Digital MarketingEmail MarketingGet the Picture?

Get the Picture?

A marketer decided to enliven its e-mail messages with images. It ran a test (of course) with surprising results.

Yes, the little things do matter. Sometimes a simple change to an email marketing campaign can create a measurable lift in results.

Take the case of the RedV Network. RedV is an affiliate marketing company that, among other things, sells ad management, privacy, and security software. No stranger to email marketing, RedV Network used email in the past to market its adware removal software, AdProtector.

Previously, its email was fairly simple HTML offerings. Messages contained colored text and links that took the recipient to the AdProtector Web site, but they contained little in the way of graphics. Marketing Manager John Cass began wondering whether results would be different if the email messages included a picture or photograph.

So the marketing team created three similar mailings, all identical except for the picture. One displayed a picture of a man, another showed a picture of a woman, and the third one resembled earlier mailings and did not contain a picture. As you saw if you clicked on the links, the email messages are quite similar. The photos sit at the top of the message but don’t dominate the layout. RedV sent these mailings to a representative sample of its opt-in mailing list.

OK — take a guess. Which mailing would you expect performed best?

True, it might help you make a more educated guess if you knew a bit more about RedV’s demographics. It is about 75 percent male and fairly young (10 percent are under 18; 23 percent are 18-24; 29 percent are 25-34; 20 percent are 35-44; 15 percent are 45-60; and 3 percent are over 60). Every one of them has downloaded software from Internet, 65 percent have made online purchases, and 70 percent have installed e-wallet software to simplify their online purchasing.

Now that you know the audience is predominantly male and relatively young, what would you expect?

The results come in two parts and illustrate the importance of considering data all the way through. At first glance, it seems the email message with the woman’s picture outperformed the other groups. Raw numbers for click-throughs are:

  • Woman: 1,332
  • No picture: 1,229
  • Man: 1,288

But when you consider conversion data, another set of results shows something very interesting:

  • Man: 33 sales, $727.95 total sales revenue
  • No picture: 32 sales, $674.35 total sales revenue
  • Woman: 25 sales, $541.20 total sales revenue

The simple but powerful lesson here is though more recipients clicked through the email with the woman’s picture, the man’s picture more powerfully convinced them to buy. So now RedV is using these results to create campaigns for its affiliates that drive in more revenue than before.

And that’s a picture everyone’s happy with.

Meet Heidi at ClickZ E-Mail Strategies in New York City on May 19 and 20.

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