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September 23, 2011 / Ben Simon

First appeal results: where we start from

Appeal 1 ScreenshotAs I touched on earlier in the week, we’re currently in the midst of our first straight email appeal series for the Join program that I’ve been a part of (possibly ever, but I don’t want to swear to that).

Before we launched appeal #1, the audience base of constituents who are subscribed to our email list was 4,110 previous donors (3,886 of them 2011 donors) and 21,251 non-donors (most of whom are involved in Drumbeat, along with folks who have joined in other ways). Both of those are numbers we need to grow substantially over the coming months in order to get where we need to be, but the current situation puts us in a great place to grow from.

Message 1 (email itself is below) was sent to donors on 9/14, and to non-donors on 9/19. It provided a broad, thematic look at the Mozilla mission and how we’re working to build a better web — and why that’s worth giving to. Message 2 went to donors on 9/19 and is going to non-donors as I write this — it gets into much more detail about specific projects that Mozilla is running that are leading the way to a better web. Specifically, it discusses Hackasaurus, Popcorn, and Open Badges.

The results from Message 1 were promising. Donors gave at a 1.56% response rate, while non-donors had a 0.24% rate of giving; both of those are *very* solid numbers.

When starting with a fairly small base, one thing we’re going to be very conscious of is unsubscribes — there, again, message 1 was very good. Donors had a 4.3:1 donation:unsubscribe ratio, while non-donors had a 1:2 ratio; again, very solid.

Fuller results (and the actual text) from message 1 are beneath the fold. Will be back with message 2 results early next week.

Appeal 1 Text:

From: Mark Surman
Subject: Building a better Web

Dear Benjamin,

I love the Web. I love news sites and tech blogs and Web comics and cat videos. I love being connected with friends no matter where they are (or where I am). And more than anything, I love being a part of a living, breathing, growing community that gets better all the time.

The Web is a home that we — you and I and millions of people around the world — are building together every day. Mozilla is an essential part of that, helping the Web to live up to its potential: open, accessible, transparent, safe, and constantly evolving.

I believe that the Web is what we make of it. Together, we can keep it open for all — and make it a force for good in the world.

That’s a big deal. And that’s what the Mozilla Foundation is for. We’re a non-profit working to make the Web a better place for the billions of people who use it every day (especially you — we like you). You’ve already joined for 2011, and I cannot thank you enough for that. Can you add to that support by making a donation of $35 or more today?

We are the proud makers of Firefox, and that’s a pretty good reason all on its own to support what we do. But that’s just part of who we are. Mozilla is about building communities and giving people tools to build and shape the web in any way they choose. Tools like Hackasaurus, which is teaching kids how to remix and hack the Web, and Firebug, the Web development tool used by millions to inspect, debug, and analyze Web content.

Because Mozilla is a non-profit, we can keep our focus squarely on the users of all of our products, rather than investors’ bottom lines. Our small team of hardworking staff collaborates every day with a huge community of equally hardworking volunteers to design, build, test, promote, and maintain our products and programs — and that’s precisely the work that your donation would support.

We’re all part of something that is helping to create a better future for everyone who uses the Web — which someday is going to mean everyone, period. It sounds a little cheesy, but you know what? I’m not
embarrassed to say it, because I believe in it. I’m proud of Mozilla and what we do. If you are, too, please make a donation of $35 today:

Thanks for helping us build a better Web.


Mark Surman
Executive Director
Mozilla Foundation

P.S. — I know you haven’t heard from us too much lately, and I’m excited to be able to say that should soon change. We have a bunch of exciting new projects in the pipeline — including a groundbreaking video tool, Popcorn, which I’m planning to talk more about soon — and we’re going to be beefing up our efforts to build a strong membership program to support the incredible work that Mozilla does.



Leave a Comment
  1. Dirkjan Ochtman / Sep 25 2011 11:19 pm

    I filed about that second email. Did you see it?

    • Ben Simon / Sep 26 2011 10:12 am

      Hi Dirkjan,

      I filed this in the bug, too, but here’s my response:

      The idea was to build on the first message with the second — where the first thematically addressed the work & mission of the Foundation and the justification for supporting the work with donations, the second built on that by getting a bit further in depth about three specific projects.

      Email volume is definitely going to pick up from what it’s been in the past, including multiple-email series like what we’re currently in; those allow us to build the arc of a story rather than having to squeeze everything into a single email.


  1. Join update: 10/20/11 « Engaging Openly

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