Home > Projects > Using emails effectively for sharing cyber security advice

Using emails effectively for sharing cyber security advice

Partner agencies: 
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)
Registration date: 
Wednesday, 26 February 2020

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) provides cyber security advice to help make Australia the safest place to connect online. BETA is working with the ACSC to test novel ways to present information about cyber security advice through emails in a way that best helps people and organisations to enact that advice.

Additional trial information

Intervention start and end date

27th February 2020 – 5th March 2020

Ethics approval

Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee, BETA-ETH-2019-04,  11 September 2019.

Experimental design including randomisation

The trial is a 2x3 factorial design with two independent variables. One with two levels relating to altruism, the other with three relating to salience.

Seeded random number allocation at an individual unit level.


This trial is an individually randomised email experiment conducted online as part of a cyber-security alert service. This trial aims to test the effect of different behavioural concepts to see whether email design elements increase the likelihood that people will engage with the advice, and share it with their friends and family.

Control condition

An attentional control, a business as usual form of the email with no icon at the top and no ‘call to share’ banner.


There are two primary outcomes, both of which are binary and from which we will calculate sample proportions.

  1. Sharing = 1 if an individual clicks on the link to share the email, 0 otherwise.
  2. Engagement = 1 if an individual clicks on a hyperlink for more information, 0 otherwise.

Expected sample size:

The existing mailing list of 60,508 subscribers (roughly 25,900 after expected exclusion of missing data)


AEA registration