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UCCS Alumni Association Increases Open Rates with A/B Testing

Joanna Bean
Determining the content that best engages your audience can be a challenge. After wondering about the best strategies to increase their newsletter open rates, the UCCS Alumni Association decided to hone their strategy with A/B testing in Marketing Cloud.

"We wanted to make decisions based on real data," said Joanna Bean, Director of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund. "We had many hunches about what might work, but having the data to back up our decisions yielded better results than we expected."

The alumni team tested various email elements including subject line (call to action vs. generic), from name, send time (time of day, day of week), preheader, personalization, email design, and overall content. After reviewing actual audience response data, the team was able to make strategic decisions about outreach going forward, and their open rates show it.

"With A/B testing, we increased our open rates by 0.5% in our bi-monthly newsletter," Bean said. "That might seem like a small increase, but it equates to over 1,000 more alumni engaging with our content each week. Those numbers add up to higher event participation, greater involvement on campus, and eventually, contributions to help our students succeed."