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:
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:
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:
Say this for Schwedelson: The man knows his business.