Tags: subject

The Best Email Marketing Subject Lines for Retail

The Best Email Marketing Subject Lines for Retail

Beyond • August 10, 2015

Before your readers even get to your email campaigns, they need to get past the subject lines. The fact is, no matter how great your email marketing campaign might be – it might all be for nothing if you can’t pin down a series of high conversion email marketing subject lines. Email marketing campaigns for retail are motivated by aesthetics, but the theme around what those aesthetics will look like are ultimately content-driven. This is where you email campaign and your subject line can go hand in hand. Take the following, for example: Top 20 Under $20 Lists work. Always. On the same note, lists for types of buyers work really well too. Take for instance, “Gifts for Dad” or “Gifts for Your Mother-in-Law.” By the way, I’ve never seen that later idea used ever. Consider it a freebie. There’s also a great one that I saw a while ago, titled “10 Gifts for little ones.” In that vein of thought, lists featuring celebrities always work well and have a pretty high social conversion. People want to get punctuated ideas about what the options are – and we love to see which of our favorite celebrities are sporting the same. My absolute favorite subject line for a list was inspired by Refinery29: “The broke girl’s guide to a luxury vacation.” It’s perfect for their demographic; it plays on a popular TV show with a similar name, and it is something most of us can relate to. You’re Invited! An invitation begs our consideration. Whether it’s an online sale, a survey opportunity or an in-store event, the formality of an invitation turns any marketing strategy into a social affair. You’re invited also makes people feel special, which fosters warm and fuzzy feelings from your consumer to your brand. Free Product with Purchase Everyone loves a free product. The goal here is to offer the product, but not mention what it is. Only clicking the email should give a reader access to the free product. In order to get them excited about the free product, try including a video of it as well. One the subject of deals, Groupon had a great email marketing line that was cheeky: “Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)” It gets you curious about Steve…and you click on it hoping to find out a little bit more about Steve. Last Chance for… Creating a limited time opportunity is a sure fire way to get a consumer’s attention. The feeling of rushing to get something that only has limited availability also works for holiday sales. Holiday sales, especially around summer and winter, are always a winner. The same also goes for when something “ends today.” In a nutshell, language around windows of opportunity initiate action because we feel like it’s a temporary offer. So the next time you’re at the drawing board trying to drum up a great subject line, turn to some of these curated winning examples for inspiration.


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How to Harness the Power of Emojis in Email Marketing

How to Harness the Power of Emojis in Email Marketing

Beyond • July 8, 2015

With all the noise in today’s inbox, each email often looks the same. Marketers have struggled to find ways to break through and to get their email campaigns opened. However, a recent trend has seen special symbols AKA emojis in our email subject lines to capture audience\'s attention. For those wondering, emojis are the graphic ideogram, first started in Japan that have taken over social media, texting and even marketing conversations. With the boom in opens on mobile, the use of Emojis in email helps to convey something which words cannot, i.e. emotion to the readers. Your business can also harness the power of emoji by addressing these 3 questions: 1. Who is your target audience? Knowing your audience means knowing their needs. Emojis are not appropriate for every business and are mostly used when it is a business to customer (B2C) communication. Research your subscribers before you shoot an emoji rich campaign. Use of emojis has been tested and shown that they do increase your email open rates, but it also depends on your industry. Moreover, including emojis in your conversation makes you look more approachable online. 2. Which emojis will make or break your email? To make sure you’re on target, choose the right emoji for the right campaign. Be sure it makes sense and don’t overuse it in an email. Using the right emoji in your campaign makes you friendly and competent with your customers. Business related emails when paired with emoticons often sound less negative and increases the level of engagement. 3. What are the different platforms on which your emails are opened? Emojis appear differently across popular email clients. If an email client doesn\'t support a character, the recipient will see a ☐ character instead. For example, in desktop chrome the subject line with emojis will appear as blocks but when you will open the same email on mobile it will appear fine. It has been found that the emoji didn\'t appear properly in Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013\'s notification popups but, generally iOS and Android both have good emoji support. That is the reason, Twitter and WordPress have started replacing emoji Unicode characters with images to ensure support everywhere. Contributing to the development of the emoji community, in the last year Twitter has also started open sourcing their emojis for everyone. Hence, if your customers are opening most of your emails on mobile, then it is worth including emojis to spice up your email text. The bottom line is emoji can make your emails stand out in an overwhelmed and overcrowded inbox. Once you have determined your right emoji, use the A/B testing feature to judge which campaign will work best for your subscribers. The best way you communicate to your customers is always evolving and you need to analyze what works best for your business.


