Home » Internet » Email Marketing

Increase Open Rates: Be Direct With Busy Readers

Aug 17, 2007
On-line marketer, ProspectZone, increased open rates by 28% and click-throughs by 53% in a recent split-test. What can you learn from their results?

First, some background: ProspectZone sells sales leads to busy health insurance sales people. They had experienced an average 34.8% open rate for their email campaigns. However, considering their product is the life blood of the insurance industry, they really believed their conversion rates should have been better.

So they designed an A/B split test and divided their list in half. Group A received a subject line that said "How to get 10 health leads at no charge". Group B's subject line read "Here's ten health leads at no charge" [sic].

The direct approach won out. Subject line B experienced a 28% better open rate than subject line A (and a 48% increase in opens versus the previous campaign).

They also decided to split test the landing page. Both landing pages had identical headlines and sales copy, the only difference was the graphic.

Landing page A showed a gorgeous woman and landing page B showed a man in a business suit. Considering the average audience member was a 40 year old male, ProspectZone knew without a doubt that the gorgeous woman would out-pull the business man. In fact, they didn't even want to waste their time with the test.

But it's a good thing they did, because they were wrong! In fact, the business man generated 53% more click-throughs than the woman.

So, what can you take away from this and apply to your own on-line marketing? First, if your readers are busy (and who isn't these days?) try the direct approach. Instead of a "How to..." or "7 Ways to... " subject line, try "Here is..." or "Now You Have..." or some other wording that does not imply the reader will have to work for what you're offering.

And don't use impudent tactics, or try to otherwise "trick" your reader with brazen graphics. In today's world of email overload, busy executives, sales people, and anyone who is trying to get some work done, will appreciate the respect you show for their time by keeping your message, and graphics, meaningful.

Secondly, if you aren't split testing, start now. You should be testing subject lines, links, images, sales copy, personalization, headlines, calls to action, etc. Most email service providers offer a way to do this with your newsletters. You should even be split testing your web site.

Time to implement: you should be able to perform and analyze a subject line split test in approximately 30 minutes - the tricky part is deciding on the subject lines to use.
About the Author
Karen Scharf publishes Successful Site Secrets, an on-line newsletter that offers insider tips, tricks and techniques for transforming your web site from one that is "good" into one that has your profits soaring through the roof. Get your own free subscription at http://www.SuccessfulSiteSecrets.com.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 181
Print Email Share
Article Categories