If you have hung around this blog long enough, you know that we like to occasionally test and reward our audience’s
intuition. We do this by asking you to predict the outcome of a recent experiment from our labs. We might say we do it for the sake of science, but personally, I think we just enjoy stirring the pot. We have yet to reveal an experiment that the majority of our audience guessed correctly, yet some followers of this blog seem to have just a little more marketing genius than others.
So here we are again with a new experiment and a new opportunity for you to finally be recognized as the brilliant marketer that you are…. or weren’t last time.
What’s at stake this time?
Well, if you can correctly identify the outcome of the following experiment, we will feature you (or at least your Twitter handle) as a pure marketing tour-de-force on this blog tomorrow.
PLUS – one of the most intuitive responses will be selected to receive a free pass to one of our online certification courses.
Leave a comment below to enter and let the games begin.
Experiment: Background and Design
For this experiment, we were working with a large financial organization offering a quarterly newsletter for business leaders. In this newsletter, they would often feature a free downloadable whitepaper. Overall, this company was striving to build strong relationships with some of their best clients, while providing valuable content that would serve their subscribers.
Our goal in this experiment was to increase the clickthrough rate (opens-to-clicks) of the email without hurting the conversion rate (clicks-to-downloads). So we set up a simple A/B split test that featured the two email versions seen below.
Email Version A (click to enlarge) Email Version B (click to enlarge)
Email Version A featured a detailed overview of the free guide offered for download. It included a headline, intro paragraph, and four key points of value of the whitepaper. The call-to-action stated “Download Guide.” Email Version B featured the title and the first three paragraphs of the actual article and a call-to-action to “Read more/View Full Article.”
Which email do you think is more engaging?
These are two interesting, yet very different strategies for trying to engage subscribers, yet one performed vastly better than the other in both clickthrough and conversion. Which of the two do you think performed better? Which of the two do you think was more engaging? Why?
- Email Version A
- Email Version B
UPDATE: The Results
Before posting this update, the comments are currently split at 52% for Email Version A and 48% for Version B. Can you feel the heat? The actual winner of this test was Email Version B and it generated a 28.6% higher clickthrough rate as well as an 84.6% higher conversion rate (as seen in the table below.
What made this test so successful? Here are (from my standpoint) the most intuitive comments from our blog readers:
“Version B – Because all I’m asked to do is continue what I’ve already started…” -@MSDSonline
“Version B tells a story. Doesn’t look like it will sell you something, disarms and invites you to read.” –@bryantjones
“The copy reels you in with a compelling story line but does not provide all the details of the offer, leading to curiosity clicks.” -@dansaun
What do you think? Is this what made Version B more engaging? Either way, make sure you follow these and the other up-and-coming marketing gurus who correctly predicted the outcome of this test:
Of all the correct answers, Yves of DelaraDance.com was randomly selected to win a free pass to the online certification course of her choosing.
Thanks to everyone who participated, and I’m already looking forward to next time.