How shorter and more direct email copy affects click-through rate Experiment ID: #8576


Experiment Summary

Ended On: 2/20/2018

In this experiment, we were sending an email to people on the NextAfter house file that had not yet been introduced to to the Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit. The first email was written in our typical style – long form copy that told an in-depth story. We wondered if a more direct copy approach that got straight to the point would increase click-through rate.

Research Question

Will a more direct copy approach in a marketing email increase clicks?


C: Long-form Story
T1: Short-Form and Direct


Treatment Name Click Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Long-form Story 4.6%
T1: Short-Form and Direct 7.4% 61.4% 99.6%

This experiment has a required sample size of 548 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 2,409, 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:

    61.4% increase in traffic
× 0% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The more direct copy approach saw a 61.4% increase in clicks. While other experiments show shorter and more direct copy doesn’t necessarily produce higher instant-conversions, for email where the sole goal is to get clicks, the shorter approach is more effective.

Share this research with a colleague

Our mission is to help elevate the field of fundraising by openly sharing our research and inspiring a wider community of testing and optimization. If you have found our research to be helpful, insightful, or even just interesting—please share it with a fellow fundraiser.

Experiment Documented by...

Nathan Hill

Nathan is an Optimization Evangelist 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.