Posts Tagged ‘engagement’

inactivesubscribersShould you re-engage inactive subscribers or remove them?

There is much discussion around about re-engaging inactive subscribers, but I wonder should it be more about keeping your subscribers engaged in the first place? As I have been taught many times in the past, work to keep you current customers first and look after them instead of always hunting for new ones and forgetting about the old ones – that only creates churn and a huge list attrition rate.

In a world where everyone is always talking about list growth, it’s not a pleasant concept to have to think about removing people off your list. Most of the time marketers just leave old emails and unengaged subscribers on their list and keep emailing them even if they have never opened the last 63 emails they received or clicked any links.

After that amount of time I think it would be fair to say that they would be considered an ‘inactive subscriber’ don’t you. So what’s the best way to deal with these unengaged subscribers?

The thing is engaged subscribers mean higher engagement rates and better reputation and better deliverability.  But the flow on effect runs much deeper than just ensuring you are capturing everyone, as engagement is one of the factors that influence your reputation, and therefore your deliverability.

The ISP’s do watch engagement levels, however the effects vary depending on your list size and how often you email. If just a few subscribers aren’t engaging and you have a large list and send frequently it’s unlikely that would affect your reputation. However if you have a smaller list you will probably want to look a bit closer.

The best course of action is to analyse your reporting, identify the inactive subscribers, and send a re-engagement campaign – and we have some good advice on how to do that.

One great example of a client who is doing that is Muchmore, who send re-engagement emails to individuals who have been inactive for just three emails. For many of you it may be fair to say you analyse inactive subscribers once a month or perhaps every six months. Have you ever analysed the reports for inactive or unengaged subscribers after just 3 sends? Perhaps it’s time you started.

Want to take an even more proactive approach? Send such effective emails you keep your subscribers engaged before they start wandering down that inactive cul-de-sac in the first place.

You know when you move out of home and suddenly the washing piles up and the dishes don’t get done and the rubbish hasn’t gone out in a while? And you wonder how it got done before?

When you live at home you tend to take for granted that these things magically get done when you were not looking (Spoiler alert – your mother does it) and when you move out of home you realise that you now need to take responsibility and do all these things yourself, and by taking charge of these tasks you can improve the health and cleanliness of your environment. (Wow!)

Well I guess it’s safe to say most of you have learnt that one, however I’ve got something else to break to you; YOU control your sender reputation of your email marketing – not your ESP or mailbox providers. (What!?)  That’s right – your mother doesn’t work in your deliverability department. To improve your deliverability and reputation, you need to take some control.

There are five key factors that drive deliverability that you can control:
- Authentication
- List cleansing
- Relevant and valuable content
- Active engagement
- Continuous testing

Now I know deliverability can seem like a very complex system of things that need to be optimised and monitored and analysed and that can seem a bit overwhelming. However there really are a range of simple things you can do to improve your sender reputation, and your deliverability.

spam

What can you do right now?

- Honour unsubscribe requests
- Use a ‘friendly’ recognisable from name
- Send relevant content
- Set expectations

A poor reputation drives poor inbox delivery, however as you control your reputation, the sooner you recognise that the sooner you can improve it.

What exactly can affect your sender reputation?
- Spam complaints
- List quality
- Content
- Engagement
- IP Permanence

Recipients can complain because the email may not be of interest or relevance to them, perhaps wasn’t what they expected, perhaps they didn’t recognise the sender, or perhaps they are just receiving too much email or couldn’t find the unsubscribe button. Which is why having a recognisable from name, relevant content and a clearly visible unsubscribe link are SO important.

Firstly, spam complaints can be the #1 reason for decline in your reputation, and is the biggest indicator to ESP’s that your subscribers don’t want your email and this can result in your email being filtered or blocked.

inactivesubscribers

So what can you do to reduce complaints?
- Set expectations
- Honour unsubscribe requests
- Use a recognisable from name
- Send relevant and valuable content
- Enrol in feedback loops

One of the best things you can actively do to increase your reputation is provide valuable and relevant content that your subscribers want to read, the flow on effect being they will look forward to your email in their inbox and they will open, read, and clickthrough, increasing your engagement and over time that helps increase your reputation.

How important is relevance? 25% of subscribers said they have unsubscribed because the email wasn’t relevant. Well I think it’s worth listening to quarter of your entire database don’t you?

The implications of not being relevant are declining ROI and reputation and eventual increase in unsubscribes and/or complaints.

