Email marketing is a marketing channel that is widely used and almost as widely frowned upon as many people think of Spam as email marketing. Spam is a form of email marketing where the Spam gets sent to users email addresses, however I like to think of Spam as the quick and dirty cousin of a true email marketing campaign. Spam email has a very bad rap–well deserved for its shameless promotion of questionable products or services some of which seems to smell bad from the subject line alone without even looking at the email.
Email marketing has been around almost as long as emails themselves and have experienced the good the bad and the ugly and everything in between. Email Marketing has had to go through major overhauls with the CAN Spam Acts of 2003 and again updated in 2008 setting down the law. So the question is: why keep using email as a marketing channel? The answer is quite simple–it works. In the book “Internet Marketing: A Practical Approach” it stated that about 21% of adults have responded to direct email marketing. So it makes sense that if it works don’t fix it.
With smartphones everywhere and more and more people using them for more and more everyday, it makes sense to keep using email to communicate with customers and potential customers. However just sending out any old email will not get you much. Email marketing today is targeted, direct and customized to the brand, customer demographics and reason for the communication. To be effective in email, marketing every step of the way needs to be done with knowledge and care. In this paper we are going to look at the Subject line.
The subject line is the headline used to get the attention of your target audience and get them to open the email. It is a big step and should be done with care. Good copy, the reason for the email, to whom it is addressed and what the expected action is desired all need to be looked at when creating a subject line. Let’s take a look at these points for two variation of a subject line that I created for a fictitious company Laptops For You or Laptops 4 You as I call them.
For the actual copy of the subject line I took a few key drivers from the book “Email Marketing: An Hour A Day” by Jeanniey Mullen and David Daniels. The ones that I tried to incorporate are:
• Keep it short: Around 50 characters
• Convey urgency and importance
• Reinforce the brand
• Don’t use capital letters
Using they principals I came up with the following two variations:
Classes start Soon: 20% of select items for college students from Laptops 4 You!
At Laptops 4 You get 20% of your select items for all your college needs!
Working with a company like Laptops 4 You that sales laptops and other computer accessories the reason for the email is to let past and potential customers know about current product offers to sale more laptops.
These two variations of a subject line are targeted to college students a consumer segment looking to purchase a computer for schoolwork, social and entertainment uses. Taking a look at enrollment projects for the 2012 school year as reported on the National Center For Education Statistics showed that a record 21.6 million students were expected to attend either a 2 or 4-year college. The report also showed that females were expected to make up over half the students with 12.3 million to enroll. Looking at this data and the growing use of computers by college students this is a good consumer segment to target.
Now let’s look at the financial picture of the average college student. In an article by Leyla Norman a contributor eHow money in regards to the average students income it around $14,400. The article also stated that students make up the rest of their financial needs through student aid and parental help. What does this mean? The average college student does not have a lot of money to spend and needs to find ways to save money. Back to school specials are an annual marketing campaign across the US and as such a back to school offer of 20% for college students is direct and something that would be of interest to our target audience. Having 20% off special listed on the subject line is indented to grab the attention of college students and have them open the email to learn more.
In conclusion by knowing why you are sending an email, knowing who you audience is and what you want them to do are all key factors that need to be addressed before starting a subject line for any email marketing campaign. Knowing these things will help give your email campaign the best chance of success.
“Internet Marketing: A Practical Approach” by Alan Charlesworth published by Butterworth-Heinemann in 2009
“Email Marketing: An Hour A Day” by Jeanniey Mullen and David Daniels.
Fast Facts for Back to school statistics posted on the National Center For Education Statistics website (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372)
“What Is the Average College Student’s Income?” by Leyla Norman posted on eHow (http://www.ehow.com/info_7934153_average-college-students-income.html)