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“Bacn” – it’s everywhere.   If you don’t know what it is – well, its “the email you want, but not right now”.   It’s the notifications, newsletters, updates and other things that you’ve subscribed to but more often than not simply delete from your inbox.

Wikipedia has never been one to send bacn to their community of editors, which has left them wondering whether this is the reason for the decline in their all-too-necessary community.

They’re not engaging, they’re not reminding, they’re not poking.

Well, Wikipedia carried out a bacn experiment which turned up some rather interesting results.

Wikipedia took 3 select groups of Wikipedians – those who hadn’t edited articles for a year, those who hadn’t edited for 3 months, and those who hadn’t edited for 30 days.

Wikipedia found overall that about 27% of their emails were opened (which is really quite high compared to normal ‘email blasts’).  About half of those who opened the email clicked to log into the site.
About 5% of recipients returned to editing.

Rates of return were higher among those who had strayed from Wikipedia for a brief time.

Personally, I believe that Wikipedia had such an impressive open and return rate due to the fact that they don’t send Bacn – seeing a message from Wikipedia is something of a novelty and users are bout to open novel email, right?

From their bacn experiment Wikipedia is able to figure out just how many users drop away from editorial roles in the Wikipedian Community. Also, they can determine just how many users are likely to return to the fold if they’re handed a light serving of bacn.


Read more about the Wikipedia Bacn Experiment here

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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