How can you increase relevance?
- Segment your data based on active/inactive subscribers, demographic, location, etc
- Implement a preference centre so the subscribers are in charge of what they receive and how often
- Send a survey asking your subscribers what they want – but be sure to deliver it
- Use dynamic content to change out content based on subscribers preferences
- Use personalisation throughout the email such as name, account number, points balance, purchase activity, etc

Now it’s no use having an email people want to read if people don’t receive it, so ensure you make it a priority to manage your list hygiene, and make that list as clean and shiny as possible. A clean list means you will be sending to actual humans – not spam traps or old inactive email addresses. It also means higher accepted rates, lower bouncebacks, and therefore better deliverability.

relevantemail
How can you improve your list hygiene?
- Review bouncebacks and correct invalid addresses
- Remove inactive subscribers
- Review your data collection process and ensure accuracy
- Grow your list organically – never purchase!
- Implement a double opt-in process
Then once you have implemented these strategies TEST, TEST, and TEST some more. Be continually analysing and testing a range of variables to find out what works, what doesn’t and what can be changed to suit your audience.

What are some things you can test?
- Email frequency
- Subject lines
- Email cadence
- Send day and time
- Personalisation in content

It’s important to get the frequency right because 54% of consumers say they unsubscribe when emails from a particular sender arrive too frequently….  How do you find the balance between too much and not enough? This is where asking your subscribers how often they want to hear from you can be the perfect solution.

Want some further advice? We have deliverability experts, design experts and experienced account managers at Jericho who can answer your questions – email us!

Dear {Generic Subscriber}

Thank you for taking the time to read our long email all about our company even though you have 573 emails to read and you are very busy.

All the information contained in this email is generic and fairly bland although very informative. We are sending the same information out to everyone, so don’t worry we haven’t taken much time looking at creepy data analysing your particular preferences or interests. Why spend time doing that when all 15,679 of our subscribers will enjoy reading the same generic news ins our batch and blast email this week, next week, and every week. In saying that, we may get busy and  just send one really long email with out dated news once a month, which we are sure you will want to read because it’s all about us.

Also it is not mobile optimised as we haven’t prioritised mobile optimisation yet but that’s OK, you still read your emails on a desktop computer right? The email also won’t contain any dynamic content or personalisation which would make the email more about you and your preferences, because as we mentioned we haven’t got the time or budget for that.

We didn’t spend too much time thinking about the subject line, so as you can see that says ‘September Newsletter’ which is exactly what this is. Also we don’t tend to put much emphasis on testing  so there might be a broken link in there somewhere. Just email our esp if you find it.

Also we probably won’t notice how many of you clicked on anything or who is engaged or not engaged because we don’t tend to do any reporting or analysis on our campaigns. And we we will be sending the email at 5pm on a Friday as we don’t really prioritise our email marketing or think about what the best send time is, just as long as we get to send our news out to everyone before we leave for the weekend.

We hope you enjoyed reading our generic email (that you care about even less than we do).

Insincerely and apathetically yours,
Batch and Blast Inc.

BrandsTalk
Sadly the above story is not so far from the truth for many companies. If the whole area of personalisation, engagement and analysis seems like a lot to get your head around, take a moment to read these posts that are bulging with best practice advice on everything from how to really your subscribers, how personalisation can make a huge difference to your readers and how engagement has a flow on effect to your reputation and deliverability.

Do much more than just batch and blast

To personalise or not to personalise

- Here’s how to really show your subscribers some email love

- How and why you should treat your subscribers like friends

- Why engagement is important and how to do it

EmailLove

See, that wasn’t so hard. All it takes is for you to implement a few simple best practice initiatives into your email marketing and you can be seeing a remarkable improvement.

 

Consumers are flocking to online video, watching more than four billion videos on YouTube each day. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, smartphones now match desktops and laptops as a video delivery device, facilitating the ability to stream video in email and other message formats.

With consumer adoption of video so high, more marketers are beginning to distribute videos through email, which is still the most popular communication channel.

To date, there have been few solutions available for embedding video in email marketing messages, so adoption has been relatively lo,  however recent changes in some email software clients now make it possible to play videos directly within an email.

The Relevancy Group recently surveyed 266 email marketing executives and found that 25 percent of email marketers are currently using video in their email marketing messages.

This level of adoption of video in emails highlights the increased in email software and mobile email browsers now offering video solutions, and the use of HTML 5 is making video streaming ubiquitous. It is still not available across the board yet however so when the video is incapable of playing in the email software, you should always add a link to view the video on a website.

