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BMJ logoNovember 2012 | By combining a clear proposition in their email’s content and providing it within a simple email design, BMJ doubled their response rates when compared to similar industry averages. 

Company name: OnExamination, a part of BMJ Group
Designed and developed by: Megan Ralph

Campaign details

Subject line: NEW Revision App from onExamination

Open: 42% (of attempted)
Click: 13% (of attempted)


The campaign was sent to a list totalling just over 1200 contacts. It was targeted at all those who needed unlimited access to learning materials from the BMJ.


  • Encourage downloads for BMJ’s exam resource app via iTunes and Google Play
  • To gain feedback on the app

What makes this a performing campaign?

Engaging opportunities
This campaign witnessed a high click through rate largely to do with its simplicity, clarity and the execution of call-to-actions. BMJ didn’t opt for cramming links into their copy, instead only featured 2, one to download and one to complete the survey. Both were clear and well positioned which helped drive clicks from recipients. BMJ also featured a survey link in the email which was promoted as being an opportunity to shape future developments and the questions were a mix of open ended responses and app specific feedback. This made BMJ’s recipients feel valued by the brand which impacted positively on response rates.

Made for mobile
Another factor in this campaign’s success was its display capabilities, both across desktop and mobile email clients. The simple email template design allowed for cross-client compatibility – allowing for greater engagement opportunities, and the simple layout meant content was fully scannable. BMJ clearly targeted mobile users with this campaign by using the word “˜app’ in the subject line. Having a template that would remain consistent on an iPhone or in Outlook meant they could capitalise on email engagement and help realise the campaign’s objectives.

Precision targeting
This campaign also benefited from clear targeting. It was clear what the app’s main benefit was: revision support, and what’s more BMJ didn’t focus on the fact that the app was free, instead used vital copy space to communicate the main benefits.

The results

The results for this campaign speak for themselves but the realisation of them is largely down to careful planning and implementation of solid email best practice. Open rates for the email peaked at 42%, over double the retention average for H2 2011*. Knowing their audience also helped produced results for this campaign. BMJ were targeting an app at users who were often away from their computers so expected most to engage via mobile devices. Combining B2C subject line best practice and email design forethought, BMJ witnessed over half of recipients opening the campaign on their mobile devices.

*Figures true according to the National Email Benchmarking Report 2011, August 2012 Edition

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Full email campaign

Full email campaign