E-Mail Applied: Change the Subject
I like the way the cataloger Wine Enthusiast approaches this. Its marketing head likens a subject line to a catalog cover. Catalogers know the cover makes a big difference to sales — a subject line performs the same function.
Wine Enthusiast’s e-mail copywriter comes up with 10 suggested subject lines. The marketing team reviews them and sometimes comes up with additional ideas. Once marketing pares the list down to a few winners, the team takes a quarter of the file to do an A/B or A/B/C test.
Tests can include small tweaks. Wine Enthusiast tested “Wine Enthusiast Wine Refrigerators” vs. “Our Wine Refrigerators.” The use of the word “our” provided better results, perhaps because it made a
stronger connection between the company and the e-mail recipients.
Speak to Me
Think about personalizing your subject lines. Your recipients’ eyes are naturally drawn to their own names, which focuses attention. Be judicious about this. Although it works, that doesn’t mean every subject line should be personalized.
MailerMailer reported the impact on results for personalization in subject lines. The difference turns out to be substantial.
Many catalogers use urgency in their subject lines. It’s a good tactic to get recipients to act now, rather than letting the e-mail languish in the inbox. Here are some examples of from line and subject line combinations that might stimulate ideas.
• Norm Thompson — 24 hrs left to SAVE 20% on everything!
• Orvis News — Maximum Savings-Special 1 Week Online Sale
• Hello Direct — 72 Hour Headset Sale extended to Monday!
• FootSmart — Hurry! Last day for Free Shipping on Spring shoes
• Williams-Sonoma — Today Only: Free Upgrade to Rush Shipping
• Staples — $20 coupon + FREE Delivery this week only
• J.Crew — Final sale: last chance (going once …)