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  • 1. Subject Lines Tested:How to write subject lines that double your clickthrough rate
  • 2. #webclinic
  • 3. Join the conversation on Twitter #webclinic #webclinic
  • 4. Today’s team Dr. Flint McGlaughlin Ashley Hanania Managing Director Research Manager Daniel Burstein Director of Editorial Content #webclinic
  • 5. Experiment: Background Experiment ID: Audience Subject Line Test Location: MarketingExperiments Research LibraryResearch Notes: Background: Copyblogger and MarketingExperiments Blog audiences competed in writing high-performing subject lines. Three subject lines were chosen from each audience. Goal: To increase clickthrough rate Primary Research Question: Which email subject line will generate the highest clickthrough rate? Approach: A/B split test #webclinic
  • 6. Experiment: Design Subject Lines Email (Same body copy) Landing Page Subject Line T1 Subject Line T2 Subject Line T3 Subject Line T4 Subject Line T5 Subject Line T6 6 #webclinic
  • 7. Experiment: Email Copy Top of Email #webclinic
  • 8. Experiment: Email Copy Bottom of Email #webclinic
  • 9. Experiment: Treatments Copyblogger MarketingExperiments Blog Subject Lines Subject Lines Treatment #4: Treatment #1: [Optimization Summit] 3 Days to a Quarterbacks aren’t the only Better Website ($300 Off Coupon changes being tested in Denver Inside!) Treatment #2: Treatment #5: A scientific way to increase your Learn 3 Tips that made 10,000 conversions landing pages extremely successful Treatment #3: Treatment #3: Do your landing pages pass this Optimization Summit 2012 -- test? Speaker’s List Up Now! + Save $300 Today #webclinic
  • 10. Experiment: Results 106% Increase in Clickthrough Rate Treatment #3 generated a 105.9% higher clickthrough than treatment #1 Subject Lines CTR Rel. diff Stat. ConfT1 – Quarterbacks aren’t the only changes 0.32% - -being tested in DenverT2 – A scientific way to increase your 0.51% 57.9% 99%conversionsT3 – Do your landing pages pass this test? 0.73% 105.9% 99%T4 – [Optimization Summit] 3 Days to a Better 0.37% 14.8% 69%Website ($300 Off Coupon Inside)T5 – Learn 3 tips that made 10,000 landing 0.66% 105.2% 99%pages extremely successfulT6 - Optimization Summit 2012 – Speakers List 0.40% 24.9% 90%Up Now! + Save $300 Today #webclinic
  • 11. Experiment: Results 106% Increase in Clickthrough Rate Treatment #3 generated a 105.9% higher clickthrough than treatment #1 Subject Lines CTR Rel. diff Stat. ConfT1 – Quarterbacks aren’t the only changes 0.32% - -being tested in DenverT2 – A scientific way to increase your 0.51% 57.9% 99%conversionsT3 – Do your landing pages pass this test? 0.73% 105.9% 99%T4 – [Optimization Summit] 3 Days to a Better  the process, treatmentlanding 0.37% 14.8% 69%Website ($300 Off Coupon Inside) What you need to understand: By clarifying the value of the next steps inT5 – Learn 3 tips that made 10,000 #3 generated a 106% higher clickthrough rate than 0.66% 105.2% 99% treatment #1.pages extremely successfulT6 - Optimization Summit 2012 – Speakers List 0.40% 24.9% 90%Up Now! + Save $300 Today #webclinic
  • 12. So you think you have a good lead gen page? Enter your landing page at MarketingExperiments.com/LandingPageContest for a chance to win: LPO Online Course LPO Benchmark Report 12 #webclinic
  • 13. SECTION 1: The purpose of a subject line 13#webclinic
  • 14. What We LearnedF Key Principlesa. Simply getting the viewer’s attention with a subject line will not produce a significant result. We must understand the functional purpose of our subject line: converting attention into interest. 14 #webclinic
  • 15. Converting Attention into Interest Getting Attention Subject Line Building Interest Image Button 15 #webclinic
  • 16. Attention-getting Subject Lines Not this … Quarterbacks aren’t the only changes Attention captured with Tim being tested in Denver Tebow reference [Optimization Summit] 3 Days to a Attention captured with Better Website ($300 Off Coupon brackets and parentheses Inside) 16 #webclinic
  • 17. Interest-building Subject Lines ... but this Learn 3 tips that made 10,000 Attention converted into landing pages extremely successful interest with “Learn 3 tips” Do your landing pages pass this test? Attention converted into interest with “pass this test?” 17 #webclinic
  • 18. SECTION 2: The connection between subject lines and value propositions 18#webclinic
  • 19. What We LearnedF Key Principlesa. Simply getting the viewer’s attention with a subject line will not produce a significant result. We must understand the functional purpose of our subject line: converting attention into interest.b. To build interest, we must understand the connection between our subject line and our value proposition. 19 #webclinic
