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WhichTestWon The Live Event: Subject Line Optimization Masterclass


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Every email marketer knows that subject lines can make a huge difference to results, but finding the magic formula for writing subject lines is notoriously elusive. With so many variables to take into account; the length, word count, number of propositions, offer positioning, word choice – writing a subject line test plan can be a daunting task. This presentation from Alchemy Worx CEO Dela Quist, reveals how what you test, when you test and how you measure success can have a profound impact on your results.

Published in: Marketing
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WhichTestWon The Live Event: Subject Line Optimization Masterclass

  1. 1. Subject Line Optimization Master class: What To Test, When To Test, And What To Look For Dela Quist: CEO Alchemy Worx @delaquist & @alchemyworx
  2. 2. Why You Should Listen To Me?
  3. 3. When It Comes To SL’s People Are People B2B B2C
  4. 4. Without A Goal Or Methodology Testing Is Of Limited Value
  5. 5. Optimise For Opens Or For Clicks?
  6. 6. Optimise For Opens Or Clicks? 50% 30% 20% 8%
  7. 7. Top SL Tip For Selecting KPI’s Forget about open rates and to a lesser extent clicks focus on total opens, clicks and most of all total $ £ €
  8. 8. Long Or Short?
  9. 9. Mailer Mailer Email Marketing Metrics Report 2010 Does length Matter?
  10. 10. If That Were True then SL 1 Would Always Beat SL 2 1. Rock it up with these Great Looks, High School Musical and 50% off selected items! 2. Majestic's Winter Offers are Here!
  11. 11. Subject Line Length – No. Of Characters
  12. 12. Subject Line Length – No. Of Words
  13. 13. What’s Going On?
  14. 14. Short - Ambiguous or Misleading “Summer starts here” CTO Rate = 7% Open rate 75% Relevant Customers 10% Click Rate 5.25% Subject Lines Filter Or Pre-Qualify Your Openers Long - Multiple Proposition “50% off Nike trainers; the latest from Wimbledon, Plus your chance to win a spa weekend” CTO Rate = 28.5% Open rate 35% Relevant Customer Group A 10% Click Rate 10% Relevant Customer Group B 10% Short - Strong Single Proposition “Nike trainers - 50% off” CTO Rate = 60% Open rate 15% Relevant Customers 10% Click Rate 9%
  15. 15. Gilt – Masters of the Looong SL
  16. 16. Top SL Length Tips Our research shows that subject lines under 60 or more than 70 characters generate the highest response – but that the response is actually different at each end of the spectrum • shorter subject lines generate higher open rates, a measure of wider interest, but much lower click rates • longer subject lines earn a much higher click rate, an indication that the more openers find the content relevant to them • the open rate and click-to-open rate curves intersect at about 60-70 characters, a “neutral zone” where neither metric is optimised
  17. 17. What About Branding?
  18. 18. There Are 2 Kinds Of Marketing Demand Response Marketing (Giving You What I think Or Know You Want) V Demand Generation Marketing (Making You Want What I have)
  19. 19. In The Inbox The Subject Line Gives A Guaranteed Brand Impression
  20. 20. Lets Play Pretend – Who Wins?
  21. 21. Familiarity Builds Trust
  22. 22. Familiarity Builds Trust
  23. 23. Familiarity Breeds Trust & Trust Sells
  24. 24. Occasional Change Delivers A Temporary Lift
  25. 25. Mixing It Up – Using Names
  26. 26. Mixing It Up – Special Characters
  27. 27. Top Tips For Promoting Brand Values In Your SL • Focus on a values you wish to be identified with • Branding is about repetition – once identified keep repeating your core values • Emails do NOT have to be opened for your brand values to register • Discounts do not build your brand but they sell so you need a balance
  28. 28. The Vast Majority Of The Emails You Send Will Not Get Opened No Matter Who You Are Or What You Do
  29. 29. The Good News Is You Can’t Ignore Email Without Processing The SL
  30. 30. The Nudge Effect
  31. 31. The Nudge Effect Subject Lines Influence Non-Openers Too
  32. 32. The Nudge Effect Subject Lines Influence Non- Openers Too
  33. 33. Top SL Tips For Promoting Sales In Other Channels • Attribution Attribution Attribution – who holds the power in your organisation? • Send times should aim to coincide or influence peak sales in that channel • SL should acknowledge the channel “Great deals in store this weekend” • You can still promote specific products and great offers
  34. 34. 3 Problems With Current Method Of A/B Testing SL’s Subject Line A Sent To Entire List Subject Line B Group A 15% Open Rate Group B 12% Open Rate Subject Line A
  35. 35. Purchase From Time Of Deployment
  36. 36. Purchase From Time Of Last Click
  37. 37. The Only SL Tool That Accurately Predicts Results
  38. 38. How To Create An Effective SL Methodology • Have a clear sense of what you want to improve or optimise - Are you interested in improving opens, clicks or sales? It is not uncommon for the SL with the least opens to generate more click and/or sales. • Own the results – Make sure that whoever conducts the tests goes on the record and documents which SL they predict will win (or lose) and, more importantly, why. • Aim to develop a methodology for creating subject lines – Do not reinvent the wheel every time you send an email out, which is what happens if you focus on creating the “perfect” subject line; you are much more likely to deliver consistent results if you have a proven and well tested methodology.
  39. 39. Spanner In The Works?
  40. 40. Further Reading On Subject Lines Most popular articles: How to get special results from special characters What’s the best way to separate items in a subject line? How to create emails that sell – even unopened How to create an effective subject line methodology Subject Lines – Length does matter
  41. 41. Thank You & Stay in Touch @Alchemyworx @delaquist Follow