Another quarter, another test! Here at VerticalResponse we’ve been keeping up with our email marketing testing (so have you, right?), so I thought I’d share some of our findings with you once again.

The Tale of the Tape

On gut feeling alone, you would think that personalized emails, i.e., ones that start with “Hi (Recipient’s First Name),” for example would fare better than the ones with a generic “Hi Valued Customer.” So we decided to put this theory to the test.

We chose to perform said test on our series of pipeline messages to recent sign-ups. In the blue corner (aka version A), we chose to not include any greeting, thus no personalization:

And in the red corner (version B), emails with personalized greetings:

And the Winner is…

Out of the 4 series of emails we sent out, we got a neck-and-neck battle to the finish between both versions:

  • In open rates, we got an average of 21.49% for version A vs. 25.72% for version B.
  • In clickthrough rates, it was 6.41% for version A vs. 4.93% for version B.

You’ll notice that the open rates on version B may be greater, but recipients wouldn’t have been able to see the personalization (or lack thereof) before opening the email, so that metric was more likely impacted by the subject line or ‘From’ label. And since clicks are more significant in gauging engagement once the email is read…upset split decision victory for version A.

We think this test calls for further thought given that even though the metrics may say there was a slightly higher CTR for the non-personalized version, there is something inherently valuable in establishing and nurturing an on-going relationship with your subscribers. Personalization may yet be an important part of the success equation. As with any testing you do for your email marketing campaigns, this is something that we will continue to look at and update you on as we discover more.

What do you think? Feel free to share in the comments!

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