Email Best Practices for Utilities Backed by Research and User Testing

July 13, 2020 Megan Nyquist

If you haven't heard already, Franklin Energy and AM Conservation Group's Innovation Lab works to bring ongoing innovation to our clients, prospective clients, partners, and the industry at large. One of the results of these efforts is verified best practices for the industry to follow. In a recent Innovation Project about Acquisition Message Testing, we learned email best practices for utilities to follow when communicating with customers.

We think these findings are pretty awesome, but how awesome would they be if we didn't share them? But first let's break down how we arrived at these findings.

 

The Process

Step 1: Research

Before any true discoveries could occur, we needed to do our homework. To get started, we researched both high-performing and low-performing acquisition-based emails over a one year span, across a wide variety of program types and a wide variety of markets. We then pulled representative samples from both categories, focused on choosing as much variety in layout, program type and market as possible.

Step 2: User Testing

The research gave us a foundation, but then it was time to see what really matters: how customers respond to our efforts. We conducted moderated user testing on the samples to determine what elements drew people in and which did not, seeking to understand the "why" behind the numbers. During testing, high-performing and low-performing emails were mixed. Users did not know which was which. We gathered the feedback and moved on to the next step of the process.

Step 3: Data Comparison and Analysis

It was time to crunch the numbers. We then combined the quantitative data from field performance (e.g., open rates, CTOR, conversion rates) with the qualitative data from the user testing and developed best practices around that. Check out the infographic below for the summary of our final findings.

Step 4: Getting into Action

We are now using these best practices to develop a template library of acquisition messaging emails for a variety of program types. These will become the new "starting point" for design with our creative team. There's no better feeling than having solid data back your action moving forward.

 

The Findings:

Innovation Lab Infographic-1

Want to save your own copy of these best practices? Download the infographic to keep this useful reference on hand!

Our Innovation Workshops provide an excellent opportunity for you to get involved in shaping the future of our industry. Be a part of innovation and register for our next Innovation Lab Workshop on July 14 where we'll discuss Commercial and Industrial Programs of the Future.

Register for the Next Innovation Workshop

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