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Tips for Writing High Conversion Email Subject Lines

Tips for Writing High Conversion Email Subject Lines

Beyond • July 2, 2015

The one thing that’s probably harder than writing high conversion email content, is writing high conversion email subject lines. Subject lines can be a little tricky, even for a veteran writer. Yet, unlike email content, which can vary based on what you’re trying to convey and to who, email subject lines are actually a lot easier to write. The perfect email subject line will factor in a three part equation that considers messaging, keywords and character count. Keeping it Concise Versus Keeping it Focused Though we do want to keep a short subject line, a short subject line is useless if it fails to convey your message. Richard Lindner of Digital Marketer says, “A shorter subject line will never overcome poor messaging.” Richard also talks about the “second” subject line, or the “preview.” He adds, “Don’t forget about the second subject line, or preview description. In most cases you have more characters and the ability to personalize or add more copy for your subscribers, telling them why they should open your mail. This is the most under-utilized and ignored portion of almost every email marketer’s assets.” The preview is the small bit of copy that offers a sneak preview into your content. Most email platforms allow you to customize that preview. Richard gives a great example of what that can look like. Use Keywords in Subject Lines People think in terms of keywords more now than they used to. Having one or two keywords in the subject line is a great way to quickly show value and relevance to your audience. However, keywords in subject lines offers another great benefit, and that’s the ability to search for your emails more easily. Most users hold onto emails, particularly in content heavy industries where emails act as a sort of information archive. For example, if I want to see what the email conversation was for the last five years on a certain subject, say for example “Summer,” then I can just search for that keyword and all the email marketing campaigns with the subject line “Summer” will pop up. Better yet, if a certain email marketing campaign has religiously been keyword-oriented, then their subject lines will offer quick points of reference to various summer campaigns, events, sales, initiatives and more. For example, I can run an email search for the keyword “Foreign students.” Of course, using a keyword in a subject line doesn’t need to be boring. You can still optimize that copy to make it more friendly, more casual, or creative in some other way; you just need to get that keyword in there once. So the next question is … exactly how long should your subject line be? Not Too Short, Not Too Long According to a Digital Marketer blog post on the ideal length of a post, email subject lines should be between 28-39 characters. Here’s why: “subject lines containing 28-39 characters get an open rate of 12.2% and click rate of 4% on average. You should also factor in that with most people being on mobile, shorter characters is even more critical. Lindner reminds us, “Mobile has WAY fewer characters. Focus on your message and you’ll get the open.”


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David Ogilvy’s ‘Mad Men’ Rules For Successful Email Marketing

