Archive | August, 2012

You were right!

28 Aug

Email subject lines are an important part of determining whether your email will be opened. First, people look at the From Address. Then they look at the subject line. Get either of these wrong and there is a 99% chance your email will not be read!

“You were right!” remains the best-performing subject line that I’ve ever crafted. I’ve used it twice, for two different employers. In each case, the open rate exceeded 30% for the in-house lists to which it was delivered.

Why did it work so well? First, it is important to know that each time the email had been preceded by another campaign that wasn’t opened in such large percentages.  It was an emailed customer survey. So, recipients could possibly have anticipated that the “You were right!” campaign could be a confirmation of their survey answers. That could be part of it.

But I think the subject line worked because it appeals to our vanity. We all want to be right. We love saying, “I told you so.” So regardless of whether a customer remembered taking a short survey or not, most people are curious to know what makes them so smart.

But, be careful. Customers don’t like to be tricked into opening an email. The email content must have a legitimate payoff. It must reiterate the subject line and have relevant content that leads to a clearly visible call to action.

In the “You were right!” message, the email explained that a customer survey had been conducted and that X% wanted this feature and X% said they wanted this functionality. In truth, both the survey and the “You were right!” emails were methods to promote some exciting new features, functionality and services. The calls to action were “Tell us what you think” and “Get a FREE quote”; each going to a unique landing page with a simple form.

The point of this post is really to highlight the importance of brevity and catering to human behavior. “You were right!” stands out as an email campaign success because it is three simple words that worked like a curiosity light switch.

For help with your email marketing campaigns, even if it is only writing subject lines, I am here for you.

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Marketing Momentum – Keep the ball rolling!

24 Aug

During good times and bad, it is important to keep the marketing ball rolling.

Why? Simple. Starting the ball from a dead stop requires MUCH more energy than the energy (money) required to keep the ball in constant forward motion. Also, when the ball is already in motion, any more money that you put toward it (seasonal campaigns, for example) will have greater effectiveness.

Ever notice that the companies that consistently advertise….continue to consistently advertise? Advertising is quite expensive. It simply must be working! But the sad truth is, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.  Like timing the market, it is futile to think you can advertise or do any other marketing effort in sporadic spurts and expect it to be effective. Marketing is about consistent effort and long-term visioning that is based upon experience, trends, and creativity.

Let’s get the ball rolling and keep it rolling! First, let’s define what keeping the ball rolling means.

  • Keep your name in front of existing clients – via email, direct mail, broadcast, face-t0-face, tradeshows and phone contact.
  • Get referrals from existing clients.
  • Get existing clients to provide testimonials.
  • Get your name in front of prospective clients.
  • Network with strategic partners.
  • Get media publicity.
  • Generate fresh content for your Web site.
  • Regularly optimize your site for search engines.
  • Regularly monitor Adwords to increase numbers of sales while lowering cost per sale.
  • Take advantage of all the FREE marketing firepower that social media can provide.
  • Analyze your Web site to improve the user experience.

Have you done this? Did you do it last month? Will you do it next month? Will you do it EVERY month?

For most small and mid-sized companies, these things only get addressed sporadically. The CEO, sales manager, or marketing director may have every intention of doing these things.  Unfortunately, they are too easily put off to deal with meetings, reports, client meetings, vendor meetings and necessary other matters that eat time, but, more often than not, don’t generate revenue .

Look again at each of the bullet points above. Each one has a “nice to have,” but “non-critical” feel to it. Put any three of them together and you’d probably be thinking, “If we did that consistently, I bet we’d have more business.” You know what? You’d be right!

You can, once again, tell yourself that you or one of your staff will do these things. Or, you can enlist some outside support (me), to ensure that these things get done. The choice is yours.

Let’s keep the ball rolling.

Eric Strautman – Ball Roller, 816.797.9946                                            eric@brandNameIDENTITY.com