How the email design influences clickthrough rate Experiment ID: #6249

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate are a Roman Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded after the French Revolution by St. Eugene De Mazenod to work among the poor. Today there are nearly 4,000 missionaries working in more than 60 countries around the world.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 3/3/2017 - 3/7/2017

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate were launching a new digital prayer book to kick off the Lenten season. As part of this launch, they wanted to give their house email file an opportunity to request the resource. This would serve as both cultivation of the subscribers and a new opportunity for them to give a gift once they had requested their PDF.

Historically, the email template used in donor communications was heavily designed with an organizational wrapper. We wanted to see if sending the same email message but in a stripped-down design would have an impact on the percentage of people that clicked on the link to download the prayer book.

Research Question

Will a simplified email design increase the proportion of people clicking to the landing page?


C: Styled Email
T1: Simplified Email


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Styled Email 25.5%
T1: Simplified Email 29.3% 14.8% 98.3%

This experiment has a required sample size of 1,077 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 3,186, 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:

    14.8% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The simplified email resulted in a 14.8% increase to the percentage of visitors going to the landing page. Our hypothesis is that the lack of design seemed to be more genuine and less “marketing” oriented. As a result, the subscribers were more willing to read and engaged with the email once they opened it.

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Experiment Documented by...

Kevin Peters

Kevin is the Chief Technology Officer at NextAfter. If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.