By Ray Schultz.
Want to drive opens and click-throughs to your email? Avoid anything that smacks of the classroom. That’s one of the takeaways from Jay Schwedelson’s Webinar last Friday for the Data & Marketing Association, titled “Do This, Don’t Do That.”
The word “Training” has a negative impact of 8% when used in a subject line, said Schwedelson, the CEO of Worldata, quoting research based on over five billion emails transmitted per year. But it’s not the only — or even the worst — response depressant. Here are more:
- Remember – 12%
- Chat — 11%
- Might – 11%
- Meeting – 10%
- Quick – 9%
- Training – 8
- Learn – 7
- Featured – 6%
Worse, here are some actual lines that you should never use, which we quote with their negative impacts:
Schwedelson warned listeners never to use these actual lines, which we show here with their negative impacts:
- This is long, but – 37%
- No Response Needed – 31%
- I’ll Keep It Short – 28%
- You’re Probably Too Busy – 19%
He’s right — you might as well tell the recipient “don’t read this.”
In contrast, the word “urgent” will drive a 37% upward tick, Schwedelson said. As an example of how to use it, he cited an email subject line from Old Navy: Re: urgent that dress you wanted.” Or this one from Best Buy: “Urgent: You Can Only Get These Deals Today.” And From Sirius: “Urgent: We’re Not Kidding.”
Question subject lines also drive higher open rates — 11% on average. For example: “Sweet Potato Toast – What Is It All About?,” from Clean. And, “What’s the One shirt You NEED This fall?” from Old Navy.
And don’t forget these surefire response getters: Free, Winner, Exclusive, Preview, First, Complimentary, Limited, Special, Shhh/Pssst, Select, Today, Private, Insider, Reserved, Top, Secret.
Hmnn: Can you really get someone to open an email titled “”Shhh?”
Aeropostale apparently does. The subject line reads: “Shh! It’s a surprise!” And there, with the image, is the headline: “Ahh-Mazing!”
Of course, this raises an issue that only a copy editor can answer: How many “h’s” does it take to make a “Shhh?”
Never mind. Moving on, here are some other facts that emerged from the Webinar. Please memorize them by the next session. We quote:
- Triggered emails sent as a reaction to an action taken had an average open rate of 57% in Q1 2017.
- First communication emails received more than three hours later initial signup lead to a 22% lower customer lifetime value via online tools.
- Additional offers on a Registration’s “Thank You” page pulled an average click rate of 9%.
- Landing page forms that take longer than 45 seconds to fill out have a 42% lower completion rate. For every additional “Must Fill,” you will lose 7% of registrants.
- Removing the navigation bar from your landing page can result in 52% higher conversion rates.
- Clicks from mobile version emails to a landing page that have more than four viewable fields to fill out have a 48% lower overall conversion rate.
- Non-offer links get 52% of clicks when three-plus destinations exist.
- Logos that link to the homepage generate a 17% lower click rate (22% in B2B).
- Emails that have all the primary links going to an “Offer” page have a 55% higher overall conversion rate.
Say this for Schwedelson: The man knows his business.