Case Study

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund found that sending a personally signed text message increases response rates by over 250%.


How do you improve engagement and increase response rates from your mobile subscribers?

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) wanted to share some exciting news with its supporters – Nepal was celebrating a full 365 days without a single case of rhino, elephant or tiger poaching, just in time for World Wildlife Day! In addition to more traditional forms of communication, such as email, WWF wanted to find a way to use text messaging to engage supporters and drive more action to celebrate this event.


Use A/B testing to determine what language drives the most action

Jessica Sotelo, Deputy Director of Online Marketing at WWF, set out to solve this challenge by using Upland Mobile Messaging’s A/B testing feature to test two different text messages for World Wildlife Day.

Jessica thought that a more personal text message would drive better response rates. She decided to test two text messages, one personal and one impersonal, to see if the data supported her hypothesis. Upland Mobile Messaging’s A/B testing feature made it easy for her to send the texts to two groups of subscribers and see which version generated better response rates:

Group A (Impersonal): WWF: Happy World Wildlife Day! Check out this exciting news that is cause for celebration.

Group B (Personal): Hi, it’s Jess at WWF. I want to wish you a Happy World Wildlife Day! Check out this exciting news that is cause for celebration.


Sending a more personal text message increased response rates by 250%

Although the click-through rate on the link shared in the text message was nearly identical, the more personal text message generated much higher response rates than the impersonal one:

  • The group that received the impersonal message had 0.1% opt-out rate and 0.2% response rate
  • The group that received the personal message had a 0% opt-out rate and 0.7% response rate

Since Jessica introduced herself by name in the personal text message, more subscribers engaged in a one-on-one “conversation” via text with personal congratulations for exciting news!

These results revealed an important learning that we are applying to all of our text communications,” Jessica said. “Today’s mobile user feels very attached to his or her phone, and expects personal text messages to come from an individual – even when speaking on behalf of the organization. At WWF, we recognize and honor that expectation.

This simple test provided valuable insights for WWF and made an impact on all their future mobile communications. Jessica now introduces herself by name and uses everyday language in all her text messages sent to the mobile list. Since switching to a more personal tone, the WWF has seen an increase in mobile subscriber engagement!

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