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On A Personal Note… – Email Testing

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We recently had a client with multiple offices that was seeing a decrease in their click through rates for their monthly email newsletter.  It’s not that uncommon an occurrence but one that takes a bit of testing to determine the root cause including:

  • Bad list – because this client still had good open rates (12-18%) we figured this wasn’t the cause.
  • Emails being caught in spam/bulk filter – again, because the open rates were still good we knew this wasn’t the cause either.
  • Design – sometimes the design of the email can prevent recipients from clicking through.  If the links are too small or buried farther down the email people are not as willing to click through.
  • Content – from time to time there are topics that just don’t strike a cord with your database and result in lower clicks.

We figured it was probably one of the last two causes.  Luckily there is a way to test both of those at once.  And that’s with a text only personal email.  We took the same content from the previous month and put it into a very short text only email that also included a quick sales pitch.

Hi Dave,

I hope your summer is off to a great start!

I wanted to make sure that you saw a great article from last month’s newsletter.
It discusses the need to create a “Most Wanted” list in order to find the best talent available
for your company. Here’s a link in case you missed it:

A “Most-Wanted List” — A Forward-Looking Way To Hire Exceptional Talent

If you find yourself in need of exceptional talent during the summer months please
contact me at [email protected].


Jane Doe
XYZ Staffing

By sending an email like this you can test both the content and the design to see if those are the causes.  Well the results were eye opening but not totally shocking…

Monthly Newsletter Click Through Rate
Office #1 – 0.00%
Office #2 – 1.30%
Office #3 – 0.00%
Office #4 – 0.30%
Office #5 – 0.20%

Text Only Email Featuring The Same Content
Office #1 – 2.90%
Office #2 – 5.30%
Office #3 – 4.50%
Office #4 – 1.40%
Office #5 – 1.10%

As you can see there was a significant increase in the click through rates on the text only emails.  Which tells us it’s not necessarily the content but the design of the email that needs to be tweaked.  Now we’re not suggesting you only send out text based newsletters.  There is a lot of value in sending out graphically designed emails that reflect your brand.  However, from time to time it’s a great idea to send an “In case you missed it…” text only email with a simple link to the same content.  It’s another touch point for your client and candidate databases and it provides another opportunity to drive people to your website.

If you have any email marketing questions please don’t hesitate to contact me [email protected].


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