  • 20. Process-level Value Proposition PROCESS-LEVEL Question: Why should your ideal prospect buy PRODUCT-LEVEL from you rather than any of your competitors? PRODUCT PRODUCT #1 #1 Question: Why should [PROSPECT A] buy from PRODUCT PRODUCT #2 #2 you rather than any of your competitors? PROSPECT-LEVEL Question: Why should [PROSPECT A] buy this PRODUCT PRODUCT #3 product rather than any other product? #3 Primary Value Proposition Question: Why should [PROSPECT A] click this PPC ad PRODUCT PRODUCT rather than any other PPC ad? #4 #4 Prospect B PRODUCT PRODUCT #4 #1 1 PRODUCT PRODUCT #2 #3 2 3 Conversion steps associated with a specific product Learn more here: bit.ly/VPSpectrum #webclinic
  • 21. Learn More Here:Process-level Value Proposition bit.ly/InvertedFunnelThe process-level value proposition is the reasonthey should progress in the micro-decisionfunnel to the next step. (U)YES Sales Call (M)YES (M)YES (M)YES Landing Page (M)YES Business Software Suite (M)YES #1 On-Demand. 6459+ World Clients Award-Winning Solution. Free Trial www.XXXXXXXXXX.com/Business PPC Ad (M)YES 21 #webclinic
  • 22. Process-level Value Proposition Button Example VISITOR’S MIND Value Cost Submit V- 22 #webclinic
  • 23. Process-level Value Proposition Button Example VISITOR’S MIND Cost Value Submit Click Here V- VØ 23 #webclinic
  • 24. Process-level Value Proposition Button Example VISITOR’S MIND Cost Value Submit Click Here Get Free Access V- VØ V+ 24 #webclinic
  • 25. Process-level Value Proposition Subject Line Example VISITOR’S MIND Value Cost No Castles in the air for you V- 25 #webclinic
  • 26. Process-level Value Proposition Subject Line Example VISITOR’S MIND Cost Value No Castles in Mobile can help the air for you manage your money V- VØ 26 #webclinic
  • 27. Process-level Value Proposition Subject Line Example VISITOR’S MIND Cost Value No Castles in Mobile can help Enjoy Over 2,000 the air for you manage your money Internet TV Channels! V- VØ V+ 27 #webclinic
  • 28. Process-level Value Proposition Inbox Example Inbox Screenshot Which would? you open first? 28 #webclinic
  • 29. Value Proposition Session at Optimization SummitLearn about valueproposition with Dr.Flint McGlaughlin atthe pre-SummitWorkshop inDenver.MECLABS.com/OptSummit 29 #webclinic
  • 30. SECTION 3: The checklist for maximizing the force of a subject line 30#webclinic
  • 31. What We LearnedF Key Principlesa. Simply getting the viewer’s attention with a subject line will not produce a significant result. We must understand the functional purpose of our subject line: converting attention into interest.b. To build interest, we must understand the connection between our subject line and our value proposition.c. To intensify the force of the process-level value proposition in our subject lines, we can employ a useful set of research-based criteria … 31 #webclinic
  • 32. ? How can I consistently write subject lines that double my projected clickthrough rate? 32#webclinic
  • 33. To help us write effective subject lines, we developedthis four-part checklist of elements that impact theforce of a subject line’s process-level value proposition. 33 #webclinic
  • 34. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? 34#webclinic
  • 35. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the main point emphasized? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must first comprehend the intended message. To ensure they understand, we can utilize the following clarity checklist:  Is the main point emphasized? 35 #webclinic
  • 36. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the main point emphasized? To emphasize the main point in any subject line, we must utilize point- sensitivity By making our subject lines point-first or point-last, we utilize the psychological principles of primacy and recency. Not this … (point middle)Optimization Summit 2012 – Speakers List Up Now!+ Save $300 Today … but this (point last) 66% IN CLICKTHROUGH Do Your Landing Pages Pass This Test? 36 #webclinic
  • 37. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the main point emphasized? To emphasize the main point in any subject line, we must utilize point- sensitivity By making our subject lines point-first or point-last, we utilize the psychological principles of primacy and recency. Not this … (point middle)[Optimization Summit] 3 Days to a Better Website($300 Off Coupon Inside) … but this (point first) 70% IN CLICKTHROUGH Learn 3 tips that made 10,000 landing pages extremely successful 37 #webclinic
  • 38. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the main point emphasized? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must first comprehend the intended message. To ensure they understand, we can utilize the following clarity checklist:  Is the main point emphasized?  Are the qualifiers precise? 38 #webclinic
  • 39. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Are the qualifiers precise? Precise qualifiers help to cement the value of the subject line into the mind of the customer. Not this …[Optimization Summit] 3 Days to a Better Website($300 Off Coupon Inside!) … but this 37% IN CLICKTHROUGH A scientific way to increase your conversions. 39 #webclinic
