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November 2011 | OUP ELT received a 6% uplift in their open rate by split testing a subject line to a certain portion of data. The version with the performing subject line was then sent to the remainder of the list.

Company name: Oxford University Press ELT
Designed and developed by: Dan Bond

Campaign details

Subject lines:
A: Webinar – Placement testing: more than just grammar and vocabulary?
B: Placement testing: more than just grammar and vocabulary? – Webinar

Open rate: 30%
Click rate: 6.7%


OUP ELT have a global audience that they wanted to reach. They needed to optimise the email to maximise the number of opens and create as much awareness as possible. In August they launched a campaign to promote their first global webinar about placement testing.  Subject line testing meant they increased their open rates enabling them to widen their reach and boost sign ups.


  • To raise awareness of the new webinar programme.
  • To optimise the email to increase open rates.

What makes this a performing campaign?

With a 30% open rate from a global audience, there is no doubt that this campaign performed well. There are a number of factors that have made this campaign so successful:


They tested what difference it made if they put “Webinar” at the beginning of the subject line or at the end. After they tested this on 10% of their list the MessageFocus testing feature automatically launched it to the rest with the winning subject line, thus ensuring maximum success on this occasion.

The winning subject line increased open rates by 6%, showing what an impact simple subject line testing can have on an email campaign.

The copy and creative

  • A clear subject line and heading make the email easy to digest quickly.
  • The table containing all of the times for various time zones is a great addition to the email, making it accessible for all.
  • The simple registration call to action ensures the recipient can find what they need to do to sign up.

The results

OUP ELT received a 6% uplift in their open rates by using a performing subject line. It was partly down to this that their first global webinar was a big success and almost a sell-out event

Want to know more?

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

Full email campaign