In this case study, see how Eventful personalized its weekly newsletter and launched a new email alert system, honing in on its 20 million users’ specific interests, raised its clickthrough rates by 97% and saw a 400% increase in reactivation for inactive subscribers.


Eventful has been connecting people with their local events for the last six years. Their site features live events and allows visitors to find tickets, favorite an artist, share they are attending a concert on social media and even campaign for an act come to their town with the “demand it!” feature.

Their initial technology didn’t allow them to make recommendations based off of the events a subscriber had “favorited” or demanded individually — only through the event’s or act’s general popularity on the website, the amount of tickets sold and social buzz.

The only alert system they had in place was for artists the user had specifically “favorited” or requested on their website, which the Eventful team felt was missing out on the opportunity to anticipate their audience’s interest in other related events.

"It was good … but we always knew that we could do better. So, we really resolved to creating a better customer experience that was driven by our own desire to be a better entertainment publisher," said Paul Ramirez, Vice President of Operations, Eventful.


When a subscriber expresses interest in an artist or event through “favoriting” or demanding, a newly built algorithm gathers data from the data Eventful collected over the past six years, and recommends other acts the subscriber might be interested in. “The recommendation engineered algorithm enables us to suggest instead of just one event based on what your favorite is … it enables us to provide you a list of events,” Ramirez said.

"Because of everything we know about you, about Carrie Underwood, about country music and the taste of 20 million subscribers, plus other data that we use from third parties, we can predict with reasonable certainty that there are 20 other performing artists who you also like," he said.

In the launch of the new product combined with integrating this data into the newsletter for increased relevancy and personalization, Ramirez described the two email products as personal “live entertainment city guides that tell people, ‘Here is what is going on in San Diego this week.’”

As part of the integration and launch of this recommendation engine, Eventful decided to use it as an opportunity to win-back some of its inactive subscribers. It saw a 400% increase in reactivation rates with the addition of the personalized recommendations.


By introducing the recommendation engine technology, Eventful saw a 400% increase in its reactivation of inactive subscribers.

Weekly Events Guide

26% open rate increase

97% clickthrough increase

56% increase in click-to-open rate

Recommended Performer Alert

15% median open rate

3% median click rate

Creative Samples from Eventful’s email marketing article


Newsletters are an often neglected strategy with 46% of marketers reporting their email newsletter as staying the course and 11% having a floundering program, according to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

C Spire Wireless launched an email service to deliver the best of the day’s news to its subscribers. The marketing team wanted to supply its customers with a reason to interact with, and see, C Spire’s name on a daily basis.

Open rates were around 8%, and although the team was happy with clickthrough rates, Croft said C Spire wanted to “drive overall engagement … and we want to do that through personalizing the content.”


Out of this desire to personalize its content, C Spire wanted to create an email product that “learns what individual customers like to read, and each morning, their email contains more articles of what they like to read and a list of what they have done,” Croft said.

Subscribers were encouraged to click on five articles, and from there, the articles shown to them would be specific to their own interests. For instance, someone who consistently chose political articles would see the selections sent to them reflect that preference.

Creative Samples from C Spire’s personalized newsletter campaign


Croft said this personalization campaign has been “absolute proof that personalization drives engagement with our products and with our brand.”. “The more relevant we can make any message on any platform, but especially email … the more engagement it drives. The more eyeballs that we have, the more brand awareness,” Croft concluded.

By adding personalization into its NEWSLINK emails, C Spire was able to increase its clickthrough rate by 92% and its open rate by 537%.

Non-personalized email:

Clickthrough rate: 25%

Open rate: 8%

Personalized email:

Clickthrough rate: 48%

Open rate: 51%

I think this is the first article I’ve read more than 5 times and it was great to read again tonight.

Leo Babauta discusses the beauty of taking a few minutes out in the day to appreciate life which he refers to as a gratitude session.

A few benefits of these sessions

Because it reminds you of the positive things in your life. It makes you happy about the people in your life, whether they’re loved ones or just a stranger you met who was kind to you in some ways.

Because it turns bad things into good things. Having problems at work? Be grateful you have work. Be grateful you have challenges, and that life isn’t boring. Be grateful that you can learn from these challenges. Be thankful they make you a stronger person.

Because it reminds you of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your children are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful there is a roof over your head.

Because it reminds you to thank others. I’ll talk about this more below, but the simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, emailing them, stopping by to say thank you … just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful toward them is important to them. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but makes someone else happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.


Changing the link text from “Request a quote” to “Request pricing” will increase the click through rate.

Initial – “Request a quote”


Variation – “Request pricing”

The Result

A straight 161.66% increase in click through rate from 0.54% to 1.40% with 100% statistical confidence (VWO reports 99.9x% as 100%). That’s a huge increase, and it must have taken only about 2 minutes to setup the test. Some of you might feel that this result would be more concrete if the number of leads generated would drastically increase. Well, you’re right. However, optimizing a website involves tweaking multiple steps of the sales funnel. The next step after optimizing the click through rate to a sales inquiry page would be to try and increase the form submit rate.

