David Kirkpatrick

Email Summit: Testing timing and format elements in follow-up email

February 10th, 2012

Early afternoon on day 3 of MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012 in Las Vegas, I caught a case study with Justin Bridegan, Senior Marketing Manager, MECLABS, presenting with Frank Cartwright, SVP of Product and Platform Development, GamersFirst, a free online gaming website that offers premium subscriptions, items and packages for purchase.

The challenge at GamersFirst was getting more people through their sales funnel and turning them into purchasing customers.

To improve the performance of its sales funnel, GamersFirst extensively tested its email marketing.

Frank says, “We wanted to transform the email marketing division from a cost center to a profit center.”

GamersFirst’s funnel includes 100% of website users are registered, the company gets 80% of those registrants verified, 60% login to the site, and only 10% actually make a purchase.

One group of tests involved sending the validation reminder email to registrants. GamersFirst tested the format of the email – text or graphic, and the timing of the email – 24 versus 72 hours.


The text vs. graphic test

Here is the text email:


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And the graphic email:


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And now the results of the test:


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“Depending on what stage sales process you’re in, sexy graphics don’t always win,” Frank says.


The email timing test

This test compared sending the reminder email 24 hours after registration to 72 hours after registration.

Here are the results of this test:


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“At this stage, the customer is barely engaged, so time is of the essence,” Frank says.

He continues, “I think we’ve proven that email marketing is a legitimate business on its own. This is a business.”


Related Resources:

Graphic vs. Text Emails: How differing approaches encouraged future testing

Conversion Window: How to find the right time to ask your customer to act

Email Relevance: 8 tactics for leveraging timing, segmentation and content

Behavior-based Email Send Times Lift Opens, CTRs and Referrals: Test and results

David Kirkpatrick

About David Kirkpatrick

David is a reporter for MarketingSherpa (our sister company) and has over twenty years of experience in business journalism, marketing and corporate communications. His published work includes newspaper, magazine and online journalism; website content; full-length ghosted nonfiction; marketing content; and short fiction. He served as producer for the business research horizontal at the original Office.com, regularly reporting on the world of marketing; covered a beat for D/FW TechBiz, a member of the American City Business Journals family; and he provided daily reporting for multiple LocalBusiness.com cities. David’s other media and corporate clients include: USA Today, Oxford Intelligence, GMAC, AOL, Business Development Outlook and C-Level Media, among many others.

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