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Subject Lines Put to the Test

Subject Lines Put to the Test






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  • Hi everyone, we will be getting started in just a moment. Just a few housekeeping items before we get started.
  • You are on twitter, please use hashtag Informz while tweeting today. And as for questions, please submit them in your question box throughout the webinar. WE will be answering them at the end as time permits. Any questions we don’t get to will be answered in the follow up email that contains the recording. So, no question will be left unanswered!
  • And lastly, if you can hear and see my screen, please let us know. If you can’t, please restart your system and try again. And remember, this is being recorded and will be sent out to all attendees. We will be getting started in just a moment. CLICK
  • Good afternoon everyone and welcome
  • This is the number of seconds your subscriber takes to decide if he/she wants to open your email. 3 seconds, that is all you have to make a great first impression
  • Good afternoon everyone, I am jeanette brown and I will be your host for today.For those of you who don’t know who Informz is,– we are an email service provider with a range of solutions, including those you see on your screen.  And because these solutions all live on one platform, the data is captured and can be leveraged again and again. All too often I see the difficulties of having data here and there and nothing really talks to one another, which can be a big struggle with many organizations. Making them talk will allow you to work smarter and not harder.
  • As for me, I have worked in the marketing departments at a couple of associations prior to joining the Informz team, and understand what many of you face when it comes to communicating to your members. From membership to conference marketing, I have done it all.As the marketing strategy manager at Informz, I work directly with our clients to achieve certain goals they have for their campaigns, such as those you will see today. I worked with each of these clients to help them achieve higher open rates.
  • So in less than 30 minutes, we are going to review three different subject line tests and their results. You will have gained the how to and tips on improving your first impression.First up
  • A legislative newsletter. So this newsletter
  • Is a weekly publication, and is sent to everyone in their database, with the option of to opt out. As shown here, the subject line that was used each week included the issue number which would change each week, but other than that, it was a long subject line. The first
  • Test was to shorten the subject line. We removed the organizations name and the issue number information, and kept what the newsletter was about. That simple change
  • Resulted in a 26% lift in open rates. The new subject line was a part of the original one but was listed at the end and could have been cutoff to some subscribers. The next test was to
  • Test topic base subject lines. This subject line was used the week prior, and had average results. Nothing overwhelming above the general subject line they had first started with. However, we took it a step further
  • And added a pre-header CLICK to the email . This method was used to help complement the subject line and encourage those, that may not have found the topics we chose to be of interest, to also see that there was more in the newsletter than just those two.
  • And the result was great! CLICK, a 31 percent lift in opens from that one small change over just using a topic based subject line. So how did we do this
  • Very simply. The newsletter goes out every week so it was easy to perform a longer test to ensure this was the change that needed to be made for good.So we split the group evenly and then tested one group for 2 weeks then switched the groups around. This way we tested all subscribers to see if our theory of a topic based subject line, as well as a shorter one, worked for everyone. So some tips to take away from this analysis are
  • Look at the length of your email. Subject lines do get cutoff and a good rule of thumb to stick to is keep it under 45 characters for desktop readers and under 30 for mobile. Every email client is different but you should plan for the average. And here at Informz, we are working on something that I am going to share with all of you, as a sneak preview.
  • To make it easier to remember these characters and to alert you, as you input your subject line, as you can see, right below it, it will tell you if it is considered ok, fair or poor, CLICK based solely on the number of characters. How much easier can it get to be reminded to count the characters!
  • Next, use a pre-header. This is text that your readers will see in their email preview screen. And lastly, hot topics really help cut through the noise. You may think the branding of your enewsletter lies in its name and using it in the subject line is the only way to go. Try replacing it with a top story and inserting the name of the enewsletter in your preheader. Test it!
  • Our second analysis came in the form of a product promotion.
  • Pi Phi Express is sent monthly to approximately 32k collegiate members, parents of members and alumni. Usually
  • The subject line was generic, sent to everyone, and it would relate to maybe a holiday or time of year, but did not relate to the motivations of the buyer. Remember, they had three distinct groups.So we changed it up the following month and split the groups out. Current members and alumni received “show your spirit” and parents received “surprise her” And the results are
  • Amazing! When comparing the averages of the original email the prior month to the whole group to the segmented messages, which were also combined and averaged to eliminate the idea that one of the groups may be more engaged than the other, the data speaks for itself. CLICKThey saw a 63 percent lift in opens which then resulted in a 73 percent lift in click thrus, how awesome is that!The only thing that changed among the groups during the test was the subject line, the body of the emails were exactly the same, which as you can see, the open rates demonstrate how important it is. That is your first step in getting a click.
  • So tip from this group, segment, segment, segment. I suggest segmenting copy as well but if time is an issue, start with the subject line. You need them to open to take any action on the email so target those subject lines to the different motives of the group.You may have one course but each group has a different reason for attending. Speak to that.
  • Lastly, a general e-newsletter, that is sent to the members weekly
  • Thisis sent to approximately 9k and as you can see, is very text heavy. Since we did this test, they have changed it a bit by removing all that beginning text but for now, this is what we tested.
  • Each week, the enewsletter would have its name precede a statement. The statement usually related to the President’s update, so as you can see, it is quite vague.We tested a topic based subject line, as well as the placement of the name of the newsletter.
  • So how did we do it, Of course, we split in half, but the test group, we split again so we could test the placement of the name of the newsletter at the same time. And because the size of the group can change the results, we averaged these two test groups when we compared to the control subject line.
  • So first up, comparing it to the control and by now you should expect this, the topic based subject line won.CLICKA 19 percent lift in opens and a 35 percent lift in click thrus. As you can see, more people you get to open and be drawn to the top story you want them to read, the higher the click-thurs tend to be. The second test
  • Resulted in something a little different. Moving the branded MSV update to the end of the subject line did not negatively effect the open rates, what it did do was ensure the most important information, the topic highlighted could be seen fully, therefore, those who did open wanted to read that story and the click-thru rate was much higher in that group.In the end, MSV Update was removed from the subject line all together since it showed not to be crucial to engagement. Especially when it was used in the friendly from.So the tip to take from this group
  • Plain and simple. Don’t duplicate friendly from and your subject line. If you do, test it out, see if removing one of them negatively effects your results. Think how you read your email in your inbox, do you need to see the company’s name twice to feel confident in opening the mailing?So to wrap things up
  • Overall, here are some key things to keep in mind when creating your subject lines.Your length, who you are sending to, does it do enough to break through the noise or just blend in and consider using un used real estate to provide the reader with more information in those 3 seconds you are given to impress.First impressions are hard and always need to be worked on
  • So don’t stop testing. These three groups found results on their initial tests but they are still testing, seeing what else can grow their current engagement levels when it comes to the subject lines. More you know, the more you can implement this across the board in different communications.
  • So at this time I would like to open it upfor questions. While I wait for some to come in, if you are interested in receiving the personalized guidance these three groups did in their testing, contact me and lets chat about your goals.

