By Author Mark Binns

How To Write Effective Email Subject Lines

What comes first? The content or the subject line?

Ok yes, you got me there. Of course you should come up with the content first, but your subject lines should never be an afterthought you tack on after you’ve already written the rest of the email. Even if you’ve crafted the most engaging content ever, it will never see the light of day if it’s hidden behind a terrible subject line.

Across all industries, the average marketing email open rate in 2017 is 21.8%. What’s more, 47% of recipients open the email purely based on the subject line. You might cry, “Don’t judge an email by its subject line” but nearly half of your email recipients are doing just that.

Think of email subject lines like article headlines. How can you seize someone’s attention and sum up your content in just a few words. What will get you the most opens?

As certified Dotmailer partners, acidgreen have compiled a foolproof set of email marketing tips that will save your campaigns from a quick trip to the trash. So, if you want to see those open rates really fly high, read on!

Be Brand Consistent

All marketing efforts are an extension of your brand and your email subject line is no different. Before setting pen to paper, or fingers to your keyboard as it may be, reflect on your brand’s positioning, its overall goals and your target audience.

Even if this one line is the only thing that’s going to be read of your email, you want to make sure that you’re sending the right message.

First impressions last, so you want to start on the right foot with the recipients on your mailing list.

Communicate the Benefits

Each one of your email campaigns should contain content that is useful for the reader, and the subject line is where you communicate the benefit the recipient will receive by opening the email and giving you their time.

Whether your campaign is centred around welcoming new subscribers, an upcoming sale, or presenting useful information, the topic should be evident in the subject line so people know what to expect within the campaign.

Of course you can always put a creative twist on this. For example, an email subject line posing an open-ended question like “Is dark chocolate actually good for you?” is a great way to catch a recipient’s attention with the promise of more information once they open the email.

Having said this, always remember to avoid making false promises in your subject lines just to increase your opens as this is a surefire way to lose the trust of your audience.

Timing is Everything

How many Christmas-related emails do you think you’ll receive this season? We’re dreading the assault on our inboxes already but these emails work for a reason. Timing is highly correlated with relevancy.

Staying up to date with trending topics in your industry or even those in wider popular culture and incorporating mentions of these into your email subject lines is an effective way to stay relevant with your recipients.

Whether you like it or not, discounts and deals are one of the main reasons why consumers sign up for company mailing lists. You don’t want to fall into the trap of your recipients being accustomed to constant sales but if used sparingly, announcing a time-sensitive sale via email is a great way to increase email opens and clicks. You can further add to the sense of urgency within the campaign by incorporating a countdown timer.

Cutting down to the wire, sending the right email at the exact right moment can be the best catalyst for action. For example, an email at 3:00PM on a weekday with the subject line “Get food delivered straight to your office right now!” will be opened faster than you can say “afternoon munchies”.

Add that Personal Touch with Segments

Speaking of relevancy, personalisation is the best way to do it.

Personalisation is all about making the recipient feel understood and special. Using someone’s name in the email subject line was a cool party trick once but now it’s just the baseline.

You wouldn’t send the same texts to your mates and your grandma, so in the same vein, why would you mass send the same subject line to your whole mailing list? With Dotmailer’s dynamic content features, you can create targeted subject lines based on custom segments.

Contact and order data that you’ve captured including someone’s age, location, past orders, level of engagement with previous campaigns and more, should be factored in to help you write a more relevant subject line or even decide whether they should receive this email at all.

Personalise your email subject lines

 

The Medium is the Message

The devices and email clients that your recipients are using will affect the length of the subject line shown. In general, mobile phones in portrait mode show the least number of characters while desktop email clients allow you more space to exercise your creativity.

Dotmailer’s campaign reports provide a breakdown of how your recipients accessed your emails, so you should take this into consideration when crafting your subject line.

While there is no ideal subject line length that will suit all campaigns, studies have found that subject lines between 6-10 words have the highest open rate.

As such, it is important to keep your email subject lines concise and convey any pertinent information towards the start.

Emojis😍😍

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an emoji is worth 💯 characters.

Nowadays, you can’t get through the day without seeing an emoji and that’s because they’re a uniquely eye-catching and succinct way to convey a message.