David Ogilvy’s ‘Mad Men’ Rules For Successful Email Marketing

Beyond • February 23, 2010

Although David Ogilvy, the genius \"Mad Men\" co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency, did not live to see the day of universal email marketing, he set out a series of rules in his books of the Fifties and Sixties which are just as applicable to modern email marketing as they were in placing a full page ad in Life or a 60 second commercial on The Ed Sullivan Show. Ogilvy stated that he hated \"rules\" yet his books laid out rules for proper advertising which remain somewhat equivalent to the Stone Tablets of Madison Avenue. \"I am sometimes attacked for imposing \'rules\'. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hate rules. All I do is report on how consumers react to different stimuli.\" Research demonstrates what hits a chord with your customers and what doesn\'t, so it pays to do the research and then most importantly structure your efforts so that they fit the research results. Creative Is Good, But Effective Is Better \"I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don\'t want you to tell me that you find it \'creative\'. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.\" You must never let your goal waver from the essence of your message which is to take action. Although email marketing can be informative and educational, the bottom line is that it must sell. This Ogilvy \"rule\" accompanies his: \"You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them into buying it.\" How many times have we composed an email message by rote without taking the care to truly delve into why it is, again, \"so interesting that you buy the product\"? Honesty & The Big Idea \"It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.\" Great email marketing contains an idea so big that your readers literally stop and take notice. It has to be so unique that your more savvy customers must wonder why they didn\'t think of it themselves. \"Don\'t try to imply that your product is better. Just say what is good about your product and do a clearer, more honest, more informative job of saying it.\" The reality of competitive commerce is that it likely is very true that although your product or service may have some leading features it\'s not necessarily the end-all. Your readers will appreciate your honesty in proving that it\'s the right one for them. Stick With What Works \"If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops selling. Scores of good advertisements have been discarded before they lost their potency.\" This may just be one of the truly great dictums for email marketing. If you find something that really works, stick with it. Due to the nature of email marketing you can\'t just repeat the same message verbatim, but when your metrics show an essential approach which is a winner, you can be confident in establishing your campaign on it. The Subject Line Is Your Headline \"On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your products, you have wasted 90 per cent of your money.\" All we need to do is replace headline with subject line, and the overarching truth is so evident it needs no further explanation. Although David Ogilvy wrote these words when cars had fins and backyards had bomb shelters, the cosmic truths they contain can still serve as a beacon to email marketers in our world of instantaneous global interactive communication. Although he never knew it, David Ogilvy was a great email marketer.


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Your Email Marketing Success Can Turn On A Subject Line

Your Email Marketing Success Can Turn On A Subject Line

Beyond • February 9, 2010

Imagine having to distill your entire marketing pitch not into an email message but all the way down to just a few dozen characters. Next to impossible? Yet you do it all the time. The Subject line is the ultimate condensation of your entire approach and it is a factor of such critical importance that the way it is composed can make a considerable difference to your response rates. Turn Your Customer On, Not Off Personalization is extremely important in email marketing yet the one place you want to avoid that is the Subject line. Quickly scan through your inbox and see how many times messages from people you know personally have used your name in the Subject line. Almost never. Therefore whenever a customer receives an email with their first name (or even worse first and last name) it absolutely smells of mail merge. There are few phrases more boring in a Subject line than: February 2010 Newsletter. After all, the date stamp will tell the user when the email arrived, and you should be able to come up with a more descriptive and interesting title than Newsletter. Change up your Subject lines to reflect the content of your message for variety and relevance. It is nearly impossible to test too much in email marketing. If you are blessed with a substantial list, then you should constantly be trying different Subject line approaches on various segments of your list and poring over the result statistics to identify the variants that worked the best. When you think you\'ve tested enough, test some more! Place Yourself In The Customer\'s Position People are busy and they do not sit idly by their computers just waiting for your next email to arrive. Therefore it is imperative to demonstrate in the Subject line what the benefit is to them. If there is a clear and unambiguous advantage to them to open up and read your email right now, they almost always will. Controversy galvanizes and hinting at a hot button topic or making a risky statement in a Subject line can definitely attract attention. You can also go too far with this approach and antagonize or offend your customer so sensitivity is the key. Most email clients top out at around fifty characters that they can easily display, so typing your entire inventory list into the Subject line just screams of desperation. Keep the Subject lines short for the best readability and save the descriptive verbiage for the body. Keeping It Real Naturally what you say is as important as how briefly you say it. Although a call to action is imperative, it\'s important to find the right balance between triggering a response and alienating your customer. Blatant sell words like buy spell S-P-A-M, so try to use verbs which ask the customer to act for their benefit such as: enhance focus upgrade refine discover realize Not only will your customer respond better, but you\'ll also bypass the various ISPs\' spam filters which will catch words like free, sale, guaranteed, etc. ALL CAPS IS NOT FOR SUBJECT LINES, nor are ellipses ... or multiple exclamation marks!!! If you\'re using this for Valentine\'s Day »-(¯`v´¯)-» or this to indicate a face ‹(•¿•)› or this as a spacer -:¦:-•:*\'\"\"*:•.-:¦:- you might as well not even send the email. Your Electronic Business Card The Subject line is your email\'s electronic business card, store front, and identity all wrapped up into a handful of characters. Concentrate on writing the best Subject lines you can possibly manage and you will reap the benefits in increased response rates.