When Instinct Trumps Reason - Jonah Lehrer

Complete video: Jonah Lehrer: When Instincts Are Better Than Reason

Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Choose, discusses the limitations of rational thought and explains that while the human prefrontal cortex is a “magnificent piece of machinery,” it easily short circuits when given too much information. Conversely, he argues, there are many instances when it is wise to trust the instinctual part of the brain. ——- Scientists are using the latest neuroscience tools to break open the black box of the mind to uncover the secrets of our decision-making process. From CEOs to firefighters, how does each person’s mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better? Noted author Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools to determine which part of the brain to lean on when we make decisions. — The Commonwealth Club of California Jonah Lehrer is an Editor at Large for Seed Magazine and the author of ‘How We Decide’ and ‘Proust Was a Neuroscientist’. He graduated from Columbia University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He’s written for The New Yorker, Nature, Wired, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He is also a Contributing Editor at Scientific American Mind and National Public Radio’s Radio Lab.

When Emotions Make Better Decisions - Antonio Damasio - A fascinating analysis of emotions and their impacts on decision making. Antonio discusses an interesting example of one of his previous patients.

Full video: Antonio Damasio: This Time With Feeling

I think I just found the next phone I want (I’m currently using an iPhone 4).

The next Galaxy S is rumored to feature an Exynos 5 Octa (8-Core) CPU, Mali-T658 (8-Core) GPU, 4.99″ Super AMOLED Full HD Resolution Display, 2GB of RAM, 13 Megapixel Rear facing Camera capable of shooting 1080p Full HD Videos at 30FPS, 2 Megapixel front facing camera capable of shooting 720p HD Videos and running Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

We took a popular ecommerce store (O’Neill Clothing) that we’d recently redesigned and monitored conversions, transactions and revenue for three weeks. Then we quietly deployed the responsive conditions to the already live site and monitored for another three weeks. This was not an A/B test. We simply picked 6 non-holiday weeks that perform similarly year over year to get as near to similar conditions as we could. The “responsive conditions” were typical mobile patterns. We made the site fluid. We collapsed the primary navigation menu, allowing visitors to expand it by tapping a Menu link. We increased the size of the font, the tap areas and detail photos. We reduced the number of columns. We spent a lot of time just “fixing Magento forms.” Everything in a way that lets the O’Neill team continue to manage 100% of the content on the site.

These were the results:

CONVERSIONS: + 65.71% up
TRANSACTIONS: + 112.50% up
REVENUE: + 101.25% up

Android Devices:
CONVERSIONS: + 407.32% up
TRANSACTIONS: + 333.33% up
REVENUE: + 591.42% up

Check out the site!

The Sims is one of the best-selling computer game franchises in history. Since its initial release in 2000, these strategic life-simulation games have sold more than 125 million copies worldwide, won countless awards and has redefined the “open-ended” gameplay style.

The Business Need

Sales of in-game content play a major part in the business success of The Sims 3 Store. The marketing team has crafted a conversion funnel made up of a series of micro-conversions: from anonymous player to registered player to first-time purchaser to repeat purchaser. Until a player registers their game, they are much more difficult, and costly, to convert to a purchaser.

The “game launcher” is a key tool used by The Sims 3 team to pull players to website and encourage game registrations. After the game is installed on a players computer, the player clicks The Sims 3 desktop icon and the game launcher loads every time a player wants to start the game. This launcher is a multi-purpose portal for managing new game content from the Community exchange or from The Sims 3 Store, managing game software updates, starting the game, and also contains promos and links to The Sims 3 Store and Community site.

Game registration conversions from the launcher were unsatisfactory and The Sims 3 team knew that even a small conversion rate improvement could have a big impact on revenue.

The Challenges

The multi-functional nature of the ‘game launcher’ portal was both a strength and a weakness. While providing a flexible platform for alternating offers, competing messages made finding and understanding the benefits of registration and joining the community difficult for players.

Further, The Sims 3 has shipped millions of copies, yet a sizeable percentage of players only used the game launcher to manage their game content and start the game. Players only revisited the launcher when they were about to play the game, and rarely clicking on the various offers.

Lastly, customers interested in registering their game were unsure of benefits received or if additional fees were required.

As with all websites that require users to share personal information, The Sims 3 team wanted all their customers to receive the free benefits they offered in a convenient manner.

Original layout:

The Solution

The Sims 3 team hired WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization to help them improve the effectiveness of their conversion funnels and chose the game launcher as a primary target for improvement. As a full-service conversion optimization and analytics company, WiderFunnel handled the conversion optimization project in its entirety, developing a complete test plan – including hypotheses, wireframes, graphic design, copy – and executing the test using Google Website Optimizer.

WiderFunnel developed and tested 6 Variations of the game launcher. The successful solution focused on a specific offer to receive a free Sims town upon registering. The offer was prominent in the headline and echoed in the background image. General benefits of game registration were listed in the form of bullet points.

The Results: 128% Increase In Game Registrations!

All Variations created by WiderFunnel improved game registrations by at least 43%. The top-performing Variation, Variation D ‘Free Town’, delivered a 128% conversion rate lift over the original game launcher page! The second runner up, Variation E ‘Free Points’ delivered a fantastic 79% uplift, indicating that players respond better to specific offers.

Winning Test Page: 128% Uplift in Game Registrations:

This test not only resulted in an improved conversion rate but it provided valuable insights into the type of offers The Sims 3 players find the most compelling. By using a scientifically valid method to test various offers, The Sims 3 marketing team now knows with certainty that Variation D outperforms all other Variations.