Adoption of Video in Email Set to Increase

81 percent of the email marketers surveyed said that they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to utilise video in future email marketing efforts. Marketers are particularly optimistic regarding video because it has proven to capture the subscriber’s attention, drive engagement, and increase ROI.

Video in Email Increases Engagement, Social Sharing, and Conversion

Video and images have proven to capture the subscriber’s attention, drive engagement, and increase ROI.

It may seem a bit obvious to state that including video and images in emails make them more engaging, but it’s worth re-iterating. Some of the best email campaigns I’ve seen come into my inbox recently include GIF’s, images or video. They are the ones in my memory weeks later.

Video connects people to your message quickly, as they are easy to understand and have a more instant emotional impact than text or static images. But in order to grab a user’s attention and convince them to take action, the video must captivate and activate during the first five seconds.

Video in email boosts revenue

When comparing the performance metrics of emails which include video to those who do not, emails that include video had a much higher ROI (10% higher) than those that didn’t.  The marketers employing video in their emails are reporting higher delivery rates, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Benefits of including video in email:
Increased click-through rates: 55 percent of marketers report increased click-through rates in emails sent with video as compared to emails without video.
Increased engagement: 44 percent of marketers report that consumers spend more time viewing emails that contain video versus emails without video.
Increased advocacy and sharing: 41 percent state that their emails with video were shared and forwarded more than emails without video.
Increased conversion and dollars: 25 percent of marketers report increases in conversion, sales and ROI for email marketing messages with videos.

The Technical Bit

To implement your own successful video-in-email marketing solution, make sure you use software that supports HTML5 for the deployment of any emails that contain video to ensure that the video plays within the email client. This improves the compatibility of the video in the email, and enables playback across a variety of email client software. Be aware that most desktop and webmail email clients still don’t support automatic video playback within emails so be aware for those on your list who read their emails in desktop email clients such as Outlook, you will still need to place an image of the video within the email and host the actual video on a website and link to it. This is still a great strategy as the call to action increases clickthroughs.

The Bottom Line

With all this in mind, emails video really does show a tremendous return on investment and is one of the most effective and powerful ways to create engagement in your email campaigns.

PRO TIP: To increase sharing and engagement further, always include the ability to share the email content to all the subscribers social networks and include links to your companies social profiles.

This email puts much more into the email marketing efforts of Muchmore Music than just the same ol’ same ol’. 

Muchmore Music sent out this re-activation campaign to their subscribers asking if they still wanted to be on their database. Why? Because they noticed that some of the subscribers hadn’t opened their email for the last three email campaigns.

For many of you I think it would be fair to say you may analyse inactive subscribers once every six month’s or perhaps once a month. Have you ever analysed the reports for inactive or unengaged subscribers after just 3 sends?

It is a wise email marketer who asks their audience what their preferences are, if they actually want to be on your database, and regularly running re-engagement campaigns are a key part of any self respecting email comms programme.

 


If you would like to read more about re-engagement here are some of our key blog posts on the subject which should give you some ideas.

Engagement – why it’s important

Creating engagement with birthday and preference emails

Ask your subscribers what they want by doing a survey

Or you can always talk to us :)

 

I heard something the other day that struck me – someone said their customer service rep ‘put a personal face on a big corporation’.  It made me consider the journey that many organisations take from being small and therefore personal, to greater success and towards the cliche of the big faceless corporation, at which point they see the need to do a full circle right back to providing the personal touch.   Because to your customer, that is all that matters – that personal service. That friendly human face that actually talks to you, helps you, and most of all provides value. That face is often perceived as being ‘your company’ -not your building – not your logo – that personal face. And it is often the difference between a happy customer and no customer.

Being personal applies to every single business and every single industry. People love personalised service, even in this digital world. And email gets closer to people than many other digital channels, via what comes into their inbox.  When you send an email to anyone’s inbox, you are in the ‘golden circle’ of their life, along with emails from friends and family…. it’s like you have just walked into their house and they are having a family party when you arrive. This could be awkward…

So are you going to butt-in and start pitching to them? Only to have them ‘delete’ you and kick you out? Or are you going to be friendly and relevant to them and actually join in the conversation and provide some value to them? You know the correct answer. You know that friend that always comes around and just sits there and helps themselves to your food and your TV then expects you to be grateful to them for their mere presence? I bet you know some emails like that.

