We felt it looked amazing. The data does not care about our feelings.

We test lots of things at our startup, from new product features and new dashboard feeds to engaging email content


One recent test was to upgrade our beta invite email that is sent out to our new community members (“Yenizens”). Our product is still in private beta. This means that while we are slowly adding new Yenizens to the platform, we have over 10,000 people waiting for access — we can’t wait to give them their keys!

Opt-in email is how we send invitations to our subscribers patiently waiting for early access. Like many growth-oriented early-stage ventures, we began testing our invitation email recently to see if we could increase the conversion rate of those who are invited to signup. 

  • Historically we saw 15-30% of people we invite sign up within 7 days of their receiving their invitation. 
  • Our benchmark to beat was 19%. 
  • Our first redesigned email saw just a 3% conversion rate. That drop in conversions hurt, bigly. 
  • Our second iteration has a 38% conversion rate – 200% of our goal!

Here is what we did and what we are doing next to retest our assumptions. 

Original Email:

Average Conversion Rate: 15-30% of recipients signed up for YEN within 7 days with this email.

We started with this.

Plain text, directly to the point of what the email is about and a single CTA link in the email to signup. It is not flashy, but it was a really boring email and we wanted to improve it. We wanted to add more of our branding and personality to this as the first touchpoint for our new community members.

Updated Email #1:

Conversion Rate: 3% of recipients signed up for YEN with this email. Ouch!

Updated Email #1. Looks great, but results were bad.

The updated email looks so much better. It showcases our branding and tone as well as, we believe, being whimsical, playful and curious. We felt it looked amazing. That said, the data does not care about our feelings

The data shows this email test did not work. The conversion rate of 3% was considerably lower than our benchmark rate of 19%. So, how could we improve without just reverting to the original email.

For starters, we failed to make the call-to-action super clear. There is no button that screams out Click Me!. Instead the reader has to read the entire email (ugh!) and find it on her own.

Next, the copy was too choppy. Where should the reader focus her attention in the first 5 seconds? If you said the red-icon in the middle of the email you would not be alone. Unfortunately – that red icon and the block-text below it is meaningless unless you sign up first.

Last, we did not tell the reader why they are getting the email in the first place! Yes, they signed up for our early access beta list, but we took it for granted that they would remember us! 

We missed the mark on this one. The results do not lie. But thankfully we had some actionable data and learnings that we could apply to our next round of invites. 

Updated Email #2:

Conversion rate: 38% of people who received this email signed up for YEN! Yipee!

Updated Email #2. This converted at 200% of our baseline goal.

So 10x better conversions than Updated email #1 and 200% higher than our baseline goal. This is the clear winner.
Here is what we did to improve our product invitation email: 

  1. We added a single CTA button on the email. No one can be confused where to click when there is only one place to do so! 100% of clicks went right to our CTA button – sweet!
  2. We simplified the messaging. We showed the recipient at the top that they were being invited, reminded them why they received the email and then sent them a very specific call to action with an invitation code. That’s all. 
  3. We sent it via Hubspot. Hubspot has an amazing suite of email marketing tools for early stage companies that ensure high deliverability rates. All but one of our emails in the Updated Email #2 batch was successfully delivered. Our open rates are above 50% and a 38% conversion rate would not be possible without a great email service like Hubspot. 

Next Steps?

38% conversion to signup from an email is good, at the same time it leaves us much room to improve. What about the 62% of people who have not signed up? How do we continue to keep our Yenizens engaged after signing up? What does YEN offer our community that is so valuable, they are compelled to help us grow sustainably?

We will continue to improve our process, our copy and our strategy to build an inviting and welcoming community on YEN.io. It begins with our onboarding process, but it does not end there.

We would love to have you join us in co-building our community. If you’d like to register for early access to YEN.io, the friendliest online crypto community, you can sign up here. Maybe you will see a better invitation in your inbox soon!

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