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Email Marketing, Pt. 2: Subject Line Research

HDM Admin - Saturday, January 18, 2014

Welcome to Round 2! If you, like many, find yourself dipping your toes into the vast ocean of email marketing, but aren't quite sure how to begin, then never fear – you've come to the right place. In our last segment on Email Marketing , we gave some do's, some dont's, and some good practices when it comes to crafting the perfect Subject Line. Today, we'd like to expand on that by observing and comparing some of the best and worst out there. You may be surprised at what you see.

Surprisingly, intuitive ideas have shown to backfire, while a few quirky and outside-the-box ideas saw fantastic results. Examining leading research has led to some wonderful insights, which we'd like to share with you today. All of this information serves to build on and back up the ideas of Pt. 1, so if you're unfamiliar with our tips and tricks, we recommend giving it a quick going-over.

In the studies conducted, emails with some of the best and worst open rates were extracted from a data pool of 40 million emails. The top performers had an average 74% open rate, while their counterparts suffered an average 8% open rate. Ooph. That's quite a difference. Let's take a look.

In our last post, we mentioned that it might ultimately behoove you to try and set yourself apart visually as a way to stand out from the flood of emails pouring into any given inbox. A couple techniques suggested were using brackets and unique capitalization. Appropriately, research shows a recurring trend among the top performers: inserting [COMPANYNAME] in your Subject Line could boost your open rates. 

Furthermore, the data shows certain trends among the low performers. Most of the Subject Lines in that camp ultimately read like an advertisement. Asking questions, flexing figures, and using “in-your-face” language all got these emails deleted. Of course you want to grab the attention of the reader, but sometimes less is more, and subtlety can speak volumes. With users on the constant defensive against junk mail, anything that is even remotely spammy is going straight to the trash bin.

[COMPANYNAME] Sales & Marketing Newsletter reads a lot better than, say: Shop Early & Save 10%!

Upcoming Events at [COMPANYNAME] got much better results than: Need More Advertising Value From Your Marketing Partner?

At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind when crafting your Subject Line is that it must be congruent with your target's expectations. If you're emailing someone who's expecting a newsletter from you, hot discounts and promotions will hold little weight in the Subject Line, and you may want to opt for more of a “soft-sell” approach instead. On the other hand, users often sign up to receive alerts on new deals, so for those people on your email list, it may not hurt to talk discounts.

The Subject Line can be tricky, but the bottom line is that it ultimately needs to inform the reader of what is inside the email – what they'll be expecting, and why they should click through in the first place. If what you're typing sounds like advertisement headlines, you can bet you'll find yourself on the wrong side of the spectrum.

Over the years, we've aided numerous businesses across the nation to help create the perfect Internet Marketing Campaigns. To learn more about our process, or how we can help you get started on yours, we encourage you to Call or Contact Us today. In the meantime, stay tuned for more tips and tricks!

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