Campaign Monitor has been doing content marketing before it was even a recognized marketing approach. Looking back over our content, our Founder, Dave, has been publishing blog posts and guides to email marketing since 2004.

So, when I started at Campaign Monitor as Director of Content, I had some pretty big shoes to fill.

One of the opportunities I immediately noticed was the email we sent to blog subscribers when a new blog post was published, so we decided to run some tests on it..

This is the story of how we redesigned our blog subscribers email and landed a 127% increase in click-throughs.

The old blog subscribers email

The old blog subscribers email was being sent automatically via our RSS to Email feature. Each time we published a new blog post, our own Campaign Monitor account automatically pulled the summary and a link to the article from the RSS feed and sent it out to subscribers.

The old email looked like this:

As you can see, it wasn’t the most visually appealing email and it didn’t align with the rest of our marketing assets which were all beautifully designed by our fantastic design team.

The new blog subscribers email

Having just launched our new email builder, Canvas, we decided to use one of its new styles to redesign the blog subscribers email and A/B test the new design against the old one.

Here’s the new email:

The result? Well, we kind of gave it away earlier but we received a 127% increase in click-throughs on the first test we ran.

Still not completely satisfied with that, we continued testing the old design against the new design on the next few emails we sent. Every time, we saw a similar result. It became clear the new design was working very well.

But why? What was it that made this new design convert so much better even though the text content and the offer were exactly the same?

Here are some thoughts on why it converts so much better:

Other tests and changes

Given that this is one of the most frequent emails we send (and is a significant driver of blog traffic), we like to run an A/B test each time we send in an effort to further improve the effectiveness of the email.

Here’s an outline of some of the tests we’ve recently run:

Through constant testing, we’ve been able to increase the click-through rate of our email campaigns beyond the initial 127% lift. It still varies from email to email, but we can often see 50% click-through rates on our blog subscriber email—and that’s something to be excited about.

In Conclusion

It took me about 30 minutes to redesign the blog subscribers email using Canvas, and that 30 minutes worth of work scored us a 127% increase in click-throughs on our email campaigns. These results held up over multiple tests.

Bottom line: We’ve doubled our click-through rates for every one of these emails we send with a few small changes that took less than an hour. Not a bad result.

Between Canvas and our A/B testing features, it’s easier than ever to redesign your email templates and test them against each other. So give it a go today, and maybe you’ll get an even better result than we did!

Have you ever tried testing different templates against each other to see if you can get a significant increase in click-throughs? Let us know how you went in the comments!

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  • Simon

    How did you bold the “3x more email accounts” in the redesigned version compared with the standard (non-bold) text in the original, if it’s from an RSS feed? Wouldn’t they both have that in bold, or was there specific styling preventing it in the old design?

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi there Simon, the short answer is that we cheated :) For the purposes of this A/B test, we manually set up a campaign, then ran an A/B test on two versions of the email content. Thus, we were able to make tweaks, like making the text bold. Sorry if we gave the idea that the new email was totally automated, like our RSS-to-Email feature usually is!

  • Nick

    I think another good practice would be revising your content prior to publishing. If you want to promise high quality to your visitors or subscribers, ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors.

    For example, this published post reads “Did you know there are 3x more email accounts then there are Facebook & Twitter accounts combined?

    This message should have read: “Did you know there are 3x more email accounts than there are Facebook & Twitter accounts combined?”.

    This error popped out at me the first time I read the message. Publishing simple errors such as this reduces credibility.

    Outside the grammatical error, I can see why the CTR improved. The design is much more appealing.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    HI Nick, nice catch. Perhaps we could have received an even larger increase in clickthroughs if it wasn’t for that typo! Sounds like that could make an interesting test in its own right :)

    You’re right though, it’s definitely worth giving email copy a second or third pass, to ensure errors like this don’t slip through. Very glad you like the new design :)

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