  • 40. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Are the qualifiers precise? Precise qualifiers help to cement the value of the subject line into the mind of the customer. Not this …Ernie, A Special Offer for REAL SIMPLE readers* … but this Get An Instant AdWords Performance Report (Its On Us)* *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 41. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the language simple? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must first comprehend the intended message. To ensure they understand, we can utilize the following clarity checklist:  Is the main point emphasized?  Are the qualifiers precise?  Is the language simple? 41 #webclinic
  • 42. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the language simple? For maximum clarity, we must use words that can be instantly understood by our ideal prospect. Not this … No Castles in the air for you…* … but this Pop-culture reference that 30% Of Physicians Are At Risk - Dont is not widely known Wait Until Its Too Late!* *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 43. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the language simple? For maximum clarity, we must use words that can be instantly understood by our ideal prospect. Not this … Turn your iPads into clickers with LanSchool* … but this “Clickers” should be replaced Dont Forget Mom! – Free Mother’s with “remotes” Day Shipping* *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 44. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the wording concise? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must first comprehend the intended message. To ensure they understand, we can utilize the following clarity checklist:  Is the main point emphasized?  Are the qualifiers precise?  Is the language simple?  Is the wording concise? 44 #webclinic
  • 45. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the wording concise? Concise wording is critical to producing clarity in the minds of our customers. It is important that we use the correct amount of words — no more, no less. Not this … Our gift to you -- FREE Shipping or No Service Charges … but this 21% IN CLICKTHROUGH Free Shipping or No Service Charge! Limited time offer! 45 #webclinic
  • 46. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the wording concise? Concise wording is critical to producing clarity in the minds of our customers. It is important that we use the correct amount of words — no more, no less. Not this … Quarterbacks arent the only changes being tested in Denver … but this Too many words Denver’s testing more than quarterbacks 46 #webclinic
  • 47. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Is the wording concise? Concise wording is critical to producing clarity in the minds of our customers. It is important that we use the correct amount of words — no more, no less. Not this … Denver’s testing quarterbacks… … but this Too few words Denver’s testing more than quarterbacks 47 #webclinic
  • 48. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must first comprehend the intended message. To ensure they understand, we can utilize the following clarity checklist:  Is the main point emphasized?  Are the qualifiers precise?  Is the language simple?  Is the wording concise? 48 #webclinic
  • 49. ITEM #1: Is It Clear? Live Optimization Subject Line: No Castles in the air for you Audience: Distributors of the products Objective: Get recipients to click the link to the PuzzlerPromo http://bit.ly/thebestintest #webclinic
  • 50. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? 50#webclinic
  • 51. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the message relevant? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must find the offer appealing. To ensure appeal, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the message relevant? 51 #webclinic
  • 52. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the message relevant? Irrelevant messaging Not this … Quarterbacks arent the only changes being tested in Denver … but this A scientific way to increase your conversions. 57% IN CLICKTHROUGH 52 #webclinic
  • 53. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the message relevant? Not this … Quarterbacks arent the only changes being tested in Denver … but this Do your landing pages pass this test? 106% IN CLICKTHROUGH 53 #webclinic
  • 54. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the desire urgent? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must find the offer appealing. To ensure appeal, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the message relevant?  Is the desire urgent? 54 #webclinic
