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Client case study – is it possible to grow your newsletter click rate from 3% to 14%?


There are three things to be considered when studying the soul of a well-made newsletter.

  1. First of all – the contacts generated by the weekly newsletter are generally high-quality contacts. When you direct people to your web through a newsletter, a very good conversion and a long visit will usually occur.
  2. Secondly, the newsletter has proven itself as a valued marketing channel – it takes a lot of time and effort to put it together, and marketers are doing their best to send it out regularly.
  3. And thirdly, the ratio of clicks and openings in a newsletter is usually smaller than we expect.

The same resulted during our practical test. The purpose of our newsletter was to invite customers to the website, but the click rate of our newsletter was only 3%. So what can we do to grow it?

This gave us the idea to put our newsletter-optimizing journey to paper and see what really happened. Our goal – is to get more website visits with the newsletter. Success rate – measured by click rate percentages.

Here we go! 

  • The volume of our database: 60 000 contacts
  • Area: media
  • Sending interval: several times a week 

Growing click rate from 3% to 14%

At the beginning of our experiment, we had an average click rate of just 3%. Our experience shows that the more personalized the information is to the customer, the better the purchase/click/opening result you get. You can start this by segmenting the base according to your customer’s purchase history or click history.

We did not have the purchase history data at this time, so we segmented the base according to the clicks made.

In truth, the number of clicks from this base was initially rather lean, and we could only calculate a specific segment for about 25 percent of the entire base.

According to the produced content, we ended up with six segments + the seventh segment to whom we sent a generic, unassigned letter because it was impossible to calculate preferences for this segment.

Since Smaily can compile different personalized messages in a super clever and easy way, we combined an automated solution that generates different newsletters according to customers’ preferences, and it even writes separate subject lines. Smaily collects content automatically from the web, so there is no need to waste any manpower for daily checking or writing.

Since subject lines and the content became more interesting to the customers, the average click percentage rocketed up to 14%. And mind you – this happened just because a quarter of our base began to receive a segmented/personalized newsletter.

GDPR clicks fall from 14% to 6,3%

Good times lasted for about six months until the arrival of the notorious GDPR. The client’s plan was to ask permission from all the recipients again, as the contact base had been compiled from different sources – some of the contacts had given their consent, and some had not. After GDPR became effective, we were eventually left with only 12,000 contacts – that’s 20% of what we used to have. But that was actually not bat, as many others discovered after GDPR left them with only 8% of what they used to have.

After that, we decided to remove the segments and focus mainly on growing our contact list. And our average click rate fell to 6,3%.

Deep cleaning worked – clicks grew from 6,3% to 10%

Four months later, we decided to give our list some proper cleansing. Our current analysis shows that almost 90% of companies are in a situation where a majority of their newsletter recipients have never opened a single newsletter sent by that company. And this burden will inevitably drive the whole base toward the spam list.

We decided that enough is enough and ditched all our passive contacts who hadn’t opened any letters during the last four months. That, of course, after sending them some re-engagement messages and offers.

This resulted in growth from 6,3% to 10%.

Well-segmented base and quality contacts – from 10% to 11%

We then recalculated all the segments back to our remaining base. There was no giant leap like we encountered the first time – we only got 1% more clicks during the next months. However, we can now assume that segmented information will definitely increase customers’ interest.

Why is that? Well, we have analyzed the behavior of 19 different contact bases. Larger bases have had more than 150,000 contacts, and the smallest ones have around 7,000. Clients might even come in, but most of the interest is usually in a downward trend because the information doesn’t speak the recipient’s language nor push their buttons.

However, the number of clicks in a correctly segmented list increases monthly.

Four times smaller base generates almost four times more clicks!

As I mentioned in the beginning, the goal was to increase the quality of clicks made by our contact base. And the biggest leap in clicks came with personalization. And by „personalization,“ I don’t mean that we started to address our clients by name or title or even sending men info about men’s stuff and for women about women’s things. Personalization meant segmentation, and in addition, we optimized the content according to the results of several AB tests. We also tried to raise the quality of the database with passive contact activation and targeted offers.

Ultimately, we can say that today’s database with 17 000 contacts generates four times more traffic to the website compared to the previous base with 60,000 recipients.

And that brings us to our conclusion – it is possible to achieve 4 times better results through segmentation.

If you think you, too, would like to generate more clicks or money with your marketing channel, then contact Raul from Newbase and also get acquainted with Smaily’s wonderful tools and newsletter services.

What to keep in mind:

  • Concentrate on your Target Group.
  • You can achieve better results through Database Segmentation.

Next: E-mail marketing + promotional gifts = a great idea?

Why use e-mail marketing and what to consider before sending out e-mails? In our next blog post, we are writing about how promotional gifts can give the consumer a positive impression of your company.

Make sure you check our blog regularly, and don’t forget to subscribe to our emails. Or you may want to follow up on the last blog post on Understanding Spam: Spam Words to Avoid in Your Emails if you’ve missed it.