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Subject line testing of cross-sell promotion leads to big returns for Condé Nast

  • 3 years ago
Conde Nast logo

October 2013 | Developing a hypothesis, and running a multivariate test on their subject lines, meant a much greater uptake in engagement for the Condé Nast subscriptions marketing team. 

Company name: Condé Nast Publications
Designed and developed by: Harriet Capps

Campaign details

Subject line: Your exclusive offer to WIRED (winning variant, with 35% higher opens than the next-best-performing subject line)
Open: 22%
Click: 4.5% of opened


What data was used?

A list of active Condé Nast subscribers who had opted in to receive promotional emails

Who was the campaign targeted at?

Condé Nast subscribers who match the WIRED subscriber profile


  • To encourage cross-sell subscriptions to other publications in the Condé Nast portfolio

What makes this a performing campaign?

After reading Adestra’s Subject Line Report, the team wondered if tweaking their inbox impression could result in a higher engagement rate with subscribers.

They tried three different subject lines, trading on exclusivity, price, and technology:

A: Your Exclusive Offer to WIRED
B: Get WIRED in print and on the iPad for just £9
C: Get WIRED on the iPad with your special offer

The team used Adestra’s easy multivariate testing to quickly swap subject lines for three different versions, and select a percentage of their list (they used 10%) to test it out, before automatically launching the winning variant to the rest of their subscribers.

The results

As experienced email marketers, the subscriptions marketing team already knew that, based on their data, these three subject lines all had a good chance of performing. However, with a high uptake on tablet subscriptions for Condé Nast subscribers, and the technical focus of WIRED, the team did think that perhaps the iPad subject lines would drive higher engagement. But it turns out that, for now at least, exclusivity trumps technology.

By taking some inspiration from the Subject Line Report, forming a hypothesis, and testing their subject lines for the message that would resonate best with their subscribers, the subscriptions marketing team at Condé Nast created a subject line that got 35% higher open rates than the next-best-performing variant.

Want to know more?

For more information on how we can help you create performing campaigns contact us today.

Full email campaign

WIRED offer to GQ subscribers

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