Best email subject line ever?

What’s your best ever email campaign?

What you consider to be your best email subject line, may not have given you the best results. It might have been something you were really proud of, it was awesome, really really clever, super personalised and emojii-tastic. But did it perform? The subject line is only is part of the email jigsaw, and it’s results that really really matter. So rather than focus on what we think is the reason for your best performing email campaign ever, let’s review the evidence and then decide.

A lot is written about finding the best subject line ever for an email campaign.  Yes it’s important but it’s not the thing.  For the record, despite what many other blogs may say, I don’t think a spell for the ‘killer subject line’ exists. If did it everyone would use it, and I’d certainly be selling that here!

Email marketing is a direct channel to your audience, you want it to be personal and relevant to your audience, but it also will be personal to you. Your brand, your history, your personality. So, let’s focus on you and your results and review the whole email marketing jigsaw.

What’s the best email campaign you’ve ever been involved with?

Q1 – How did you measure it? Opens, Clicks or Sales?
Q2 – Do you know why it was so effective?  Was it the timing, the audience, the offer, the fact it was 50C and you were selling an ice making machine with 25% off?

Whatever it was it will be a mixture of things.

 

What is the measure for a good email campaign?

We often get asked – what is an effective email marketing message?

So, over the holiday weekend, I’ve been reading some ‘best of’ blog posts and get some third party suggestions on what makes an effective email.

One from Digital Marketer really stood out. The best 10 subject lines for an email campaign, the standout moment was that the winner was an email that managed to get an open rate of just under 10%.

That is a lot of un-targeted marketing being sent out, and way below the overall email average which according to Mailchimp is a 21% unique open rate.

If you had never sent an email campaign before, would you accept this? This statistic means that 79% of the messages issued are ignored. That is something we think can be improved.

 

Making your email marketing more effective

A chef will always tell you to buy the best ingredients when following their recipe.  The same is true when you create an email campaign.

The ingredients are relevant data, a relevant message and a strong call to action.

The recipe of an effective email is making all three work together.

Start with the the audience.  Who are you communicating to?

Then focus on the call to action.  What you want people to do next.

Then focus on the message.  That’s the content that joins your brand message to what you want people to do next.

 

People not Lists

Our focus at Websand is helping our marketers to send ‘clever communication’ to their customers.  Effective email that really works. Marketers using our platform are recording open rates 50% higher than the industry averages so we are getting things right.

A lot of content is written about the best subject line or the killer email words and that’s important, but it’s not as important as getting the data right.

That’s our primary focus and it’s why are able to drive the increases in engagement we record.

We don’t think about email lists.  We look think about the audience and the key groups within it, your customer segments – your good customers, your prospects, your VIP’s, your bad customers, and those customers who’ve decided they don’t want to buy from you anymore.

Our email marketing platform gives you the tools to manage the customer data that you hold within your business.

That’s the data you collect with every sale.  The information that you need to run your business.  It’s really valuable stuff but it’s often hidden to the people handling the marketing.

Websand makes it visible to you and gives you the tools to create customer segments and then issue targeted messages to these audiences.

It is a simple concept, you need customer data to send email marketing – it’s impossible to do without it. However managing this data can get really complicated quickly, so the easy thing to do is to send your marketing messages to your ‘list’.

 

Matching the message to the audience

In most cases, a marketing message has a specific group of customers in mind. That will be your brief for developing the message.

However, managing your marketing information or your database to identify the people that meet the same criteria can be a real challenge for most businesses.

Websand makes it easy match the audience to your message. Websand makes it easy to apply customer segmentation and then market to each customer segment so it’s not a one message to everyone. It’s targeted marketing that addresses a specific customer segment within your business.

By matching your audience to your content, you’ll automatically improve the relevance of the message vs sending to everyone. The outcome from that is an improved response.

For example,

You send a message about a selling a new special edition of a car is sent to your 100 customers, and 20 people open it.  That is a 20% unique open rate.

Let’s apply a little bit of focus on the data to match the message to the audience.

If we select people that have not bought a car from you in the last 12 months. Then audience reduces to 50 people, the same 20 people open the message. The result is you’ve just doubled your unique open rate from 20% to 40%.

 

What about email marketing to a cold list.

Since our focus is on helping businesses to get the most from the data they collect, then we tend not to deal with ‘cold’ lists.

However, if you do acquire a prospect list, then please make sure you do the following:

Make sure the ‘data’ is from a respectable and registered source – look for ICO registration and DMA membership.

Make sure you are aware about the future changes to data protection and collect the right data from the good people you are trying to reach.

Test the message to the audience before ‘rolling’ it out to the remainder of the ‘list’

Have a clear understanding of where the data has come from

Make sure the data has opted in to receive marketing messages (from third parties, such as yourself)

 

What about the best email marketing subject line?

This is post is not meant to be demeaning to the importance of the subject line.

The subject line of your email marketing message is really important.  But it’s not something that you are going to repeat over and over again. So rather than looking for the best email subject line ever, you need to find a structure that really works.  For example what is the optimal number of words in the email subject line for your audience.

It’s also really important to note that in our view, the subject line is more of an optimisation tool to increase your email marketing performance.

If you want to make a big difference then a focus on data and timing will make the big difference.

We’d suggest the following focus to getting stunning email marketing performance.

1. Make sure you have the right audience for the message (it’s not about size, it’s about quality)

2. Get the timing right. (make it as relevant as possible)

3. Then find the structure that will give you the best email subject line ever for that particular email message.

This is what we apply with Websand, and here is the proof that it works.

So far our average unique open rate is just over 40%.  In some cases, our clients have created some really clever communication to the extent that every person sent the message has opened it and in some cases shared it.  The result, a message that had unique open rate of over 120%!

Quite happy with that. And you can get that level of response too, simply sign up.

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Also published on Medium.