Here’s a question for you – what is it that makes someone open a marketing email?
Conventional wisdom, and this recent article in ClickZ, takes it as given that it’s a good subject line.
In fact, so accepted has this become that the ClickZ article opens with the line
“If a subject line is low quality, it will achieve a poor open rate, so it’s really important to get it right.”
No empirical evidence, no independent comment. It’s just… well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?
Tragically, though, I spend more time than most alone – and therefore occasionally engage in independent thought.
And, post ClickZ article, I started thinking…
What if, when assessing the factors affecting open rates, the subject line plays second fiddle to a much more influential variable? What if the thing that really gets your email opened is – wait for is – the sender?
I should say that, like the Clickz writer, I haven’t even bothered to search the web to come up with a one-sided case supporting my hunch.
But I can’t help but think this’d have important ramifications. Namely, as opposed to sending relentless promotional offers to an audience not ready to buy, helpful emails would be sent bolstering sender credibility.
And we’d stop sweating over whether sending ‘20% off EVERYTHING’ would outperform ‘20% off ANYTHING’, and we’d start sending emails people look forward to opening – much like direct marketing sage Drayton Bird preaches.
Of course, we’d tag a quick promotional line towards the end:
In need of a copywriter to get more from your marketing? Contact me now – my copy pays for itself and comes guaranteed.