Dallas Theological Seminary

How a ‘Campaign Opt-Out’ Link Affects Email Unsubscribe Rate

Experiment ID: #7403

Dallas Theological Seminary

The DTS mission is, “to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.” They strive to help men and women fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, or more simply: Teach Truth. Love Well.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 09/12/2017 - 09/13/2017

Dallas Theological Seminary was running a campaign for North Texas Giving Day, a huge fundraising opportunity each year for North Texas nonprofits. As they planned for this campaign, they wanted to give their audience a way to remove themselves from further communication about North Texas Giving Day if they weren’t able to join this year. They wondered: If we allow individuals to ‘opt-out’ of a campaign, will the unsubscribe rate decrease? They created a treatment with one line of copy and a campaign ‘Opt-out’ link for viewers to click, and then they launched an A/B split test to find out.

Research Question

Will a ‘Campaign Opt-Out’ link Decrease Email Unsubscribe Rate?


C: Control
T1: Treatment 1


  Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 0.33%
T1: Treatment 1 0.22% -33.0% 99.8%

This experiment has a required sample size of 18,041 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 89,524, 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:

    0% increase in traffic
× 33.0% decrease in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

Dallas Theological Seminary found that the treatment version decreased the unsubscribe rate by 33%. It’s clear that this treatment reduced the friction and anxiety of the email viewer by offering a clear alternative option for dismissing themselves from this campaign communication. This test shows us that some individuals may not want to unsubscribe from all communication, but when they are left with no other option, they will.

By providing a clear and direct way for viewers to ‘raise their hand’ and decide that they won’t be able to join in a fundraising campaign, we can decrease our email attrition rate and keep a wider audience engaged for a longer period of time with the mission of our organization–in this case, the equipping of Christian leaders.

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #7403

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