A Tale of 3 Speaker Promos

After a little bit of a rant in my last entry, I’m going to reel it in this week with something a little more objective: the stages of one of our virtual event HTMLs, and a simple creative test.

Target Marketing and its sister publications do a number of events each year, both virtual and physical. Often, at least one of our promotional efforts will focus on the lineup of speakers featured at the event.

While we always enlist highly qualified expert speakers for our events, we were finding that these emails didn’t seem to pull in the highest registration numbers. Clearly, a re-design was in order.

Design 1

Design 1 was nice, but it was a little cluttered, a little busy, and didn’t really let our speakers shine. This promotion earned a .5 percent click rate and only 1.2 percent of those who opened actually registered for the event. Not the most effective.

Design 2

For our next round of events, we tried out design 2. We opted for a cleaner design, a little more to-the-point for sure. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to dig up the exact stats on this guy, somehow I let them slip into the void. (Bad marketer, bad!) Suffice it to say, it did a little better than its predecessor, but not by much. Enter re-design number 3….

Design 3

This year, we rolled out design 3. We made a series of improvements this time: we brightened the colors, eliminated the dead space, ix-nayed the pre-amble at the top, and most importantly, we blew up the headshots to make them the undeniable focus of the promotion. You can’t see it here, but we also had each separate headshot linking to the speaker’s bio page.

Just before we dropped the email, a colleague had a thought: why not also include the topic each speaker will cover at the show? Brilliant. We decided to do an A/B test to find out if the extra info would make a difference. Version 1 just listed the usual name/title/company under each speaker, while version 2 listed their session topic in orange.

Overall, this promotion absolutely did better than the ones that came before, even the “losing” version. The results?

Version 1 (no topics) earned a .6 percent click rate and 5.5 percent opens to registration conversion.

Version 2 (with topics) was the winner by a hair, with a .7 percent click rate and 7 percent conversion. A clear victory for the design itself, and another small nudge thanks to giving the recipients a taste of what the speakers would be presenting.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement. I’ve noticed that it isn’t immediately clear exactly what the orange text is referring to– it takes a few extra seconds of scrutiny to make the connection, which as we all know, can be a crucial window of time. Things to adjust for next time.

In the meantime, chalk this one up as a successful evolution. Third time’s a charm!

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