total Average


% Throughs Donations Donated Given Gift







Needs You Meter Wikipedia is there when you need it — now it needs you. 25% 6719 372 5.54% $10,176.03 $27.35
Non Profit Meter Wikimedia is a non-profit project: please donate today. 25% 6992 256 3.66% $6,748.05 $26.36
Rely NoMeter
Wikipedia relies on your donations: please give today.
25% 3440 135 3.92% $4176.61 $30.94
Easier NoMeter
Wikipedia: Making Life Easier. 25% 2883 107 3.71% $3008.19 $28.11
No meter 1 – collapsed n/a 223 7 3.14% $203.31 $29.04


Now, over the last few days, we’ve gone with all meters on all notices.  Not only has there been a nice spike in donations, but it seems that people are reading the messages.  In particular, the educational notice, “Wikipedia is a non-profit project” has done significantly better from our initial run.

Phase 1c 12/02/08 to 12/03/08
Display Click Number Percent who
Total Average


% Throughs Donations Donated Given Gift







Needs You Meter Wikipedia is there when you need it — now it needs you. 25% 6013
325
5.4% $8,025.55 $24.69
Non Profit Meter Wikimedia is a non-profit project: please donate today. 25% 7139
200
2.8% $5,135.90 $25.68
Rely Meter Wikipedia relies on your donations: please give today.
25% 5278
199 3.77% $5,918.42 $29.74
Easier Meter
Wikipedia: Making Life Easier. 25% 4865 175 3.6% $4,967.72 $28.39
No meter 1 – collapsed n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a


We’re now going to focus on improving our conversion rate:  fewer and fewer people are donating after a click-through.  It’s expected as the fundraiser goes on, but we need to find a better way to get people to donate once they’ve shown interest.
Our next steps include testing a new “Learn More” link on all the notices (maybe people need more information before they give) and other Phase 2 notices.   We’re also going to test some different looks and images in an attempt to draw in new and different donors.
Rand Montoya, Head of Community Giving

Archive notice: This is an archived post from blog.wikimedia.org, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Have you considered experimenting with color?
The donate button in red is very visible, yet red has all kinds of connotations that are strong and often negative. Danger! Do not pass! Etc. Even the red in the Red Cross reminds people of blood and war scenes. One might argue that the Red Cross has a long track record and this validates their choice of color, but it might work differently for an encyclopedia.
Green is the color of hope.

Erik’s comment makes sense. However, green is also the color of decay, depending on where you live. Red can also mean “near empty” or “danger.” Maybe try different kinds of meters, such as a glass filling up, a fuel gauge, or something more meaningful, such as a gauge with “sustainability” at its goal end (or whatever the specific goal is you’re after).
[By the way: this text-entry box stretches to the right about 20% beyond the edge of my window, even though I’m scrolled all the way right. Glitch?]
-K

I have to admit, clicking through, my first immediate question is… Where does it go? Exactly? I mean, I have the technical knowledge to determine that a large amount of money probably goes to simply maintaining the “computers that run Wikipedia” and the “connection of those computers to the Internet” — If this were a fundraiser for anyone else and I had similar questions, I’d immediately say no way… I’d strongly recommend an approach that says, “Where does this money go?” and gives a few strong examples when you click that link (preferably not taking you away from the page,… Read more »

@ABC