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Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Beyond • August 22, 2009

Email marketing, if carried out in the right way, is extremely economical and can provide you with some spectacular results. Best email marketing results require a moral, and extensively detailed plan to be in place. Setting this plan in place usually takes up a substantial amount of thought and energy; this is something a lot of email marketers fail to give consideration to. To avoid making typical beginner mistakes, take a look at our list of common email marketing mistakes. 1. Marketing without permission Sending emails without the explicit permission of your recipients makes you a spam sender. This is illegal and is an excellent way to destroy your reputation. There are a lot of email marketers out there who take the easy and wrong way out; they purchase email lists, or create lists unethically by compiling them from the Internet. The first step for you as an email marketer is to gather permission from your customers. This step should be carried out before you start pumping in money and effort in your marketing endeavour. Getting permission is not all that difficult and goes a long way in reducing your spam complaints and legal issues, increasing deliverability and vastly improving your open and click through rates. For tips on increasing your list, click here. 2. Ineffective List Creation Your email list is critical for successfully managing your email campaign. In fact, your list is so important that it is what determines the success or failure of your campaign. True, it is not always the easiest thing to choose the perfect list. However, there are a number of tried and tested techniques that should work well for you. At the same time, there are certain common mistakes that are made frequently by email marketers and should be avoided at all costs. For instance, using outdated email lists that have been collecting dust for over a year will provide you with nothing but inactive emails. Similarly, renting shady lists will simply result in you illegally sending out spam mails; this could lead to you getting caught as a spammer and you would then have to pay the consequences. Another common mistake is bringing back to life inactive house lists; this is another sure fire way to be labelled a spammer. Avoid these mistakes at all costs. 3. Bad subject lines As an email marketer, your goal is to get your recipients to not only open your email but also to read its content. Your subject line plays a huge role in making this goal a reality. Unfortunately, many email marketers fail to see the correlation between an effective subject line and a great response rate. Many times the subject line is a last minute effort and at times it is even left as an empty field. It is not a question of filling in the subject line; your heading must be relevant, effective and something that grabs the attention of the recipient. Your subject line must give the recipient a feel for the content of your email. Keep your heading simple and honest; avoid trying to hard sell your email with subjects such as “Huge Discount”. 4. Going for one time sales rather than relationships The mistake here is that email marketers tend to use email explosions to carry out their campaigns. Launching emails at unknown recipients is a complete waste of effort. What must be understood is that a successful email campaign is one that is targeted at the right people and slowly but surely builds a long term relationship. Sending out emails to random people is about as subtle as throwing a bomb; all you will be left with is a destruction zone. You need to work on those people who have given you the green flag in terms of permission; these people want to read what you send them, are interested in providing you feedback and are a good investment in terms of time and effort as they have the potential to become long lasting relationships. So don’t bomb your recipients; build them up. 5. Failing to test your campaign Unfortunately a lot of email marketers realise too late that their marketing strategy could have been vastly improved upon before launching it full scale. This is because they tend to launch their campaigns without any prior testing. The result? Absolutely no response. This is a shame especially since email newsletters are such a prime method of testing different options. Try out different subjects; change your content around, experiment with images and pictures and test them all out on a sample group. Once you see what combination gets the best result, that’s when you should start sending your emails out to your entire email list.


