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Client case study – is it possible to grow your newsletter click rate from 3% to 14%?

The purpose of our newsletter was to invite customers to the website, but the click rate of our newsletter was only 3%. So what can we do to grow it?

There are three things to be considered when studying the soul of a well-made newsletter.

First of all – the contacts generated by weekly newsletter are generally high-quality contacts. When you direct people to your web through a newsletter, a very good conversion and a long visit will usually occur.

Secondly, the newsletter has proven itself as a valued marketing channel – it takes a lot of time and effort to put it together and marketers are doing their best to send it out regularly.

And thirdly, the ratio of clicks and openings in a newsletter are usually smaller than we expect.

The same resulted during our practical test. The purpose of our newsletter was to invite customers to the website, but the click rate of our newsletter was only 3%. So what can we do to grow it?

This gave us an idea to put our newsletter optimising journey to paper and see what really happened. Our goal – to get more website visits with the newsletter. Success rate – measured by click rate percentages.

Here we go!

Volume of our database: 60 000 contacts

Area: media

Sending interval: several times a week

GROWING CLICK RATE FROM 3% TO 14%

In the beginning of our experiment we had average click rate at just 3%. Our experience shows that the more personalised the information is to the customer, the better purchase / click / opening result you get. You can start this by segmenting the base according to your customers’ purchase history or click history.

We did not have the purchase history data at this time, so we segmented the base according to the clicks made.

In truth, the number of clicks from this base was initially rather lean, and we could only calculate a specific segment for about 25 percent of the entire base.

According to the produced content, we ended up with six segments + the seventh segment to whom we sent a generic, unassigned letter, because it was not possible to calculate preferences for this segment.

Since Smaily can compile different personalised messages in a super clever and easy way, we combined an automated solution that generates different newsletters according to customers preferences and it even writes separate subject lines. Smaily collects content automatically from the web, so there is no need to waste any manpower for daily checking or writing.

Since subject lines and the content became more interesting to the customers, the average click percentage rocketed up to 14%. And mind you – this happened just because a quarter of our base began to receive a segmented/personalised newsletter.

GDPR CLICKS FALL FROM 14% TO 6,3%

Good times lasted for about six months until the arrival of notorious GDPR. The client’s plan was to ask permissions from all the recipients again, as the contact base had been compiled from different sources – some of the contacts had given their consents, some not. After GDPR came effective, we were eventually left with only 12,000 contacts – that’s 20% of what we used to have. But that was actually not bat, as many others discovered after GDPR left them with only 8% of what they used to have.

After that we decided to remove the segments and focus mainly on growing our contact list. And our average click rate fell to 6,3%.

DEEP CLEANING WORKED – CLICKS GREW FROM 6,3% TO 10%

Four months later we decided to give our list some proper cleansing. Our current analysis shows that almost 90% of companies are in a situation, where majority of their newsletter recipients have never opened a single newsletter sent by that company. And this burden will inevitably drive the whole base towards the spam list.

We decided that enough is enough and ditched all our passive contacts who hadn’t opened any letters during the last four months. That of course, after sending them some re-engagement messages and offers.

This resulted growth from 6,3% to 10%.

WELL SEGMENTED BASE AND QUALITY CONTACTS – FROM 10% TO 11%

We then recalculated all the segments back to our remaining base. There was no giant leap like we encountered the first time – we only got 1% more clicks during the next months. However, we can now assume that segmented information will definitely increase customers interest.

Why is that? Well, we have analysed the behaviour of 19 different contact bases. Larger bases have had more than 150,000 contacts, and the smallest ones around 7,000. Clients might even come in, but most of the interest is usually in a downward trend, because the information doesn’t speak recipient’s language nor push their buttons.

However, the number of clicks in a correctly segmented list increases each month.

FOUR TIMES SMALLER BASE GENERATES ALMOST FOUR TIMES MORE CLICKS!

As I mentioned in the beginning, the goal was to increase the quality of clicks made by our contact base. And the biggest leap in clicks came with personalisation. And by „personalisation“ I don’t mean that we started to address our clients by name or title, or even sending men info about men’s stuff and for women about women’s things. Personalisation meant segmentation and in addition, we optimised the content according to the results of several AB tests. We also tried to raise the quality of the database with passive contact activation and targeted offers.

Ultimately, we can say that today’s database with 17 000 contacts generates four times more traffic to the website, compared to the previous base with 60,000 recipients.

And that brings us to our conclusion – it is possible to achieve 4 times better results through segmentation.

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Marianne Liibert
Marianne Liibertbestmarketing.ee editorTel: +372 5563 5831marianne@bestmarketing.ee
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Kristi Remmikbestmarketing event project managerTel: +372 5683 6988kristi@bestmarketing.ee
Hando Sinisalu
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