Subject Lines Put to the Test Subject Lines Put to the Test Presentation Transcript

  • Subject Lines Put to the Test Jeanette Brown, MBA Marketing Strategy Manager, Informz
  • Can You Hear Me Now? If you can hear and see my slide, please note this in the question box to your right. If you cannot hear, please try re-dialing in, and let me know so I can be of assistance.
  • Subject Lines Put to the Test Jeanette Brown, MBA Marketing Strategy Manager, Informz
  • 3
  • About Me @emktg_guru
  • Sections • Legislative • Product promotion • Enewsletter
  • Council on State Taxation Legislative Update
  • Subject Line:COST Legislative Alert: Issue 12-XX: State Tax and Revenue Outlook
  • Subject Line:State Tax & Revenue Outlook
  • Results 25.0% 26% lift 20.0% in opens 15.0% Open 10.0% CTR 5.0% 0.0% Long Shortened
  • Subject Line A:Independent Tax Courts Hearing Held in GA and AL
  • Subject Line B: Nexus Bill, Independent Tax Courts and morePre-header: Legislative Updates from Across the Country
  • Results 25.0% 20.0% 31% lift in opens 15.0% Open 10.0% CTR 5.0% 0.0% Topic No Pre-Header Topic with Pre- Header
  • How To: • Split 50/50 • Test topic based subject line for 2 weeks to the same group then switch test group.
  • Subject Line Tips • Mind your length
  • Subject Line Tips • Mind your length • Utilize a pre-header • Identify top topics
  • Pi Beta PhiProduct Promotion
  • Subject Line A (control):Give a Gift from the Heart with Pi Phi Express Subject Line B: Show Your Pi Beta Phi Spirit! Surprise Her with a Pi Phi Gift!
  • Results 45.0% 40.0% 63% lift in 35.0% opens 30.0% 25.0% Open 73% lift in 20.0% 15.0% CTR CTR 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Generic Personalized
  • Subject Line Tip • Target subject lines.
  • Medical Society of Virginia E-Newsletter
  • Subject Line A (control):MSV Update – Together we can make a difference Subject Line B: Topic Based Subject Line - MSV Update Or MSV Update – Topic Based Subject Line
  • How To: • Split 50/50 • Split topic based group again 50/50 • Average topic base subject line results together to compare to control
  • Results – Control vs Test 35.0% 30.0% 19% lift in 25.0% opens 20.0% Open 15.0% CTR 35% lift in 10.0% CTR 5.0% 0.0% Generic Topic Based
  • Results – MSV Update placement 40.0% 35.0% 26% lift in 30.0% CTR 25.0% 20.0% Open CTR 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% MSV Update Preceding MSV Update @ End
  • Subject Line Tip • Don’t duplicate friendly from and subject line
  • Final Thoughts• Mind the length (less than 45 characters is ideal)• Target content• Identify hot topics• Remove duplication• Pre-header!
  • Don’t Stop Testing
  • Need help with subject lines? Contact me! Jeanette Brown brown@informz.com @emktg_guru www.informz.com 1.888.371.1842 @informz