Posts Tagged ‘Email Subject Lines’
Posted by Dave McCue on July 23rd, 2012
“By the end of 2012, more people will be reading emails on a mobile device than on the desktop or on webmail.” – ReturnPath
Many marketers hear a prediction like that and immediately start thinking about how their emails look on mobile devices. While mobile devices present a number of challenges when it comes to displaying messages, it’s easy to forget about the impact a mobile device can have on your subject lines.
Harland Clarke Digital tested the same subject line on messages sent to a variety of devices. The results made clear the importance of keeping subject lines as direct as possible.
In a word — truncated. While our subject line was only 48 characters long (including spaces) it was not fully displayed on any of our mobile devices.
Our subject line:
A Better Way to Communicate with Account Holders
Here’s what we saw, by device:
A Better Way to Communicate with Acc…
A Better Way to Communicate with…
A Better Way to Communicate with…
|Android® (HTC Desire™ 2)
A Better Way to Communicate with Acc…
|Blackberry® Bold™ 9000
A Better Way to Communicate with Acco…
In our tests, the Blackberry displayed the most characters from our subject line with 38, while the iPhone/iPod allowed the fewest with 32. Our original subject line was 48 characters, meaning over 25% of our subject line was being cut off on average across these devices. It’s also interesting to note the role of pre-header text in the inbox display of these devices, where a larger number of characters were displayed in comparison to the subject lines.
Of course, testing across multiple devices is the best way to see the impact on your subject lines. As a general rule of thumb, the more concise you can make your subject line, the less potential you’ll have for issues on mobile devices. If truncation doesn’t sound like a big deal, remember that the point of truncation will vary across devices (as our test showed). Imagine a subject line such as “Great new products you can’t afford to miss!” trimmed down to 35 characters — ”Great new products you can’t afford…” This example, while embarrassing, is fairly tame in comparison to what can happen when the subject line is cut off in such a way that it becomes lewd, profane or anything else that could end up on someone’s blog.
Posted by Dave McCue on July 14th, 2010
Adding personalization to an email message is a great way to make a connection with the recipient.
Taking the time to create a solid subject line can boost the results of any email campaign.
Do these statements sound familiar? They should, as both are sound bits of email marketing advice. However, the temptation for some marketers is to try and merge the two together, which can produce mixed results.
While personalization is only really limited by the recipient data at your disposal, the bare bones method of personalization used on many emails is to address the recipient by his/her name. This type of dynamic email content can be a nice touch in the body of a message, but it can make for an awkward subject line.
Posted by Nic Winters on April 5th, 2010
In my most recent blog post I passed along some information related to splitting lists, a function usually performed in preparation for testing within your email marketing plan.
If the test you are hoping to perform is related to differences in subject lines, I would like to pass along a time saving tip. After creating your draft email message and saving it in your SubscriberMail account you then have the ability to quickly create and send the additional version of the message. Within the Message tab simply check off the box next to the draft message and hit the Copy button.
This will open a new page that allows you to specify your list selection and insert your updated subject line. This message can even be scheduled from that same screen (instead of walking through the step-by-step creation of another version of your original email).
And while you are thinking about subject lines – be sure to check out our white paper on words you shouldn’t include.
Posted by Dave McCue on October 28th, 2009
As email recipients quickly scan their inboxes, seeing the right offer or incentive can lead them to pause just long enough to give your message a chance at being successful. It may seem strange to think about, but that split-second pause is a tremendous victory for your campaign.
The content most likely to catch recipients’ interests is the subject line, which is obviously why marketers place so much emphasis on trying to craft the most appealing subject lines possible. However, emails I’ve recently received from Horchow illustrated what can happen when a sender falls in to a “subject line rut.”
Over a span of less than 10 days, I saw the following Horchow subject lines in my inbox:
10/19: FURNITURE & RUG SALE with FREE SHIPPING
10/20: LAST DAY: for FREE SHIPPING on FURNITURE and Rug Sale…
10/22: FREE SHIPPING TODAY ONLY + save on Marcus bed & bath
10/22: Time’s almost up for FREE SHIPPING
10/26: FREE SHIPPING on almost everything, 2 days only
10/27: LAST DAY FOR FREE SHIPPING
There are a few things about this strategy that I don’t like. For one, that’s a lot of email over 10 days. But beyond that, how much incentive is FREE SHIPPING at this point? Horchow tries to make the recipient think that free shipping is for a limited time, but it’s obvious that the offer is nearly always on the table. So, by consistently recycling this same offer in their subject lines, Horchow is doing nothing more than limiting the amount of characters they can use in their subject lines to promote actual products.
A great subject line can cause your subscribers to take that split-second pause where they consider whether or not to engage further with your message; re-hashing the same subject lines and tired offers is a good way to make that decision for them.
Posted by admin on August 5th, 2009
While scanning through my daily emails a few weeks ago, I came across an enticing offer from Hotwire.com: “For you: $15.95 car rental in Chicago found by Hotwire”. Being a frequent business traveler to the Windy City, this deal seemed like a no-brainer, but in the back of my mind I was thinking: “Too good to be true.”
Upon opening the email, I saw the offer visible in my preview pane:
Naturally, I clicked on the “Show me” link to learn more about this great offer and possibly make a purchase. Instead, I was redirected to this page that asked for my travel dates:
Although I was a tad disappointed that I wasn’t able to learn the details behind the Hotwire offer, I still believed my $15.95 rental car was just a click away. Unfortunately, after clicking “Search for cars”, I found the least expensive rental car for my travel dates was $66.95 – $51.00 more than their email offer.
At this point I was finished with Hotwire and their false promises. Out of sheer curiosity I searched multiple dates and finally found my $15.95 rental car, but the price was a weekend rate – not what I was looking for.
How can Email Marketers avoid landing page letdown? Here are three easy ways:
1. Make the specifics of your email offer highly visible and easy to understand. Had Hotwire made a visible effort in their email (not buried in small, light gray text in the footer) to explain the specifics of the offer, it would have created a far better user experience.
2. Ensure that your landing page is consistent with your offer. If you are promoting $15.95/day rental car’s in Chicago, then your landing page needs to use the same style, design, verbiage, etc. Not doing so might give Customers the impression that they clicked incorrectly, or that the link simply isn’t working.
3. Make the process of accessing your offer easy. Customers click because they are interested. Don’t bog down the process with additional steps – make it easy for them to get what they want. If you must use additional steps (like Hotwire did with choosing travel dates), it helps to inform Customers the purpose behind it.
Looking for more on Landing Pages? Check out our video blog: Successful Landing Pages