Periodically we highlight optimization tests of our clients.  Because we have awesome clients who love data-driven work as much as we do, these tests are sometimes wholly conceived and executed by them, and sometimes by the Safdar Group team.  We share them here in the hopes that we can all learn from them.

Today’s experiment

WildCare Bay Area is a wildlife animal hospital in Marin.  WildCare’s staff wrote an email about baby pigeons, a new batch of which was in the hospital.   The subject line of the email was A/B tested.  The actual email was a series of questions and a photo of the birds in our hospital.  To get the answer, you had to click through to the website.

The contenders

Original subject line (Group A): “What ARE those creatures?” VS  Variant subject line (Group B): “Guess what kind of animal we are!”

The results

Thanks to for their A/B calculator

Original subject line (Group A): “What ARE those creatures?” sent to 5720 recipients, garnered 1,570 opens.

Variant subject line (Group B): “Guess what kind of animal we are!”, sent to 5,720 recipients, garnered 1,393 opens.

You can see the WildCare pigeon email here.  The open rate is statistically improved, however once opened the emails were identical to each other, and the clickthru rate was the same.   As a whole, the unsubscribe rate for this email as well was entirely within expected baseline.

Our experimental insight

These two subject lines don’t seem wildly different, but the original nearly shouts at you with the capital letters.   It clearly contains more emotionbut after examination we thought that some combination of the capital letters and the more “active voice” headline probably made the difference.

The Safdar Group is a boutique digital agency serving causes and non-profits. We have a deep commitment to analytics, both in helping organizations roll out analytics, but also in providing analytically-driven traditional digital agency services to our clients. We use analytics in how we do everything, from write headlines and subject lines, to choosing layout and colors.  The A/B test diary contains results of A/B tests from actual client work, with permission.   

To learn more about the services of The Safdar Group, contact us at +1.415.683.7526.

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