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Strategies to improve your Email Open Rates

Strategies to improve your Email Open Rates

Beyond • July 2, 2009

Email marketing is all about percentages. Emails opened. Links clicked on. Surveys answered. But none of this matters without the most important percentage of all – delivery – as in how many emails show up in the inbox. The good news is, as an email marketer, you have some real tools in your arsenal to boost your chances of making it to the inbox. Not everything is within your control – spam filters are tricky things – but you do have some simple rules you can follow that can increase the chances that your email or newsletter will land in front of your customer\'s eyes and not in their trash file. Here are some ways to make that happen. 1. Use a recognizable \"from\" name Recipients should be able to clearly and quickly identify and recognize your company from your from name. State your organization\'s name simply: ABC Company. 2. Use a clear subject line Never underestimate the importance of a compelling, well-constructed and effective subject line. A good subject line not only tells your recipient what to expect when they open your email, but it also sets your email apart from the hundreds of others in the inbox. 3. Maximize your preview pane potential Keep in mind that an ‘open’ status in your email reports does not necessarily result in a click-through. Your recipients may give your email a cursory glance through the preview pane but unless your message grabs their attention, they will not bother to open and read it. To optimize use of the preview pane, you must include engaging and compelling information. Another great way to attain immediate click-throughs is to place your key call to action in the preview pane area. Additionally, be aware of how your email will render in the preview pane if images are disabled, and design accordingly. 4. Start with confirmed opt-in Confirmed opt-in means not only getting permission to email someone, but verifying that permission through an email with a link. Once that link is clicked on, the customer\'s account is officially active. This procedure cuts back on fraudulent sign ups and spam complaints, which can easily ruin your email delivery. So, keep your nose clean. Use double opt-in every time. 5. Use authentication Yahoo DomainKeys, SPF records and other authentication protocols tell email clients that the email you sent came from you and you alone. They also undercut spammers who forge headers and purport to be you, hoping they can hawk their fake Rolexes and herbal treatments under your good name without getting caught. If the email comes from you and your authentication records show that, you\'ll gain a huge delivery advantage. If you are a Benchmark Email customer, Email Authentication is turned ON by default in your account. 6. Keep your list squeaky clean A list that is not cleaned of your bounces and unsubscribes will bring down your open rates and might even damage your reputation and hurt your delivery rates. Your reputation is responsible for your emails being delivered, bulked or bounced. Remember, your reputation will be adversely affected by repeatedly sending emails to invalid or non-existent email addresses. Using an Email Service Provider (ESP) such as Benchmark Email is a good way to ensure clean lists and safeguard your reputation because it provides you with the easy option of deleting nonexistent email addresses quickly.


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How to Reduce Spam Complaints?

How to Reduce Spam Complaints?

