How a value-focused headline affects open rate in an email Experiment ID: #7868

Heartlight Ministries

Heartlight provides a safe haven of hope for 56 struggling teens at our residential counseling center located in Longview, Texas. Our atmosphere of relationships creates an arena of change for teens and parents lost in a broken world. And second, Heartlight offers help and direction for parents of all teens through our Parenting Today’s Teens radio program, our books, parenting resources, and seminars and conferences….all dedicated to offering effective and practical ways for parents to counter the influence today’s culture is having on their child.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 11/6/2017 - 11/13/2017

Heartlight Ministries was offering their Developing Rules and Consequences eBook to the housefile, and wanted to test the headline of the email to increase open rates. The original subject line talked more about the resource itself, while the treatment mentioned the topic of the offer instead of the “free resource.” The emails were identical otherwise.

Research Question

How does a value-focused headline affect clickthrough rate?


C: A new resource for you...
T1: Creating boundaries


Treatment Name Open Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: A new resource for you... 5.1%
T1: Creating boundaries 6.5% 28.8% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 1,977 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 28,993, 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:

    28.8% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment headline increased open rate by 29%. This tells us that their file is more motivated by the topical value of the email rather than a random free resource that we want to give them. The treatment subject line also has a little bit of mystery to prompt the reader to click and open the email.

Experiment Documented by...

Allison Jones

Allison is an Optimization Associate 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.