How We Tripled Email Revenue for a Brand in Just 3 Months

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How We Tripled Email Revenue for a Brand in Just 3 Months

A/B Testing Emails


To drive big results, sometimes you just need to break some rules. We’ve been doing some interesting testing for an e-commerce client that shows how a creative, aesthetically pleasing email that breaks many of the rules of email coding and design will outperform an email that follows the rules. We’ve been experimenting with an email format other agencies might raise their eyebrows at: sending emails made up entirely of images. Of course the emails have copy, but it’s included in the image files rather than HTML text in the emails’ code. In A/B tests to consumer opt-ins, these simple image-based emails are driving 3x more sales for our client than traditional email designs which focus on HTML deliverability over design. Why? Because sometimes email design trumps deliverability.


Several months ago, we realized that limitations of the HTML editor in a client’s particular email platform didn’t allow us to actually send emails that looked anything like the beautiful emails we wanted to design. No matter what we tried, we were seriously limited by the fonts and design options available on their email platform. So, we went ahead and emailed these ugly text/image HTML emails that looked like they were designed in the 1990’s, comforted by conventional thinking among email marketers that having a high ratio of coded text to images leads to optimal email deliverability</a>.


Still, neither we, nor the client, could stand the look of the emails. We realized we could design emails that were 90% images, but we knew that studies have shown that this could increase the chance of the email being blocked by spam filters</a>. However, we also knew we could drive more sales with an image-based email. The question was, would it affect deliverability?

The Test

We decided to run an A/B test to pit our beautiful image-based email against the more “deliverable” full-on HTML email. Our hypothesis was that the sales-driving performance of a visually appealing email out-weighed the deliverability issue.

In two waves, we took half the list, sent them the image-based email, and sent the other half our best-looking (though still very ugly) HTML-focused email.


The image-based email had virtually the same open rate, but an 18% higher click-through rate over the HTML-focused email. Even more impressively, the image-based email drove over 90% more direct revenue.

We’ve since implemented this strategy for all emails with this client, which has driven monthly email revenue for the brand from just $8,000, to $15,000, and now $24,000 last month.


Testing an unconventional email design is just one small example of the constant innovation that we’re doing with clients’ email campaigns to increase results. Email testing leads to more sales with every email we send out. Our clients love it when they see their open rates, conversion rates, and sales hit new highs month after month. If you are interested in taking your email marketing to the next level, contact us below or call us at 303.641.7201.






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