How a template redesign boosted click rates 750%

February 1, 2016 McKenzie Gregory


Nashville is home to a seemingly endless number of amazing nonprofits, but Thistle Farms holds an extra-special place in our hearts. After all, they're an Emma 25 recipient that's always doing great work in our local community (and beyond!).

If you’re unfamiliar with the organization, here’s a little background: Thistle Farms aids and empowers women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. They employ more than 50 survivors through a natural body care company, Thistle Stop Cafe, an artisan studio, and a global marketplace called Shared Trade. And the proceeds all support their residential program, Magdalene – a community that provides housing, food, healthcare, therapy, and education to up to 700 survivors each year.

Thistle Farms recently ramped up their email marketing program with the goal of reaching more people with their message of hope and healing. Here’s a look at how a new custom-designed template from Emma's Design Services Team boosted their click rates 750%, promoting greater engagement with their incredibly deserving cause.



Before the redesign

Though a long-time Emma client, it wasn’t until late last year that Thistle Farms decided to invest in optimizing their email template. Initially, their regular sends to their audience of over 31,000 subscribers looked like this:


This email, created using their original template, only got a 2% click rate.


And they weren’t performing very well – their campaigns averaged around a 2-4% click rate.

The biggest issue? Their emails weren't mobile-optimized – and over half of their recipients (around 52.3%) were opening them on mobile devices! So they reached out to the Emma Services Team with the goal of completely overhauling their email design and optimizing for screens of all sizes.



After the redesign

Design Services created a new custom template frame for them that matched the look and feel of their website and helped them achieve a better brand consistency across channels. And after just 2 sends on the new Thistle Farms template, their click rates rose from an average of 2-4% to 20%!

But it wasn’t just the mobile optimization that boosted their click rates so dramatically (though it certainly helped!). The Services Team also walked Thistle Farms through ways they could incorporate best practices – like using large, tappable CTA buttons rather than text links – into their email marketing.

Here’s a look at one of the new mailings:


This email on the new template got a 15% click rate – 750% higher than the old average!



The moral of the story?

1. Designing for mobile is everything when it comes to making your email marketing as effective as possible.
2. Smart design works best when paired with smart strategy.
3. Our Services Team is always here to help, whether that's designing a beautiful new template or providing tips to boost performance. Just give us a shout!


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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