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Email Subject Lines: Tis the Season to Pay Attention!

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 07:44

(Updated December 1, 2018) Noticed anything different about your email inbox lately? For instance, maybe it’s even more crowded than usual?

The holiday season is upon us…and so are the holiday email marketing campaigns. That means you can take a crash course in email marketing and who is doing what with their email subject lines.

Whether the increase in emails pleases or annoys you, stop long enough at each email to pay attention to the email subject lines. OK, granted I am CEO of an email technology company, so I’m more likely to notice these email subject lines than most people. But that’s all the more reason to encourage you to do so too.

Start doing your own little private email marketing analysis as you go through your inbox, using the questions and advice below:

  • Do any of them jump out at you? Why? In a good way or a bad way? What makes that email subject line stand out?
  • Which email subject lines are ho hum and not to be noticed if you weren’t paying attention?  What lessons can you learn from the boring subject lines?
  • Pay attention to length, not just the message. Does that impact your reaction, your willingness to open the email or not?
  • What about the order of the words? Do brand names affect your interest? Numbers? Dates? Dollar amounts?
  • How about humor? Seriousness? Dissect those email subject lines and learn all you can!

You might not be your target audience, so the email subject lines that appeal to you aren’t necessarily to be copied in your next email marketing campaign. But the email subject line is a critical component in getting people to open your emails, and unless they open them, they won’t interact with them (i.e. buy from you!). Studying a wide variety of email subject lines will broaden your thinking and approach.

The more you can learn about email subject lines, the better. The more you can test them, the better. The more different types of email subject lines you get exposed to, the better. So don’t curse the deluge of holiday emails in your inbox. Tis the season to appreciate them and learn from them. For better email subject lines in 2019!

The post Email Subject Lines: Tis the Season to Pay Attention! appeared first on ClickMail | Whitelist.

It Takes More Than an ESP to Improve Email Deliverability

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 08:23

(Updated November 1, 2018) Although it’s 2018, I think we still suffer from confusion about how to improve email deliverability and the role of the email service provider (ESP) in doing so. At ClickMail, we help marketers choose the right ESP for their situation so I see this confusion firsthand when marketers hope switching ESPs will improve email deliverability. The ESP can make a difference, yes, but your choice of ESP is not the determining factor.

I’ve talked with marketers using low cost, entry-level ESPs who enjoy good deliverability rates. On the other hand, I’ve met with many who were using top-tier ESPs and had lousy deliverability rates. Of course, I’ve seen the opposite too, where the marketer using the entry-level ESP has the email deliverability problems and the marketer using the top-tier ESP has great email deliverability rates.

The takeaway is that your ESP choice alone does not improve email deliverability. No ESP can guarantee you’ll achieve higher deliverability rates because it is a result of many pieces, not just your ESP choice. Your email deliverability rate is the result of your list hygiene, your data collection processes and your sending policies too. It’s the result of your targeting and segmentation, your content, your cadence, how well you warmed up your IP address…there are so many pieces to it, and the ESP is only one. (Read “Why Your Email Deliverability Doesn’t Rank 10 Out of 10 Yet” to learn more.)

Some ESPs will be able to deliver (pardon the pun) more emails to the inbox than others, but it’s often on a case-by-case basis. But even finding the ESP that gives you the highest email deliverability rate doesn’t mean your other email marketing pieces can be sub par. All of the factors that will improve email deliverability must be put to use.

For more advice on improving email deliverability, see these past posts on the topic.

The post It Takes More Than an ESP to Improve Email Deliverability appeared first on ClickMail | Whitelist.

Would You Rather Test First or Apologize Later?

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 12:54

(Updated October 23, 2018) As an email technology vendor striving to help clients do a better job marketing, there are two points we tend to harp on because they are so important: relevancy and testing.

And testing brings us to another point: avoiding the apology email. I’ve been in this industry for over 2 decades, and I’ve seen a lot of apology emails from companies that messed up. Sure, they send the apology, so that should make everything right again, but at least some kind of damage was done—to the brand, to a customer’s trust or loyalty. Can an apology completely erase the mistake?

No. No it can’t. Although the damage might be slight, it has been done. And here’s the kicer: Many of the apology emails I see could be avoided simply by testing before sending.

So why are we less apt to test, more apt to apologize? Is it laziness in the first place? Is it a case of too little time and too much to do? Are we simply churning out our email marketing campaigns too fast?

Testing helps email marketers find the small errors, like typos and broken links. But it helps to find the big ones too, including ensuring the main message resonates as intended or that the segmented audience is the correct one.

If marketers tested every email, it could possibly eliminate the need for apology emails.

But avoiding an apology is not the only reason to test. Testing leads to constant improvement too. You can always be incrementally improving your email marketing program and email marketing ROI by testing to learn. Always. And even a half percentage point improvement is a good thing. Testing is necessary not only to avoid the mistakes that lead to the need for an apology. Testing is an email marketing best practice that not only helps you avoid errors like typos and broken links. Testing in an email marketing best practice that improves the overall effectiveness of your email marketing program!

Wouldn’t you much rather be doing that than sending out apologies after the fact?

P.S. This Hubspot post offers one excellent example of how not to apologize, along with several very good (and sincere!) examples.

The post Would You Rather Test First or Apologize Later? appeared first on ClickMail | Whitelist.