  • 55. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the desire urgent? Suggests other (easier) ways to increase your conversions Not this … A scientific way to increase your conversions Suggests a simpler standard to judge your landing pages with 31% IN CLICKTHROUGH … but this Do your landing pages pass this test? 55 #webclinic
  • 56. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the desire urgent? If the audience can watch it On-Demand, there is less Not this … reason to click now Vote for the Next TrainSignal Webinar | Register and Watch On-Demand* … but this Upcoming Webinar - Virgin Atlantic reveals its 7 secrets to e-Invoicing success* A big brand revealing secrets in an upcoming webinar invokes a higher sense of urgency *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 57. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the issue important? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must find the offer appealing. To ensure appeal, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the message relevant?  Is the desire urgent?  Is the issue important? 57 #webclinic
  • 58. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the issue important? People don’t listen to speakers, people listen to people Not this … Optimization Summit 2012 – Speakers List Now Up! + Save $300 Today The issue of successful landing pages is important to marketers … but this Learn 3 tips that made 10,000 31% IN CLICKTHROUGH landing pages extremely successful 58 #webclinic
  • 59. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Is the issue important? So what? Not this …Mobile can help manage your money* … but this Aspirin therapy pros and cons, 7 myths about calcium & vitamin D, lentil salad* Pertinent information related to my health and well-being *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 60. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must find the offer appealing. To ensure appeal, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the message relevant?  Is the desire urgent?  Is the issue important? 60 #webclinic
  • 61. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Live Optimization Subject Line: Vote for the Next TrainSignal Webinar | Register and Watch On-Demand Audience: IT Professionals, previous TrainSignal customers, previous webinar participants Objective: To get recipients to vote for a preferred webinar topic http://bit.ly/trainsignalemail 61 #webclinic
  • 62. ITEM #2: Is It Appealing? Live Optimization Is the message relevant? Subject Line: Mary Potter Hospice Invites "Name" to take the $100 Challenge Audience: Business owners in same geographical area as Mary Potter Hospice Objective: To get recipients to click on “Take the Challenge” http://bit.ly/hospicechallenge 62 #webclinic
  • 63. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? 63#webclinic
  • 64. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Is the only-factor apparent? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must know the offer is exclusive. To ensure exclusivity, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the only-factor apparent? 64 #webclinic
  • 65. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Is the only-factor apparent? Suggests other (easier) ways to increase your conversions Not this …A scientific way to increase your conversions The specific numbers imply an only-factor … but this Learn 3 tips that made 10,000 landing pages 24% IN CLICKTHROUGH extremely successful 65 #webclinic
  • 66. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Is the only-factor apparent? Does not imply an only-factor Not this … Merchant Account with REBATE* … but this Upcoming Webinar - Virgin Atlantic reveals its 7 secrets to e-Invoicing success*Virgin brand revealing secretsimplies an exclusive news scoop *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 67. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Is the brand familiar? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must know the offer is exclusive. To ensure exclusivity, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the only-factor apparent?  Is the brand familiar? 67 #webclinic
  • 68. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Is the brand familiar? Not this …Exclusive First Look at New Products, Brand included in subjectTechnology, and More … but this IADC 2011 - Exclusive First Look at New 8% IN CLICKTHROUGH Products, Technology, and More 68 #webclinic
  • 69. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Is the brand familiar? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must know the offer is exclusive. To ensure exclusivity, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the only-factor apparent?  Is the brand familiar? 69 #webclinic
  • 70. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Live Optimization Subject Line: Learn how to improve your establishment’s web presence Audience: Small Business Restaurant and Bar Owners Objective: To get recipients to click on the http://bit.ly/establishmentspresence “Get Started Now!” button 70 #webclinic
