Subject Lines: Your Brand’s First – and Lasting – Impression

BY GREG ZAKOWICZ, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst, Oracle + Bronto

Subject lines are the first branding a consumer sees in email marketing campaigns. Consumers receive dozens – if not hundreds – of emails every day. What about a brand’s subject line is going to compel the consumer to open that particular email, click through and, ultimately, convert? The most effective subject lines are carefully crafted and tested before the email campaign is ever launched, but this takes time and resources that many marketers don’t have. Together, Bronto and Persado offer these marketers a solution through a superior email marketing platform with subject line prediction and testing capabilities.

Message in a Bottle

A marketing email could be the most brilliantly crafted, creative email ever sent, offering the recipient a free vacation to paradise. But if the subject line doesn’t compel the recipient to open, the campaign might as well be cast into the ocean. Ditto for the time, effort and expense that went into the campaign.

So, how can you craft a subject line that will persuade consumers to open? First, consider personalizing your messaging. Personalization helps consumers feel like a brand knows them – and their preferences – and has taken the time to send them something specific and individual.

Consumers are more likely to respond to a personalized subject line – and that’s not just marketing, it’s basic psychology. Using someone’s name can increase the meaning behind the message for the recipient. It can even increase engagement. If a message resonates with the consumer, s/he will not only be more likely to click through and convert the first time – s/he will also begin to look out for a brand in the future based on the strength of this personalization.

Related Content: Partner Spotlight: Oracle + Bronto

A/B: Y/N

One way to find out how a subject line will succeed is with A/B split testing. A/B split testing lets marketers try out different variations of subject lines by sending emails to randomly selected delivery groups. Marketers can then choose the most effective variation based on what they’re trying to achieve. This is a good way to test a single variable in subject lines, such as personalization or length. However, there are so many variables to consider, including different types of language and calls to action, that it can be time-consuming and ineffective to schedule multiple split tests and wait for the results. One way to eliminate the guesswork? Utilize artificial intelligence to predict the language that will compel consumers to click – before you even send an email.

Message: Received

Using Bronto and Persado, marketers can create email campaigns that encourage consumers to click. Or, let Persado suggest compelling language. Concerned it will sound off-brand? Brands can use their own language and let Persado predict which version will be more successful based on what’s performed best in past campaigns and in the campaigns of industry peers. When marketers can forecast the success of subject lines and get recommendations for the most compelling language to use, they can send confidently knowing that they are minimizing lost revenue and unsubscribes while building lasting relationships with customers.

Dive Deeper into Data

Want to learn more? Persado and Bronto are teaming up for a pair of webinars. UK and EU clients can tune in Thursday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. GMT for insights from Oracle + Bronto Partnerships Manager Karolina Michalak and Persado Corporate Account Executive Alyssa Marusarz. Sign up for a free education here.

The U.S. webinar is set for Thursday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT with Persado’s Elizabeth Adam, Bronto’s Greg Zakowicz and Lulu Press’ Digital Marketing Manager Lali Szumowski. Sign up for a free education here.

About the Author

Greg Zakowicz is a Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst at Oracle + Bronto, a leading cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform provider. With more than 12 years of experience in email, mobile and social media marketing, Zakowicz knows the retail industry and its challenges, staying on top of the latest trends by leveraging deep insight into the marketing spectrum. His subject matter expertise stems from his experience providing commerce marketers, including numerous Internet Retailer Top 1000 clients, with in-depth analysis of their marketing programs, recommendations for improvement, best practice support and implementation guidance and execution.

Get insights from him during the U.S. webinar Feb. 14.

You can follow him on Twitter at @WhatsGregDoing.