Especially if your mailing list skews towards the younger generation, communicating with them through the visual language of emojis is a highly effective way to emphasise a concept or tell a story.

Are you an eCommerce company promoting a certain product with your email campaign? Feature a graphical depiction of that product in the subject line! There’s new emojis released every year so take the time to find the perfect one for your campaign.

Keep in mind that emojis display differently in different email clients which can change the tone of your message so always remember to test your campaign before hitting send.

Numbers are your Friend

Every businessperson worth their salt knows the value of solid figures and statistics when it comes down to the decision making process, so why would it be any different when a recipient is trying to decide whether or not to open your email?

Article headlines utilising specific numbers are proven to be effective and the same is true in email subject lines.

Including a piece of data in your subject line sets the recipient’s expectations of the email’s contents.

Compare these examples:

  • 5 steps to increasing your email open rates
  • 50 ways to improve your email content

A low number suggests a simple and straightforward process while a larger number indicates a detailed series of information. Either way, numbers lend you a sense of authority on the subject matter and leave a positive impression on the reader.

Numbers make for effective email subject lines
Source: https://zurb.com/playground/testsubject

Match the Tone to the Contents

As the blurbs to your email body content, your subject lines should complement the information inside. If you have an important company announcement to make, you don’t want to sound flippant in the subject line and have people ignore it.

Building on this, transactional emails receive 8 times more open and clicks compared to other types of emails, and as such the subject lines of these emails should clearly indicate the automated and functional nature of the contents.

For your marketing emails, you can have more fun.

Laughter is the best medicine so if it’s on brand, a humourous email subject line is always going to be received well. Everyone loves a good pun so take the time to come up with a creative one and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

When special events and celebrations roll around, emotions are heightened so it’s a perfect time for an enterprising marketer to capitalise on those. For example, charming and sweet subject lines work best around Valentine’s Day and you can throw in a few heart emojis for good measure.

Don’t Feed the Spam Filter

Ah, every email marketer’s greatest enemy. The junk mail folder.

Attention-grabbing for all the wrong reasons, email subject lines IN ALL CAPS or with an overdose of exclamation marks can be fatal!!!!!!!!!

Even if they do pass email client spam filters, they’ll likely be seen as spam by the human recipients and worse than going to junk mail, such behaviour could very easily encourage people to unsubscribe from your mailing list once and for all.

Dotmailer offers an inbox and spam filter test through Litmus to help you optimise your campaign but you can perform a preliminary check for yourself through avoiding spammy keywords.

Use Action-Oriented Verbs

The whole purpose of your subject line is to grab the attention of the recipient enough that it encourages them to take action and open the email.

Starting your email subject line with strong action verbs instills a greater urgency in the reader.

Compare the pair:

  • These tips will help you stand out in your next job interview
  • Stand out in your next job interview with these tips

The second subject line has you excited and galvanised for a reason! Sometimes, a simple rewording can be all it takes to boost opens.

Don’t Forget to Test

The last step is certainly not the least!

So you’ve followed all the steps and come up with what you think is the best subject line for your email campaign. But do your recipients think the same?

If there’s one step you can’t afford to skip, it’s this. There’s no harm in testing your subject lines. Dotmailer’s split testing functionality allows you to test multiple subject lines for each campaign so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

It might be as straightforward as adding an emoji or changing the length of your subject lines that really makes a difference to your open rate – you won’t know unless you try!

Over time, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the types of email subject lines that your recipients best respond to.

Bonus Tips!

 

Preheader Text

Often email clients will show a snippet of preheader text after the subject line, which they’ve drawn from the first fragment of text within your email campaign.

Hands up if you’ve ever used this to screen an email. We’re all guilty.

This is a prime opportunity to supplement the message in your subject line with extra information to entice someone to open your campaign.

Rather than thinking of them as two separate elements, using the subject line and preheader text together to communicate a message makes it immensely more effective.

Optimise your from name, email subject line and preheader text

Friendly From Name

If you’ve taken the time to perfect your email from the subject line, to the content, down to the last pixel in the template, you want to make sure you receive all the credit for that.

Before you hit send, check that your brand name, or individual name with your company or job title, is set as the friendly from name.

And that’s it!

These are our tried and tested tips for optimising your email subject lines.