Beyond • June 16, 2009

One of the keys to success in e-mail marketing is to reduce the number of spam complaints that you receive. Spam complaints can hurt your standing with your ISP or hosting provider, and even prevent your messages from being delivered to millions of users of popular web e-mail providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail. In spite of these potentially very significant consequences, many businesses that rely on e-mail marketing as a major part of their advertising efforts fail to understand the steps that you can take to prevent spam complaints from being submitted. The following tips will help you reduce your spam complaints: Confirmed opt-in: The best way to ensure that your subscribers want to receive mailings from you is by using a confirmed opt-in process. It requires your subscribers to confirm their subscription by replying to an e-mail before they can be added to your e-mail list. Your list only: It is no longer acceptable to purchase e-mail lists or use third-party lists. You should remove any e-mail addresses obtained from third party sources. Practice good list hygiene: Don’t get in love with your list. The quantity of email addresses in your list means little; it is the quality that counts. As a general rule, the older your list (or addresses in your list) the greater the chance that they may not be any longer interested in receiving mails from you. That said, there are no specific rules as all businesses are different. Some businesses will know that some of their best customers are their oldest customers, so the culling of all e-mail addresses obtained before a specific date may not be suitable for those businesses. Include the Unsubscribe Link: The first and most important step you can take is to include an unsubscribe link in every message. Beyond this, the unsubscribe link should be two things: obvious and painless. Customers who want your emails will ignore the link, and those who don\'t will find it easy to unsubscribe from your list, rather than hastily clicking the email as spam. Evaluate your Subject Line: Ensure that - especially when starting out - your company name is included in the subject line. You may be thinking that is not necessary, since your company name will more than likely show in the \"from\" field, however, this helps to convey professionalism. Be sure that the message in your subject line is actually conveyed in the email. No one likes to be duped, and doing so raises the chances of your e-mail being marked as spam. Familiar layout: Using a consistent e-mail template with the same colors, fonts and layout will help your subscribers to recognize your e-mail campaigns. Over time your subscribers will recognize your layout and with that familiarity they will be reminded that they have subscribed to your list. Familiar and consistent company name: Confusion and complaints can originate from subscribers being unfamiliar with your company or brand name. Consistent from address: Using a consistent ‘from’ e-mail address serves two purposes. First, using the same ‘from’ address over time is another way to ensure that your subscribers recognise your e-mails. It is best to use a from e-mail address that includes your brand or the company name that they subscribed to. Second, if different ‘from’ addresses are used it increases the chances that the subscriber’s local e-mail filter programs (spam filters) will block your e-mails. It is a good idea to ask your subscribers to add your e-mail address to their address book to ensure that your messages will get past any local filters. Frequency: A common complaint trigger is businesses sending too many e-mails to the same group of people. While a subscriber may like your products and your business, there becomes a point when your mailings become annoying when sent too often, particularly if you are sending essentially the same message over and over again. The frequency of mail-outs will depend on your business and the type of information you provide to your subscribers. By outlining the anticipated frequency in your sign-up subscription terms, your subscribers will know how often to expect your mailings. Few other tips: - do not write long email copy - go for “short and crisp”, then point to your website for more information; - don’t repeat your website URL over and over again — you are more likely to get more complaints than more sales; once or twice is usually enough; - run a spam-check on your messages before you send them out and fix any problems that it detects.


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The incredible shrinking subject line: how to handle it

The incredible shrinking subject line: how to handle it

Beyond • May 13, 2009

A few years ago, it was not uncommon to see subject lines that were full sentences. Robust and info-heavy, these subject lines told the email marketing recipient everything they  needed to know. Not anymore. Thanks to the shrinking space due to chat programs and more, expect that your subject line will have to be one part innovation and two parts shorthand. Remember: you want to keep your subject line under 45 or 50 characters. Here\'s how to do that: Use common abbreviations when possible. Some common abbreviations include: Included – Incl. Attention – Attn. Limited – Ltd. Five – 5 (use numerals instead of spelling out numbers) Association – Assn. October – Oct. (abbreviate months when you can)Remember: you don\'t want your email subject line to be a long string of abbreviations, however, one or even two may work to keep your character count down. Focus on one brand. If you\'re sending a sales email pumping up a big sale, put the name of your most popular brand in your subject line rather than many. This will cut back on space in a major way. Throw out the rules on grammar. It\'s tough to put together a full sentence in less than 50 characters, so forget everything you ever learned in elementary school in relation to grammar. In the newsletter subject line world, sentences only get you truncated. Avoid text-speak. Unless your email list is strictly young and hipster, any email with the subject line “gr8 deal 4 u” is only going to get your email dumped. Period. Your subject line is as critical as anything you put out there. A bad one will sink your open rates and destroy your ROI. Even though it\'s tough, work within this email campaign framework to shorten your subject lines and keep your open rates high.


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