Snippet Testing Has Begun

We launched the first phase of snippet testing for year-end fundraising. The snippet is one of the most valuable channels to engage with millions of people who may not know much about Mozilla the non-profit. (If you don’t know what the “snippet” is – here’s a short explanation.)

We have two main goals with the snippet: 1) Use it as a chance to teach users of Firefox about Mozilla’s nonprofit roots; and 2) Raise money while maintaining a positive user experience on the about:home page.

 Using these initial tests, we wanted to answer a few important questions:

  • Which will get more click-throughs: A static icon or an animated icon?
  • If an animated icon gets more clicks, does that actually translate into more donations?
  • Do shorter snippets perform better than longer snippets?
  • Does the theme (or topic) of the snippet have a material impact on clicks or conversions?

We settled on four “themes” for our snippet testing:

Theme A: Public Good Over Profit. Example: We are a movement, not a business. Donate today to support our non-profit work to protect the Web and create value for everyone.

Theme B: Executive Pitch. Example: Donate to Mozilla today. “We are proudly non-profit and we protect the open Web.” – Mitchell Baker, Chair.

Theme C: Factoid. Example: Did you know Mozilla is a leader in online privacy? We build tools like Firefox to give you control over your data and to protect your rights. Support our work with a donation today.

 Theme D: Just $3. Example: Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, relies on donations. If everyone gave only $3, we could make the Web even better. Donate today.

All together, we are testing more than 16 different variants of the snippet in the U.S. alone (static vs. animated icon, long vs. short, theme). Why bother with all this testing? When we’re talking about upwards of 25 million page views on a single day, even tiny improvements in click-through rates, average gift, or conversion-to-donation can mean significant gains in income. Higher click rates and engagement also means (hopefully) we’re delivering a better user experience. Once we review the results, we’ll roll out the highest performing snippets more broadly later in the year.


Stay tuned for results of our testing.

I can’t end this post without giving a huge shout-out to the Firefox snippet team, including Winston Bowden, Jean Collings, Carmen Collins and many others. This is an intricate cross-team effort and I can’t thank my colleagues enough.