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Testing tip of the week: Intrigue vs detail

Email design illustration

A question we are often asked is “how long should an email campaign be?” There are two possible answers to this question. If you’re talking about design, then you need to keep it under a size of 102KB to avoid Gmail clipping your emails. If you’re wondering about the actual space it takes up on the screen, you probably already know my answer: test!

Think carefully about the type of campaign you’re sending. You don’t want to make an order confirmation too short or intriguing because no subscriber will appreciate surprises with something so important. However, you might want to reconsider the length of your regular newsletter.

What to test

  • Design two drastically different newsletters in terms of length, for example, try reducing your regular approach to half the length. You can shorten the descriptions or you can leave certain stories out, it’s up to you. Or, you can even try doubling it! Who says shorter is better?
  • If your campaign has a specific goal, like inviting people to a webinar, test your regular approach against giving a one-sentence description with an image and the date and time. Will the detail or the surprise persuade more people to click through and register?
  • Organising an event? Send a teaser email before your main invite. It might not be that a shorter or a longer email works better but that a teaser followed by a detailed email will give you the winning combo.

Whittard recently tested the length of a new product launch email for their Easter hot chocolate, winning our April Campaign of the Month. The first variant was a postcard-style email with an animated GIF creating intrigue for the new product. The second variant was a standard product email giving lots of details about the hot chocolate and other product inspiration. It turned out the postcard style was more popular with their subscribers, achieving 28% more clicks and 20% more conversions.

Whittard April COTM 2017

Ready to try it? Let us know how your test goes in the comments below and check our other suggestions too.

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