Simple changes to creative elements of email messages can boost click rates by 50% or more

Making simple changes to creative elements of email messages can boost click rates by 50% or more, according to new research conducted by Silverpop. Email subject line, ratio of images to text, and the email layout style are the key creative elements evaluated in this study. 
  • BtoB emails with the company or brand name in the subject line experienced an average open rate of 32%, compared to just 20% for messages without branded subject lines. 
  • While all-text BtoC messages generated a 4.7% click rate on average, those that were mostly image-oriented achieved a 7.1% average click rate.
Other Key findings: 

Subject Line: When open rates were evaluated, Silverpop found that emails with branded subject lines generated significantly higher open rates:

  • BtoC emails with the brand or company name in the subject line enjoyed open rates of 29% on average, compared to 22% without branding. 
  • BtoB emails with the company or brand name in the subject line experienced an average open rate of 32%, compared to just 20% for messages without branded subject lines. 

However, only (55% of BtoB emails and 46% of BtoC messages evaluated included the brand and/or company name in the subject line, which presents a good opportunity for marketers.

Ratio of image to text: Silverpop also evaluated the ratio of images to text and found, not surprisingly, that image-rich emails sent to consumers generated higher click rates. 

  • While all-text BtoC messages generated a 4.7% click rate on average, those that were mostly image-oriented achieved a 7.1% average click rate.
  • All-text BtoB messages received a 5.4% click rate, compared to only a 3.5% click rate for those that included an equal amount of text and images.

Layout: Silverpops Email Creative That Works study also found that layout style can have an impact on click rates. 

  • The results indicate that BtoB emails in a postcard-style format received average click rates of 7.9%, compared to popular one-column and newsletter formats, which received click rates of 3.4% and 5.4%, respectively.
  • By comparison, BtoC marketers interested in boosting click rates should take a long look at newsletter-style layouts, which generated average click rates of 7.1%, compared to average click rates of 6.2% for single-image postcard-style messages.

Other elements evaluated in Silverpops Email Creative That Works include the From line, location of the logo, number and style of links, presence and location of a navigation bar, feature offers and location of the call-to-action. 

Silverpops Email Creative That Works study was completed by a team of email marketing analysts that collected, compiled and analyzed data on 612 emails sent by 430 companies. Messages were sent between mid-April and mid-August, 2006. Reports of opens and click rates were evaluated to identify creative elements that work best. Free copies of the study are available on the Silverpop Web site at www.silverpop.com.

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