Marketing Momentum

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Don't Hype-Up The Subject Line

Turns out emails with boring subject lines out perform subject lines with over-hyped sales language.

According to Anne Holland, of MarketingSherpa, after analyzing 40 million emails the top 20 performers, with open rates of 60%-87%, appeared as though the copy had not been written by a marketer. The subject lines typically included the company or brand name and mentioned "newsletter," "news" or "update." The subject lines of the best performing emails included:

  • Eye on "Company Name" Update
  • "Company Name" Newsletter
  • Invitation from "Company Name"
  • "Company Name" News Bulletin!

The 20 worst perfoming emails, with open rates of 1%-14%, appeared as though marketers had written the copy because they included the most hype with subject lines like:

  • Last Minute Gift - We Have the Answer
  • Valentine's Day Salon & Spa Specials!
  • "Company Name" Pioneers in XYZ Technology
  • You Asked for More...

I kind of take offense that marketers can't be boring. I can be boring. And, I think some of my internal customers would agree. I've even had a few voice their opinions that my headlines aren't "flashy" enough, and a more flashier headline would make a night and day difference in the success of their marketing activity. The next time that happens, I'll have to remember to tell them about this post and one of my previous posts - Too Much Hype.

As a consumer, I'm very sensative to hype. I don't want to deal with it nor do I have time for it. Just give me the facts spare me the fluff. I consider myself to be part of the growing trend of educated consumers who consult various resources and look at marketing materials with a skeptic eye. Similiar to these findings, marketing materials and messages that spare me of the hype have a better chance at getting my attention and holding more credibility.

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