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Ecommerce Blog - Fortune3

E-Mail Marketing: What Works, What Doesn’t


fortune-3-ecommerce-e-mail-imageMany view e-mail marketing as extremely old school.  After all, in the new web world, we have social media, SlideShare, and Instagram, which are much more interesting marketing mediums than some of the old reliable ones.

Even though old reliable methods like e-mail marketing aren’t as sexy anymore, they’re still awfully effective.  But, you don’t have the time to test what works and what doesn’t.

Well, these tips will save you a ton of time, and if you follow them, you’ll guarantee yourself better open rates for your e-mails:

Words that work – Yes, which words you choose do matter, and they matter a ton.  Words such as alert, breaking, editor, and which contain the pipe character (| – it’s just above enter on your keyboard) see much higher open rates.  Subject lines containing newsletter, report, and top stories are opened well below average (all information courtesy of a report by Adestra – you can download the full report here).

Subject lines that work – Sorry dataheads, don’t have the exact numbers on which of these works better and why.  Here are some e-mail subject lines that you can count on to give you far higher open rates:

Have you heard about this?
This is your last chance to register for ___________.
Want my secret weapon for ____________________?
Did you know ____________?
This is your last chance to save _____ on ______.
This exclusive offer is only good for the next _____ hours.
Claim your free gift inside…

What you don’t know could hurt youeConsultancy tested 287 keywords across 2.2 billion e-mails.  They found 152 killer keywords that work and 137 that didn’t work so well.  For example, they found “Sale” generated 23.2% opens, but “Save” a measly 3.4%.  “Free delivery” and “% off” work well also.  Be careful though, they remind, because hard-selling like that all the time turns off customers.  Instead, focus on driving value and offering hard-sells infrequently.

More e-mail drives more response – Interestingly, eConsultancy also found that the more e-mail sent, the better.  “Monthly” brought opens to 26.6% below average and clicks to 37.0% below average.  “Weekly” drove those numbers up to 27.1% above average and 50.6% above average.  “Daily” moved these up to 27.8% and 100.3%.  Wow!

The Moral of the Story?  Test, Test, Test

What works one week may not work another, and yes, simply by changing one word in your subject line, you can seriously change how many sales you get.  Follow these tips, digest the information from the various resources, and figure out what works well for your target market.

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, eMail Marketing, Online Marketing Strategies