Officially we have closed the last chapter on our Holiday 2011 Run-Up. The book was getting to be too long and we wanted you guys to read it instead of being frightened to death by its magnitude. If you haven't downloaded it yet, you can still do so from our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JewelerWebsiteAG.
We still have a lot of important research data that will help you make the most of your marketing dollars during the most important part of your year. Although not included in the Run-Up book, it makes sense for us to continue presenting our findings.
A few weeks ago, and on page 32 of the Run-Up, we gave you several days of subject line examples for your holiday email marketing. They were straight forward examples to get you thinking, but we didn't present any specific formula; so let's cover that information today.
Let's start with the length of those subject lines. In 2010, it was found that shorter subject lines of 30 characters or less out performed those of more than 50 characters. Somehow, you have to craft a 30-50 character message that's compelling in order to get them to open the email. Ouch, that's worse than trying to cram important information into a Twitter Tweet of 140 characters!
Within those few characters, you need to explain what's in it for the subscriber, and how the subscriber can take action. You could tie your subject line message in with the season and with the topic of the email.
Since Halloween is at the top of everyone's mind today, let's look at some Halloween email subject lines to get some ides.
"Treat Yourself! Free Shipping for Subscribers Only"
"Free Shipping Through Halloween - Promo Code Inside"
"Trick or Treat..."
"Killer deal slashes price to ONLY $79"
"Yikes! 88% OFF hybrid watch, ONLY $49"
"No bones about it – $79 Skeleton Watch"
"happy halloween! 31% off sitewide! enter SPOOKY31"
"Hurry, Last Day for Halloween Savings!"
These are all actual subject lines from the past few days. As you can see there are a lot of tie-in phrases to Halloween themes, but also each subject line tells the recipient what they will find inside the email.
The "Promo Code Inside" phrase tells us that we need to read the email in order to get the promo code. In that particular email, the promo code is presented as an image, which forces the reader to view images and therefore allows you to track them.
The "No bones about it – $79 Skeleton Watch" subject tells you exactly what that email is about. They are selling a skeleton watch for $79. It's not presented as a sale item, just a matter-of-fact mentioning of a price.
Then you see the "Trick or Treat..." subject which simply mentions the current day's expected phrase. This is a rather simple approach, and it turns out to be successful when used a FEW DAYS BEFORE expected. That email came to us on Thursday last week and they managed to "trick or treat" us before anyone else did. It sure got our attention a few days ago, but today it would get lost amidst the costumes, candy, jack-o-lanterns, and of course the real trick-or-treaters ringing the doorbell.
Inside the "Treat Yourself! Free Shipping for Subscribers Only" email we also see the same message repeated as well as some Halloween themed jewelry that offers suggestions of spider, pumpkin, and ghost jewelry. The "for subscribers only" indicates that only the email recipients have this special free shipping offer, and sure enough, inside the email we find a free shipping promo code.
There's actually another psychological trick happening with the subject "for subscribers only" because it proves to the recipient that there is a continued value to staying on the email list. Perhaps spider, pumpkin, and ghost jewelry doesn't appeal to them today, but there is a hope that the next email will. Naturally, if the person really wants to take advantage of the free shipping they are not limited to Halloween themed jewelry.
If free shipping is one of your sales gimmicks, you may want to try standing out in the crowd. Other than simply saying "free shipping" you could offer "free local delivery," or alternatives like "complimentary shipping," "$0 shipping," "deliver for free," and "shipping on us." Each of these alternatives will catch someone's attention differently instead of the somewhat standardized "free shipping" that everyone else claims.
Here's the bottom line for today's Daily Golden Nugget: Don't be afraid to use holiday phrases or imagery as part of the subject line. We're big believers in the idea that you never understand something fully until you put yourself into a situation, or walk a mile in another man's shoes... Don't expect inspiration of those holiday subject lines to appear until you are deep within the season after you've been exposed to holiday specials on TV, holiday music, local events, and anything else that puts you in the mindset of the Season.