Once you’ve gotten someone past the initial hurdle of opening your email, now your next objective is to captivate them with the content that you’ve teased in the subject line.

Want more help to craft email campaigns which actually convert? Contact acidgreen and benefit from the experience of certified Dotmailer professionals today!

_____

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency  specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitteror give us a call to learn more about our services.

By Author admin

Ecommerce Automation’s Champion: Shopify Flow

Shopify Flow gives Shopify Plus merchants the power to do more with less. How? With the power of ecommerce automation.

Bill Gates emphasises the importance of automation in a business setting adequately,

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

Many merchants struggle to find the balance between efficiency and operational costs. Particularly for start-ups, you can find yourself spending more time on urgent tasks rather than spending time on important tasks.

Put simply, there’s no time to calmly prioritise.

That’s why ecommerce automation software has become increasingly popular over the years. However, in the past we have seen this provided by third party systems, that whilst independently work extremely effectively, when integrated with non-native software they sometimes deem themselves too complex. And complexity results in more time.

Thankfully, Shopify Plus users can now integrate a native system known as, Shopify Flow.

Shopify_Flow_ecommerce_automation

It’s Shopify Plus’ own, embedded ecommerce automation platform that manages a series of processes, tools and technologies that gives merchants the ability to execute tasks with speed and agility, which is essential for business adaption and expansion.

Shopify Flow uses a 3-step visual workflow builder that automates tasks without the hassle of added coding or development. So, merchants no longer have to compete with time consuming and repetitive demands that end up becoming business growth roadblocks.

Shopify Flow In Practice

Now we’ve outlined the benefits, let’s do a quick breakdown of its core features.

What does Shopify Flow enable merchants to do?

The ecommerce automation software uses trigger-condition-action logic to automate processes. For starters, merchants can schedule sales i.e price changes and promotions with a predetermined time period.

Shopify Flow_Ecommerce_automation

Source: Shopify, ‘What Is Ecommerce Automation? The Future of Scaling Your Business Is About Freeing Your Time for What Matters Most’

Using Shopify Flow, they can also:

  • Bulk load new products and publish them to all sales channels simultaneously.
  • Tag high-value customers and notify customer service to send personalized messages.
  • Identify, tag and segment customers who have purchased from specific sales channels e.g. Facebook, eBay, Pinterest & more.
  • Release and remove entire site theme changes for seasonal promotions or product drops.
  • Notify your customer service team when a high-value order is created (to send out a personal thank you gift).
  • Track customers who have performed any unordinary or alarming behaviour.

Shopify Flow also allows users to automatically remove out-of-stock products from store view/sales channels. It can then send a Slack message or email to your marketing team so they know to pause any product-specific advertising. What’s more, it can also automatically initiate product reorders with vendors when inventory goes out of stock.

Dynamic Checkout Functionality

The ecommerce automation software gives merchants the ability to adjust prices at the checkout stage based on user’s product combinations as well as quantity or customer location and/or device.

This can also be achieved for loyalty members i.e. if you would like to apply a discount or specialised shipping rule to these identified customers.

Ecommerce Automation: The Key To Growth

The three main keys to growth are finding a way to save time and money, and most importantly, working out the key to selling more. However, if not executed correctly, selling more can be a business’ fall from grace. Particularly if the merchant hasn’t scaled properly. Plus, hiring extra staff can be costly.

With the integration of Shopify Flow, merchants don’t have to offload tasks to new staff; you and your team still do the job yourselves, it will just take you one tenth of the time.

shopify_flow_ecommerce_automationSource: Shopify, ‘What Is Ecommerce Automation? The Future of Scaling Your Business Is About Freeing Your Time for What Matters Most’

This ecommerce automation platform by Shopify is the first of its kind that reduces manual tasks to inevitably free your entire organisation so you/they can focus on what actually matters. It will simplify both front-end and back-end workflows as well as remove the disjointed patchwork of multiple, disconnected apps.

Shopify Flow can also be integrated with other automation tools such as, Launchpad (for scheduling, preloading and monitoring events) and Shopify Scripts (adds automatic discounts, relevant payment methods and custom shipping options).

Simplicity At Its Finest

Enabling Shopify Flow will mean standardising your visual merchandising.

What’s the best thing about Shopify Flow?

