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Prosper Experimentation: MoLo On PBS.org

By Kristin Calhoun, PBS Interactive

Given SVP, Jason Seiken's call for more experimentation and innovation in his Digital Future Speech at the PBS Annual Meeting, we thought this was an opportune time to kick off a series of blog posts about ongoing Prosper experimentation.

This first one is focused on PBS Interactive’s efforts to increase the percentage of localized visitors to PBS.org.  Future posts will discuss Prosper audience testing, a COVE online giving station pilot and prospecting case studies.

Why is one of the main goals of the Prosper initiative to increase the number of PBS.org visitors localized to their favorite PBS station? 

Think of PBS.org as a big prospecting platform for PBS member stations. More people declaring an affinity for a favorite station means more touch points for a visitor to PBS.org to engage with their local station.  They have direct links to station support pages, custom TV tune-in information and access to their local station’s content via efforts like Project Merlin. And user survey data tells us that localized PBS.org visitors are more engaged, they spend more time on the site.

For example, we’ve been experimenting with light boxes like this one:


To date localization overlays have been seen by 4,409,464 site visitors with 453,301 clicking the “Choose My Station” button.

In addition to this overlay, we’ve also been experimenting with different ways to encourage people subscribed to the monthly “Best of PBS” newsletter (which has approx 360K subscribers) to localize their experience on PBS.org.  To date, we’ve received 18,686 click thrus' from those efforts. 

Currently, about 14% of the monthly visitors to PBS.org are localized to their favorite station. This is better than what it was before Project Merlin (6%), but we want to see this number steadily increase. Over time and with your feedback, we’ll continue to investigate ways to optimize this type of overlay to increase click through rates and improve our ability to track and optimize conversion.

What do you think?  Do you have any suggestions about other ways we could encourage visitors to select their favorite station?

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