  • 71. ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive? Live Optimization Is the only-factor apparent Subject Line: Enjoy Over 2,000 Internet TV Channels! Audience: Consumers 60+ years old, more rural than urban Objective: Click the “Internet TV/Radio USB Stick” link http://bit.ly/harrietcarteremal #webclinic
  • 72. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? 72#webclinic
  • 73. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the promise believable? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must believe the offer is legitimate. To ensure credibility, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the promise believable? 73 #webclinic
  • 74. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the promise believable? This is likely NOT a gift, and it undercuts the credibility of the offer Not this … that follows Our gift to you -- FREE Shipping or No Service Charges … but this Free Shipping or No Service Charge! 21% IN CLICKTHROUGH Limited time offer! The stand alone offer of “Free shipping or No Service Charge” is more credible 74 #webclinic
  • 75. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the promise believable? Use of fear tactics without qualifying information causes unbelief … At risk for what? Not this …30% Of Physicians Are At Risk - Dont WaitUntil Its Too Late!* … but this Aspirin therapy pros and cons, 7 myths about calcium & vitamin D, lentil salad* Pros and cons of aspirin therapy implies a balanced piece of useful content *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 76. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must believe the offer is legitimate. To ensure credibility, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the promise believable?  Is the tone appropriate? 76 #webclinic
  • 77. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the tone appropriate? Email sent to MarketingExperiments readers accustomed to science- Not this … based messagingQuarterbacks aren’t the only changes beingtested in Denver… … but this A scientific way to increase your conversions 57% IN CLICKTHROUGH 77 #webclinic
  • 78. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the tone appropriate? Email sent to MarketingSherpa readers accustomed to straight- Not this … forward messagingIf Alfred Hitchcock wrote emails, could he growan audience by 300%? … but this 25% IN CLICKTHROUGH How Blockbuster Express grew its email list 300% 78 #webclinic
  • 79. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must believe the offer is legitimate. To ensure credibility, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the promise believable?  Is the tone appropriate?  Is the value specific? 79 #webclinic
  • 80. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the value specific? Very little specificity Not this … Quarterbacks arent the only changes being tested in Denver … but this Do your landing pages pass this test? 106% IN CLICKTHROUGH The specificity in “this test” credibly implies a test in the email to judge a landing page 80 #webclinic
  • 81. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Is the value specific? Very little specificity Not this … Wont Mom Be Delighted!* 10 easy steps with Microsoft 2010 … but this Design Your Own eBook Cover in 10 Easy Steps With Microsoft 2010* *Live Optimization Submissions #webclinic
  • 82. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? For the ideal prospect to act on the process-level value proposition of your subject line, they must believe the offer is legitimate. To ensure credibility, we can utilize the following checklist:  Is the promise believable?  Is the tone appropriate?  Is the value specific? 82 #webclinic
  • 83. ITEM #4: Is It Credible? Live Optimization Subject Line: Wont Mom Be Delighted! Audience: Married couples 35+ with no children Objective: To get recipients to “Shop Now” http://bit.ly/Jhhzjq 83 #webclinic
  • 84. Summary: Putting it all togetherF Key Principlesa. Simply getting the viewer’s attention with a subject line will not produce a significant result. We must understand the functional purpose of our subject line: converting attention into interest.b. To build interest, we must understand the connection between our subject line and our value proposition.c. To intensify the force of the process-level value proposition in our subject lines, we can employ a useful set of research-based criteria … 84 #webclinic
  • 85. Summary: Putting it all together  ITEM #1: Is It Clear?  ITEM #3: Is It Exclusive?  Is the point emphasized?  Is the only-factor apparent?  Are the qualifiers precise?  Is the brand familiar?  Is the language simple?  Is the wording concise?  ITEM #2: Is It Appealing?  ITEM #4: Is It Credible?  Is the message relevant?  Is the promise believable?  Is the desire urgent?  Is the tone appropriate?  Is the issue important?  Is the value specific? 85 #webclinic
  • 86. #webclinic