The publishing industry competes heavily for inbox attention and revenue in the new digital age. So testing across all four test types is paramount to ongoing growth in the program. To illustrate how testing can impact a publishing organization, we are going to assume the following:
Publishing Company Assumption
- Your list has 2,000,000 subscribers.
- Your average unique open rate is 19%.
- Your average unique CTR is 4%.
- Your average unique CTOR (Click-To-Open-Rate) is 14.5%.
- The revenue per page view is .07.
A common pre-open test that most publishing organizations like to do, but don’t do it as often as they should, is subject-line testing. In the example below, you will see that over time that consistent subject-line experimentation can pay off.
Subject Line A: 19% open, CTR of 4%, and revenue of .07 per page view, generates an average of 2.7 pages per click. This would mean that the gross revenue of only having one subject line would be $2,872.
If we add in another SL to test against:
Subject Line B: 20% open, 4.25% CTR with 2.7 pages per click yields gross revenue of $3,213, which is 11.8% greater than the first SL.
The $341 difference might not seem that much, but multiply an 11.8% impact for the long tail, and pre-open testing looks a bit more interesting. Adding a 3rd of 4th subject line to the test is where things can take off in terms of content and downstream revenue. Suppose you are a publisher and are not testing multiple subject lines on every send. In that case, you might be missing out on revenue and/or engagement from every subscriber, especially since you are content and copy driven.
If we were to use the same programmatic assumptions above, a pre-click Button Copy impact test might result in the following way:
- Button Copy A: Read More
- Button Copy B: Show Me!
- Button Copy C: Take Me There!
- Button Copy D: Read On!
At iPost, we have seen a 1-4% variance increase when button copy is tested over a period of time. If a 1% variance increase happens, it will result in 20,000 more clicks, and the revenue numbers look like this:
2M subscribers with a 4% CTR = 80,000 clicks x .07 = $5,600
2M subscribers with a 5% CTR = 100,000 clicks x .07 = $7,000 (a 25% increase)
These assumptions above take into consideration that every click only goes to one page and abandons. The revenue numbers can increase significantly, even if the average number of page views per clicker remains flat.
Conclusion for publishers: There is no silver bullet when it comes to testing and revenue impact. You have to put in the work to get the desired outcome, but there is little doubt around how effort = reward.