PAYG Marketing Marketability Ltd Packt website 2

How my emails increased direct revenue by 51% at Packt

I needed to drive book and eBook sales on Packt’s direct B2C website.

I identified their email campaigns as a key area for growth.

I used their best performing product email as the control in a multivariate test to identify a winning formula for email.

What shaped the test? Amazon.

“If Amazon is doing something, they must have done a lot of testing to get there” I thought.

I split Packt's mailing list into ten test legs:

  1. Test leg A - Control

  2. Test leg B - Subject line (Testing a shorter variant)

  3. Test leg C - Header text (A different header to the control, focussing on the fact that the book was a follow up to an acclaimed bestseller)

  4. Test leg D - Mailing later in the day than the other test legs

  5. Test leg E - Two button test - adding a 'View Product' button alongside the 'Add to Cart' button (as Amazon was doing)

  6. Test leg F - Clickable links - including six clickable links in the email (on the logo, header banner, heading, book image, description heading and 'Add to cart' button) vs one in the control ('Add to cart' button)

  7. Test leg G - Book description length - testing a shorter book description than normal

  8. Test leg H - Subject line 2 (another subject line variant)

  9. Test Leg I - Day of mailing (mailing on a different day to all other legs)

  10. Test Leg J - Including the price (and associated discount) next to the 'Add to cart' button

Once the test legs that drove the largest volume of eBook sales had been established - I knew that combining them would create a powerful email that would drive revenue.

There was just one thing left for me to do.

The direct marketing team was based in Mumbai, and I instinctively felt that I could have greater control over the quality and output of Packt's emails if I brought the function back to the UK.

I brought in Ricemedia to work on the email design - an agency I had worked with previously and had been impressed with their clean, modern approach to web design.

Based on the test learnings, they created a Deal of the Day email template that really jumped off the screen.

But again, we had to test that it would work. So I put it in a head to head test against the template our direct marketing team had built.

The Ricemedia template won.

I brought the direct marketing function back to the UK and we started sending out the Deal of the Day emails.

Direct B2C revenue spiked.

As we got towards the end of the month, I wanted to test something else.

A 'Big Weekender' sale offering 50% off all eBooks for four days - again, Ricemedia handled the design of the emails we sent out across the weekend


The impact was seismic - eBook sales were up 98.62% over the previous month.

Direct revenue was up 51%.

The best part? Knowing that my strategic decisions, test and learn strategy and agency choice had all played a part in this success.

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