Categories
Email marketing

The Importance Of A Killer Email Subject Line

I often get asked to send out a piece of email marketing communication and while the creative is stellar (very pretty) and there is a clear call-to-action, nobody has bothered to think about a killer subject line. Strange, considering you need a great subject line in order to grab someone’s attention and get them to open the email in the first place. Far too much time gets spent on the fluffy stuff like what colours and images should be used in the mailer, and too often not enough time is spent on crafting awesome copy.

If you get as much email as I do on a daily basis (and I’m sure you do), you will agree with me that the stuff that gets flagged or opened is the important and interesting stuff.

Business email aside, I subscribe to a whole bunch of different service and product related mailers which I get on a pretty frequent basis – everything from online shopping sales to discounted weekends away.

This is how I handle that type of promotional email.

I read the subject line and if it grabs me I either:

  • Open it and look at it immediately
  • Flag it and look at it later

But if the subject line doesn’t grab me, it ends up getting ignored.

At Manalytics we send loads of email on a daily basis and this much I know to be true: Having a great subject line, that gets people to open your email, is 90% of the battle won.

These are the types of subject lines that have always worked for us:

  • Lead with a question

Take a second to think about what happens when you read something? There is a little voice in your head that actually reads the words out aloud. They don’t come spewing out your mouth, but your brain mouths them, right? One word at a time

So if I asked you a question right now, something along the lines of, “Do you want to earn an online degree for free?”

It’s difficult not to automatically answer that question, even though you do it in a nano second. “Yes, maybe I do.”

And that is all a smart marketer is trying to do. Provide enough of a hook to spark some interest.

  • The bold statement

Why Donald Trump Will Never Get A Second Term!

That is a pretty bold statement isn’t it? If you have an interest in global politics, this would get your attention when it landed up in your email inbox.

If you are going to try and grab my attention, be bold. Watered down, airy-fairy email gets treated the way it should be – It just doesn’t get opened.

  • A bit of reverse psychology

Have you ever told a kid not to look in a particular drawer? What’s the likely outcome? You know for a fact they are going to open up the drawer to find out exactly why you told them not to look in there, in the first place.

I recently ran a competition mailer and instead of using a question or making a statement I simply said this: If you have a brand new Samsung fridge at home, don’t worry about this email.

Turns out it was the best open rate I’ve had for ages. By virtue of the fact that I asked people not to open the email, they did indeed end up opening the mail.

Let me leave you with this: If you are going to take the time and spend some money on email marketing, make sure you take some additional time to craft excellent copy for your subject line.

Or get someone to do it for you. We could always help. Drop us a line if you want to chat.

Brendan

Categories
Email marketing

Don’t Take A Punt On Email Marketing Without Knowing How To Measure Success

You’ve decided to take a punt on email marketing. Great idea, if executed correctly you will get an awesome return on your marketing spend. But what exactly is the objective of your campaign? Are you simply using it as a branding exercise and just need the promotional mailer opened? Are you looking for email opens to turn into clicks back to your website? Or are you looking for mailer clicks that turn into leads? Before you sign off a cent of marketing budget here are the 3 email metrics I think are critical to the success measurement of any email campaign:

  • How many emails have been delivered?

Sends mean nothing when it comes to email marketing, email deliveries are what really count. Let’s assume that I have a marketing database of 100,000 people and have email addresses for all of them. In my sales pitch I promise to take your marketing message and send it to these 100,000 people. In your mind, you’ve assumed that your marketing message is going to be sent to all 100,000 people and therefore seen by all 100,000 people, right?

I mean, if you send a bulk email message, it goes to everyone, right?

Nope, that is unfortunately not the case.

Truth is, maybe only 40% of 100,000 emails sent might actually get delivered.

If the list is “dirty” and by that I mean it contains invalid email addresses, your message is not going to reach those records.

Clean email data is key, so before you sign off on any email marketing campaign, ask for email delivery stats.

If the email delivery stats are in the 90% range, you’ve got a data partner you should book a campaign with.

If the email delivery stats are anything below that, you need to ask serious questions about the data & most importantly, the management of that data.

Rule of thumb, don’t pick an email data partner who can’t show you 90% & higher email delivery stats. You are wasting your time and money booking a campaign with them.

  • How many emails have been opened?

Now that you know your marketing message is being delivered to valid email addresses and you’ve taken care of the delivery rate question, the next thing you need to ask is “How many people have opened the email? Your email open rate is simply the number of emails opened/the number of emails delivered. If you sent out 10 emails and 1 person opened the mailer, your open rate is 10% (easy enough).

Email open rates can be influenced by a number of different factors including:

  • The email subject line (90% of the battle)
  • The type of email
  • Who the email has been sent from (Example promotions@zando.co.za)

Why are open rates important to measure?

Because you can have a 99% email delivery rate, but if nobody opens up the email, the delivery rate metrics count for nothing, right?

If you plan to use an external data provider to send your email marketing message, find out what open rates you can expect upfront, and perhaps look at doing a deal based on open rates, rather than delivered emails.

  • How many clicks did the mailer get?

Very few clients will simply pay for a ‘branded campaign’ – “Just send our offer via email, we only need exposure”. The more likely scenario is “Can we measure how many people clicked on our mailer links?” And that is a fair question. Clients want potential customers to move to action and the beautiful thing about email marketing (and digital marketing overall) is that everything is measurable.

Being able to track how many people clicked on the links in your email campaign is critical in determining how successful the campaign was. The more clicks you achieve, the more successful your campaign is likely to be. You want clicks and you ultimately want those clicks to do something post click. Perhaps it’s signing up to a newsletter, buying something online or requesting a call-back for an insurance offering.

Ask any potential data partner worth their salt, what type of CTR rates they get  which is a simple measurement of the amount of clicks divided by the amount of delivered emails. The higher the CTR rates the better the overall campaign has performed.

Ok, so in closing, should you throw some budget into email marketing campaigns? Absolutely, but only once you know what the objective of the campaign is and how you are going to measure it.

Ask about:

  • Email delivery rates
  • Email open rates
  • CTR rates

Then make your decision based on that. If you need any information on our email metrics, drop me a line.

Until next time.

Brendan