Now how about that friend that comes in when they are invited, when you said it’s OK to visit, and they bring your favourite cookies because you told them and they remembered. While they are visiting they also give you some tips, do your dishes and give you some discounts for something you really wanted. Maybe they even tell some jokes and make you laugh. Well obviously that friend is welcome any time! Just imagine if you do your email marketing like that, how much your subscribers would love you.

Well we have an example of an email from a company in New Zealand called Pixel Paint who do just that. Who? Pixel Paint is a canvas printing company based in Wellington and they send the most humorous, friendly emails ever. This month they sent an email out with the subject line ‘We love you so much we made you a mix tape…’ with a link to a retro music mix tape they made on Sound Cloud for their subscribers, just so they didn’t have to endure certain music on the radio. Then they added at the bottom ‘PS – if you want to buy a canvas click here’.  Wow talk about feeling the love from a company who has just gone the extra mile to do something for me. I instantly love these guys. Click on the email and check it out.

Once you have had a look at that awesome email, let’s go back a bit for a second. Email can get technical and can seem like it’s all about metrics, engagement, segmentation, dynamic content, setting up rules, looking at data, vlookups,  exporting reports….. and all that isn’t much ‘fun’ (Unless you are email geeks like us at Jericho) and like housework it’s not the most glamorous part, however, these are all important facets of email marketing and they must be done. Then, when all that foundation work is done, bring the personal side back in. Be human, be personable. Mix up the flavour of your emails and inject some humour into them. The age of using an overly formal corporate voice has gone and we are now all speaking to people in a more natural way.

I love the emails that arrive when I have told them to, I love the emails that open with a funny pre-header or intro, and who use a funny, friendly tone of language. I love those emails that include a pop culture reference, or a joke, or a nice story. Mainly I love those emails that give me my favourite cookies – the products I like and that I’ve told them I like. I love the emails that help me clean and give me advise while they are visiting – that could be anything from whitepapers, to industry advise, discounts, content no-one has seen before… I love these emails and I look forward to them arriving in my inbox. Every single day.

Real-life-humans operate your website, your social media and your email marketing so why not just act like it and embrace the personal, customer-centered focus. Now before you start dropping meme’s into your legal newsletter, we are not saying turn from corporate communication to young funky start-up just to try and be cool all of a sudden. It needs to be done in a way that is genuine and relevant to your company.  If you are a  young funky company like our example Pixel Paint, then you can take this humour and friendliness a lot further than some other companies potentially could.

The moral of this story is if you have made it as far as the inbox, you may as well be a good friend to your subscriber – add value, provide content they will appreciate, send emails your subscribers will look forward to, and they will love you.

Here is a Case Study by Marketing Sherpa that shows how http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/e-commerce-eco-friendly-email-content

 

We have always talked about the need to remove inactive email addresses from your email list. It has now just become more important than ever.  Yahoo has announced that they’ll be releasing user names that haven’t been accessed in over 12 months and making those names available for someone else to register. This isn’t a one time thing, but a new policy going forward which is in place from 15 July 2013.

 

Why is this important?

Scenario 1: You have a Yahoo user who has subscribed to your list with a Yahoo email… it becomes their email that all their mail subscriptions get sent to, it gets filled up with emails, and after a while they don’t check the address, and they never log into the account. Say a year goes by, and they haven’t logged in. So Yahoo releases that email account and a new person signs up for that old email address. Now a different person who never signed up to your list will potentially be getting your emails. You think they will just hit junk/spam or delete? You bet they will.

Scenario 2: Yahoo turns some of these old addresses turned into Spam Traps. Spam Traps are email addresses which are either never used or retired email addresses that are used to catch spammers and those with poor emailing/list management habits. If you continue email those spam traps…… can you see how this could impact on your deliverability?

 

What should I do?

Here’s the steps you should take for all email addresses (not just Yahoo) on your list and signing up:

  1. All new sign up’s should ideally be double opted-in. This helps to ensure it’s a live email address manned by a human
  2. All new sign up’s should be sent a welcome email or transactional email after they sign up. These emails should make it clear how and where they signed up as well as an easy to click and clear link to unsubscribe.
  3. All addresses that do not take an action (open/clickthrough/share/forward etc.) after about 6-9 months time should be removed from your list. Email activity is the key metric and you should be engaging inactive subscribers at the 3-6 month mark in an attempt to get them active again. If after six months of not opening, it’s highly likely they never will.

 

What should I be aware of as a marketer?

