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Trends Savings vs price, which use of the dollar sign sees better performance for resorts?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

When we compared dollar amounts versus percentages, dollars won by a pretty hefty margin. But with multiple ways to use a dollar amount, that’s only half the story. So when a Stash reader asked us whether they should use a savings amount (i.e., “Save $50/night on all rooms.”) or just show the discounted price (i.e., “All rooms just $199/night.”) we took a closer look.

The Goods
To find our answer we grouped emails by the way they used dollar signs in the subject line. The first group mentioned a dollar savings but DID NOT list the price. The second group referred to the discounted price but DID NOT specify how much they were saving. We then found the average open and click rates of each group.

For example. If a room normally costs $249 but is on sale for $199 ($50 off), the savings approach would refer to the $50 off while the price approach would refer just to the $199 rate. Here’s how it looks.


For this sample, subject lines that specified a dollar savings saw 10% higher open rates (1.4 percentage points) than emails that referred to a specific discounted price . A similar gap showed up for click rates which is to be expected.

What This Means
If the inkling you had was anything like ours, this doesn’t come as too big of a surprise. After all, a customer doesn’t pay the discount, they pay the price. And only by opening the email can someone discover that piece of the puzzle.

But what this simple analysis does does do is quantify the effects. For our sample the difference in opens was about 10%. Running a split test the next time you include a dollar figure in a subject line could help identify any behaviors that are specific to your guests.

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