Your Email Strategy Needs A Spring Cleaning: Top 10 Insights From This Winter’s Email Conferences (Part 2)

In my last post, I discussed five key insights I gleaned from attending both the Email Insider Summit (#mpeis) and the Email Evolution Conference  (#eec14) this winter.

Now, as promised, I’d like to focus specifically on what I heard regarding subject lines and how you can optimize them for maximum deliverability.

Here’s what the latest research shows:

  1. Personalization increases opens. For years now, I’ve seen study after study conclude that consumers want a more customized brand experience –and results announced at the conferences this winter were no different. That’s why solutions like Teradata’s Digital Messaging Center have become so essential for major brands around the world. Digital Messaging Center increases the rate of conversion for each messaging campaign because it allows you to send personalized dynamic content to maximize every digital consumer interaction. (Plus, it enables real-time content modifications by leveraging your enterprise data warehouse.)
  2. “Quirky” can work. A few brands are experimenting with off-beat subject lines –fewer than 10 characters, Unicode symbols, etc. –and in some cases, they’re having good success. However, from what I’ve seen, outcomes can vary considerably, so as always . . .
  3. You need to test, test, test. We all know that our customers are bombarded with marketing messages (and other digital distractions) 24/7, every day. If you want to cut through all that noise, don’t leave anything to chance. Test your subject lines. Track results. Learn what works –and what doesn’t –with the specific audiences you need to reach. Teradata Digital Messaging Center has an embedded feature called “Smart Stats” to help you do this.
  4. Avoid words that freak people out. No surprise here. Fewer and fewer consumers are responding to words like “alert” and “urgent.” (You’ll find other words to avoid in my earlier post, Dos And Don’ts For Email Subject Lines.)
  5. Consistency rules. I know I discussed consistency in my last post, but because it’s so important, I need to mention it again. Now that email is emerging as the “prime mover” (i.e., the place where many customers begin their path to purchase), you need to establish credibility and build trust with messages that are not only relevant, but also cohesive. Check and double-check to make sure your subject line relates to the body of email, that your email correlates to the information available at your website, and so on. Your goal should always be to create a great customer experience . . . and to do that, all touchpoints –whether online or offline –must be compelling, integrated and consistent.

This is the perfect time to take a careful look at your email strategy and identify areas in need of a spring cleaning.

What are the biggest email challenges you face? Please leave a comment below.