Does an email sent from an individual produce a higher open rate than an email sent from an organization? - NextAfter
CRISTA Ministries

Does an email sent from an individual produce a higher open rate than an email sent from an organization?

Experiment ID: #11246

CRISTA Ministries

Experiment Summary

Ended On: 11/14/2018

Traditionally during the Global Gift Guide campaign, emails are sent from World Concern. In an effort to increase the volume of people who open the emails being sent, we hypothesized that an email sent from a person rather than the organization might result in higher open rates. To test this, we developed a treatment email that was sent from Jacinta Tegman. The sender was the only variable that was different for the email; all other email content remained consistent with the control. 

Research Question

Can we increase open rates of an email by sending from a person rather than an organization?


C: Organizational Sender
T1: Personal Sender


  Treatment Name Open Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Organizational Sender 7.2%
T1: Personal Sender 9.9% 38.2% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 798 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 41,750, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    38.2% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

By sending emails from a person rather than an organization, we were able to increase open rates by 38%. People are more motivated to engage with people, not organizations. When a person sees that an email is from an individual, it automatically feels authentic and personal. Emails from organizations usually signify it is a marketing email, or that the organization is wanting something. This leads to lower levels of engagement.

Getting more people to open the email is just the first step in the conversion process. The more people we are able to get to open the email, the more we are able to get to read the content and potentially convert and give. This personal approach in email is a method to continue to test all the way through the email content to see the full impact that it can have on donor conversion.

Experiment Documented by Greg Colunga
Greg Colunga is Executive Vice President at NextAfter.

Question about experiment #11246

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.