Hey All–

We’ve been tracking a huge amount of data during this year’s fundraiser so we can better understand which messages work well and which don’t.  We have two sets of banners that we set each day to run on all Wikipedia languages.  Set one is the English version; set two is all non-English versions.

We have two sets because we want our banners to run globally only if they are translated…which can take some time and volunteer effort.  This is why our non-English banners rotate slowly.  However, with English banners, we can build a banner quickly and put it up to see how it does.

Let’s go into some detail on selecting a rotation.  On December 3rd, our rotation and results (pp = Paypal, cc = credit card):

 

 

% of Total Site Notice Payment Number of Total Average Highest
WP views Type Donations Amount Gift Donation
12/3/09 20% 2009_Notice17 pp 210 $4,933.75 $23.49 $100.00
12/3/09 cc 156 $5,894.76 $37.79 $500.00
12/3/09 20% 2009_Notice18 pp 725 $11,807.41 $16.29 $1,000.00
12/3/09 cc 454 $10,145.52 $22.35 $250.00
12/3/09 40% 2009_Notice30_bold pp 504 $11,023.15 $21.87 $250.00
12/3/09 cc 389 $14,468.07 $37.19 $1,000.00
12/3/09 20% 2009_Notice36 pp 207 $4,650.90 $22.47 $120.00
12/3/09 cc 147 $5,890.83 $40.07 $250.00

As you can see, we had three different notices running at 20% and one banner, taken from one of the better notices from 2008’s fundraiser, 2009_Notice30_bold running at 40%.  It did well throughout last week.

As you can see, 2009_Notice18 pulled in a huge number of gifts despite only showing 20% of the time.   Also, it had a significantly lower average gift…probably as a result of the message itself.   Despite the low average gift, people seemed to really respond to the message…and donated lots.

We are wary of banner-fatigue and saturation, where users might be tired of seeing the same message, so we changed banners around for the next day.

Looking at December 4th, 2009:

 

% of Total Site Notice Payment Number of Total Average Highest
WP views Type Donations Amount Gift Donation
12/4/09 20% 2009_Notice17 pp 192 $4,280.08 $22.29 $250.00
12/4/09 cc 144 $4,778.83 $33.19 $250.00
12/4/09 20% 2009_Notice18 pp 611 $9,511.88 $15.57 $250.00
12/4/09 cc 390 $9,390.74 $24.08 $500.00
12/4/09 20% 2009_Notice30_bold pp 266 $6,573.39 $24.71 $1,024.00
12/4/09 cc 228 $6,696.20 $29.37 $238.75
12/4/09 20% 2009_Notice36 pp 205 $4,399.75 $21.46 $166.53
12/4/09 cc 162 $5,018.47 $30.98 $250.00
12/4/09 20% 2009_Notice40 pp 320 $7,795.45 $24.36 $1,000.00
12/4/09 cc 187 $6,113.04 $32.69 $500.00

We introduced 2009_Notice40 (“Thanks, Wikipedia.”) to the mix and cut back on another.   All five banners in rotation are at 20%.  Two of the banners are greatly outperforming the others.  We like what #40 is doing…but #18 is still rocking…1001 donations while the next closest is 507 donations (#40).

Again, we switched things up, removing #17, and adding 2009_Notice22, a similar, but opposite message to #18, which has been successful.

December 5th, 2009:

 

% of Total Site Notice Payment Number of Total Average Highest
WP views Type Donations Amount Gift Donation
12/5/09 20% 2009_Notice18 pp 518 $8,207.09 $15.84 $250.00
12/5/09 cc 314 $6,866.38 $21.87 $250.00
12/5/09 20% 2009_Notice22 pp 166 $4,634.09 $27.92 $250.00
12/5/09 cc 135 $4,938.74 $36.58 $250.00
12/5/09 20% 2009_Notice30_bold pp 272 $6,989.63 $25.70 $250.00
12/5/09 cc 197 $8,005.98 $40.64 $1,000.00
12/5/09 20% 2009_Notice36 pp 195 $4,440.20 $22.77 $191.00
12/5/09 cc 157 $7,092.57 $45.18 $1,000.00
12/5/09 20% 2009_Notice40 pp 279 $5,881.04 $21.08 $250.00
12/5/09 cc 168 $6,259.51 $37.26 $1,000.00

This day is a fascinating look at our banners and our user population.  Notice the results of #18 and #22…they are similar yet contrasting messages.   #18 is an quote from a small dollar donation (USD 1.95), acknowledging the sincerity of the gift.  #22 is a quote from a high dollar donation (USD 200),  emphasizing that a big gift is a small matter.

Compare the numbers of gifts for the two banners:

#18: 832 gifts, $15073.47 total
#22: 301 gifts, $9572.83 total

Not close right?  But look at the average gift sizes:

#18:  $15.84 for Paypal, $21.87 for credit card
#22:  $27.92 for Paypal, $36.58 for credit card

That’s quite a difference.  What was it about the message that would account for that?  Is it possible that our more affluent donors were more interested in #22, while other donors were affected by #18?

Post your thoughts below.

Rand Montoya, Head of Community Giving