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said that between mid-July and mid-August when the old email addresses become available, Yahoo! would attempt to unsubscribe the old emails from as many commercial lists as possible and all email to those addresses would result in bounce messages. So one solution is to make sure you send a campaign out between mid-July and mid-August so that if it hits any inactive emails you will get a bounce message so you can then you can remove any old emails.

 

This new policy by Yahoo makes list cleaning a must for anyone who manages an email list.

Sources:
http://www.emailmarketersclub.com/forum/topics/another-reason-to-remove-old-email-addresses
http://www.magillreport.com/Another-Look-at-Yahoos-Email-Recycling-Plan/ 

How often should you send? How often is too often? Is it better to send more or less? Is there a ‘just the right amount’? With email marketing one size doesn’t fit all which makes this whole question very complex and multi-faceted. One thing we can say is that experts may not all agree on everything, however they do all agree that it is not recommended to send more frequently to every address on your list.

“We’re of the opinion that treating everybody the same with frequency is not the right approach” says Forest Bronzan, CEO of email marketing strategy-management firm Email Aptitude.

He says by increasing email frequency to those who are engaged, they make more money. And in the same token, by decreasing frequency to those who aren’t engaged, they also win that way too.

OK sounds great in theory, but how do you determine which subscribers should be in the ‘increase email frequency’ basket, and which should be in the ‘decrease email frequency’ basket? Optimising email frequency requires analysing all your email campaign reporting metrics to see where people are sitting on the spectrum.

Email Aptitude looks at opens, clicks and measures who is consistently opening, reading and clicking through their emails…. these go in group A – the engaged group. And for those subscribers who do nothing with their email they go in group B - the unengaged group. The big caveat here is that this can change so you will need to keep monitoring your reports, as one week someone could be really engaged, as your emails could be really relevant for them at that time, yet over the next couple of weeks this may change and you find them dropping into the unengaged group, so you need to adjust accordingly. One thing to note is that if you see a trend of subscribers moving into the un-engaged territory, you may need to revise your content and make sure that it’s relevant to your audience. Also, check that you aren’t just over-emailing people either.  One thing you could do is send a survey out to all your subscribers and ask them to give you feedback. You need to be prepared to listen and act on that though – don’t ask them what they think unless you are prepared to make some serious changes.

Email Aptitude applied this philosophy to men’s clothing retailer Bonobos’ email strategy and was able to increase email frequency to highly engaged subscribers by two to three times.  They increased the revenue for that group of highly engaged subscribers, and they decreased the frequency to the more un-engaged subscribers and that ironically had a positive impact as they suddenly started to become more engaged  by becoming more interested in the emails as they arrived less often, as opposed to being overwhelmed and deleting emails. So over the course of a few weeks, those people became more engaged and thus the email frequency to those subscribers started to increase.

In the land of email marketing it’s critical to continually be testing to ensure you are constantly adjusting all aspects of your campaigns to your subscribers needs and wants.  One of the best ways to find out what people want apart from analysing email metrics and data is use a preference centre. Some of my favourite email campaigns have a link at the top of every email saying ‘don’t love this? click here’ and this takes me directly to their preference centre where I can tell them that I like animals, but I’m not interested in food, I do want emails about art and homewares but not sports, and that is exactly what they deliver. In a weeks time if I decide I want to get emails about food again I simply have to click that link and tell them. And I love them for it.

Basically it all boils down to sending the right message to the right person at the right time which we have said many times before – basically that sending targeted, relevant, and timely emails wins every time.

Credit for Email Aptitude Case Study: McGill Report

Are birthday emails really as effective as you say they are?

Yes indeed, a really good birthday email can not only help you stand out, create a positive brand impression with your subscribers,  increase revenue and customer loyalty,  birthday emails on average get a 300% higher open rate and a 100% higher click through rate than normal email campaigns!

In the email marketing world we call this type of email ‘Event Driven Email’ because it’s triggered off a specific event or date. It’s also a marketer’s favorite type of email because the results speak for themselves.

So who is showering their subscribers with birthday love? 

ASOS for one.  Their angle? They are offering a 10% discount, which is very enticing, and the call to action button is straight forward and says ‘shop now’.  So it’s still a benefit to the recipient but their intent is clear. See their email below.

Event Driven emails can be sent for other reasons apart from birthdays. Think about other celebratory moments that could work just as well such as anniversaries.