It’s all presented in a simple visual builder where you specify the triggers, conditions and actions which are then stored and executed – no additional coding necessary.

What does this mean?

This means you can streamline tracking and reporting, put a stop to any high-risk orders and most importantly (to marketers, anyway), segment customers by pre-created tags.

To sum it up neatly, its main aim is to offload the complexity and repetitive nature that high-volume ecommerce demands.

Who Benefits Most From Shopify Flow?

The fact is, there is no one type or size of organisation or business that will benefit most from Shopify Flow. Ecommerce automation welcomes diversity, no matter how big or established your online store is, we all have hundreds if not thousands of tasks that are seemingly minute and yet always take us at least five minutes of our time… every day.

Shopify Flow also sees its best results when it is integrated across interconnected roles and departments within an organisation. This includes:

  • Operational managers
  • Customer service
  • Fraud prevention
  • Marketing & advertising
  • Web development & design

Enabling an ecommerce automation platform like Shopify Flow means you and your employers can invest time into what you’re/they’re good at i.e what they were actually hired for; experimentation, creative endeavours, product iteration, sales and marketing, as well as personal and business development.

For more information regarding Shopify Flow or Shopify Plus, contact acidgreen today. We’re your trusted Shopify Plus Experts, with over 17 years of digital commerce experience; we help merchants achieve their KPIs as well as aid online business growth. We’ll cater to your unique requirements and guide you in a direction that’s right for your business.

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency  specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.

By Author Eloise Edstein

10 Steps To Optimising Your Website Landing Page

A website landing page is not an unfamiliar term in the realm of digital marketing and digital commerce. Many of us have utilised landing pages in the past, particularly for online marketing campaigns. After all, it is a great, proven lead generation tool.

However, many of us have also done a pretty lacklustre job at it.

It’s not just as simple as creating a page, throwing some design and content inside it and hoping for the best. Believe it or not, creating a successful website landing page takes some serious research and optimisation implementation tactics.

With inspiration from Dotmailer’s Landing Pages Best Practice Guide, acidgreen (your full service digital commerce agency) have put together 10 of the most important steps to creating a successful website landing page.

We’ve even provided a fun, succinct infographic for you to download, save and refer back to at your leisure. 

So without further ado, here are the 10 steps to creating a successful website landing page design:

website landing page

1. Clear USP/Headline

This is your first chance to engage the consumer. A successful headline comes from having a well-developed creative brief that has a clear, definitive unique selling point (USP).

Ask yourself,

“What is the cannot-live-without feature of my product/service that my competitors can’t or haven’t offered? Why can it add supreme value to their lives?”

Study what you’re selling. Perform some serious personal introspection and discover why you would want to buy the product/service.

Underline the interest and then put it in bold. Make it powerful and lay out your positioning.

Additionally, it’s always good to have your headline backed by a solid secondary headline – let there be no uncertainty or confusion experienced by the consumer.

2. Be Visual

What’s that old saying – “A picture is worth a thousand words”?

It may be old but it is certainly not irrelevant. According to Wyzowl, people only remember 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear. However, when it comes to visual content (whether it be an image or a video) people retain up to 80% of what they see.

Moreover, Brainrules reports that if text/copy is paired with an image, people remember 65% of the information 3 days later. That’s a stat you don’t want to shy away from.

That’s why it’s imperative to have some visual content if you want to have a well-performing website landing page. And don’t bother wasting time and money on a hundred different image designs, you only need one really good one.

Your chosen image (or video) should be big, it should be bold, and it should be clear.

Use design and colours that are consistent with your brand.

Maybe we can appropriate that saying a little bit here – “A picture is worth a thousand leads”.

3. Highlight the Benefits

If your viewers have made it this far they don’t want to hear about the features again, they want to know the benefits. Repeat the following mantra, “value, value, value”. Throw another, “value” in there for good measure. Your aim is to help the consumer along the conversion funnel. Don’t be afraid to be really specific here, either. This is where the consumer is going to decide whether your service is more beneficial or valuable than one of your competitors.

Adding an emotional touch will also urge your user to take action. Emphasise how, by purchasing your product/service, you will take away their pain and add significant gain.

This emotional component is what will push the user to reach out, and ignoring this step will mean the downfall of your campaign.

4. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience means keeping it relevant to your customer segment. Landing pages are usually created as an extension of an online marketing campaign e.g. PPC or email marketing. This means, if the campaign is well researched, you have a very good idea of exactly who your customers are; whether it’s a csv of your email contact list, a remarketing list or in-market/affinity audience.

The advantage of this is that you know exactly how to appeal to them. Why? Because you’ve looked at past consumer behaviour reports and you understand exactly how, why and what your audience likes and also, (more importantly) how they shop.

Consequently, your design, copy and UX should be catered specifically for your targeted  audience. Include messaging that resonates with them on a personal level.

5. Exploit Testimonials

If you’re a half-decent business in 2017 then there’s no doubt that you’ve accumulated some positive reviews – whether it be directly, on your site, on social media or on the search network, they exist. However, they’re not doing you any good if you’re not putting them to good use.

Placing customer testimonials on your website landing page will motivate and reassure users that you are a trustworthy, reliable merchant; they’re added encouragement that will  persuade your users to convert.

6. Encourage Immediacy

Scarcity tactics are a proven success. This is also contemporarily referred to as the ‘FOMO’ strategy, otherwise known as, ‘fear of missing out’.

Emphasise a limited supply of your product offering, limited time for your offer, or a limited number on offer.

We’ve provided a few examples to help you along:

  • Don’t Miss Out
  • The Countdown Is On
  • Only X Days Left
  • Only X Products Left In-Stock
  • Limited Supply
  • Hurry! While Stock Lasts

Adding marketing tools such as a countdown timer will also enhance the effect.

7. Outline  the CTAs

Make sure your call-to-actions are clear and your customers know exactly what to do next. An uncomplicated CTA is more crucial on a website landing page than it is on a website or email. You want your audience to be able to get in touch with you via means that best suits them.

You can then have your secondary CTAs at the footer of your website landing page to capture those users who do actually decide to journey to the bottom.

Three important considerations:

  • CTA wording
  • Position
  • Buttons

    8. Transparency

    This step coincides directly with the one above and where you can focus on the single objective/action for the reader. Incorporate a CTA button that stands out on the page and ensure it is above the fold.

    You want your website landing page to be easy to navigate. Keep it free of too much information or clutter – take advantage of whitespace to direct your consumers to your prospects/offers.

    Moreover, use complementary and contrasting colour schemes to help make your page more appealing, i.e. put your CTA button in a contrasting colour.

    9. Mobile First

    It shouldn’t have to be said, but we’ve included it anyway. Why? Because the mobile now represents 60% of all digital media time and 31% of customers use their mobiles as their main device to click-through and buy online.

    Even more than that, if your users are being sent to your landing page via an email campaign, there is more than a 56% chance they are coming from a mobile. There’s absolutely no point in setting up a brilliant mobile-friendly email campaign if the destination URL isn’t mobile-functional.

    10. A/B Testing

    It goes without saying, no website landing page should be deployed without serious, thorough testing. This can be best achieved by split testing the performance – trying different variations of headlines and CTA text and testing it on multiple browsers.

    The most valuable marketing strategy is the one that’s proven to drive ROI. 2017’s consumer is a tech-wizard constantly looking for a perfect brand interaction, and they’re aware their data is priceless.

    Consumers are no longer just comparing you with your immediate competitors. They’re comparing you with the best experience they’ve ever had online. For this reason, it is essential to ensure you are following best practices.

    Now You’re Ready to Optimise Your Website Landing Page

    “Landing pages are the keystone of lead generation” – Bizibl Marketing.

    Creating an optimized website landing page will act as a consistent facilitation of critical conversions, such as: direct online purchases, mailing list sign-up and data input. It is the most effective web tool to drive your desired audience to take an action. Not to mention, it enables online businesses access to deeper customer insight.

    Still not confident about optimizing your landing pages to generate and convert leads? Or, just not sure where to start? Not to worry, because acidgreen is your trusted, multi-award winning full service digital commerce agency.

    We’re experts at designing, building, integrating, optimising and marketing amazing ecommerce websites, that includes your ideal campaign landing page. Contact us today for free, friendly advice. We look forward to hearing from you.

    acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency  specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitteror give us a call to learn more about our services.