It’s never too late to start gathering profile information about your subscribers. The key is to be smart about it and don’t be creepy….  Combine it with another offer or promotion and clearly explain what they will get either now or later and tell them straight up the what, why etc. For example I would be happy if you sent me an email that said ‘Do you like free cake? If you update your birthday information we will send you free cake on your birthday’

The other great thing is a birthday email is a great way to drive traffic to a store, shop, movie theater, restaurant…  Think about how many people head to Valentines for their birthday because they get to eat free!

Are you using your customer’s birth date to good effect? Read our previous post about how to use birth date fields in your database to send personal and relevant eDM’s to your clients…

And here is previous roundup of great birthday email marketing campaigns !  Share!  Tell your friends!  Happy birthday!

Following on from our post about how your From Name and Subject Line act as the gatekeepers to your email campaigns, (Click here to read) we are now going to tell you the formula for creating the ultimate subject line so you can increase your chances of your campaign standing out, getting opened, and getting read.

As we’ve said before, prompting the open by getting past the first ‘gatekeepers’ is the primary goal, because you can’t count clickthroughs – much less sell something -  if no-one opens your email.

So with so many people receiving many emails, deleting and filtering, how do you get your subscribers attention? A great subject line gets your email opened.

 

SUBJECT LINE MYTHS

Spam filters can be triggered by a variety of reasons, rarely will specific words like ‘sale’ or ‘free’ get you a one way ticket into the spam folder – filters are changing and it takes a combination of things to really mark your email as spam. So don’t be afraid to put in the odd exclamation mark, you can use all caps, even the word free or sale is fine.

The key is to use these words sparingly. Spam filters assign points to ‘spam’ words, and if the points exceed a certain threshold then the email is considered spam.  However if you just use one or two of these words and symbols throughout your email or even just in the subject line, they won’t automatically mark your email as spam – you may have heard us say before that while content filtering is important, there are now other factors like your sender reputation and engagement metrics that are much more important.

WHAT WORKS

You may have heard a lot of talk about geo-location lately – well collecting and using geo-location data to create more relevant and personal emails and subject lines can increase open rates.  For example, the same email content can come to life when the subject line suggests it’s especially relevant for you.  American retailer Urban Outfitters does this well with subject lines often calling out to me ‘Hey New Zealand – here’s our best sale yet’  or ‘We ship for free to Kiwis every day!’.  Extrapolate that out to your regional customers and – well you see our point.

Subject lines framed as questions have often performed better in tests. Of course you won’t be asking just any old random question – consider your audience, their interests, what your campaign is about, and frame a question around that which will pique their interest and even better if they can respond in some way you can increase engagement.  ‘How many ways can you wear this scarf?’  ‘What’s the best way to show the world you care?’.

Email marketing company MailerMailer found that longer subject lines had lower open rates and click through rates than those emails with shorter subject lines.  They found emails with 28-39 characters in the subject line had the highest open and click through rates. Considering that is about how many characters of a subject line smartphones display, that is no surprise. So the golden rule of thumb is keep it shorter than 50 characters, or at least make your point early in the sentence!

STRATEGIES WITH A CAVEAT

✓ There has been a craze of sorts lately with people using ✶symbols✶ in clever ways in an effort to stand out in the inbox. If used appropriately and cleverly, ✈ symbols may get you more opens, but too many symbols might start driving people crazy so again use sparingly ☂ and only if relevant ☀.  You can read our article about using symbols here.

We’ve heard recently that contrary to previous advice, using the recipient’s name in the subject line does not significantly improve open rates. If it clearly looks like a mail merge then it’s not very personalised at all and will probably have no effect, however if you use their name cleverly and in a relevant way, it may increase opens. In their July 2012 study, MailerMailer saw significantly lower click through and open rates for personalised subject lines compared to non personalised ones.   We have many clients who use this technique every time and it works very well – the answer for you is TEST it!

GET THE OPENS

Keep it useful – why would your recipient want to open your email?  Tell them.

Keep it short – remember the golden rule of 50 characters.

Keep it specific – make sure it is relevant and valuable to the recipient.

Keep it timely – with everything being instant now there really is no place for old news, old jokes, or old memes – keep it fresh.

Always have a call to action – people will respond when you tell them to do something. So ask yourself why are you emailing them? What do you want them to do?  Make your CTA’s easy and ensure they make sense.

Test test test – use the A/B split test send function and test out different subject lines and learn what works for your audience.

Set expectations – clearly state what’s inside the email, and why the recipient should read it.

This advice along with the previous post on From Names and Subject lines will give you some things to work on, and we’re here if you want to talk about what works for you, what doesn’t work and how you might grow your response rates, and deliver great emails to happy customers!