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Live from DMA2010: 4 Ways to Improve Email Now

October 11, 2010 By Ethan Boldt
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At this year's annual DMA show in scintillating San Francisco, I had to make a difficult decision at 11:15 a.m. on Monday. What session to attend? After all, there were literally 20 to (maddeningly) choose from at that exact time.  

Fortunately, I chose a dandy: "What's Working Now: Email, Online and Direct Marketing Programs," presented by Jay Schwedelson, president and CEO or Worldata. During the hour-long session, Schwedelson delivered the goods to the packed crowd. Here are 4 tips about effective email marketing that stood out during the session:

1. Groupon Your Marketing
Schwedelson said that this online outfit has already made billions in sales and that its model can change your marketing right now. Their "deal of the day" email message is good for the day only, and because there's a limited time to purchase these deals, it always sells out each day. "People will buy almost anything if they think they can't get it some point in time," explains Schwedelson.

2. Create Sense of Urgency
Put a date in the subject line and you get a 29 percent higher open rate than emails without a date, according to Worldata research. In B-to-B emails, you get a 24 percent higher open rate.

Schwedelson gave these four subject lines as examples of "urgent emails":

  • 2 days until offer expires
  • Registration expires today
  • Last chance to save
  • Free webinar on Nov. 11

3. Make It "Exclusive"
There's a reason Facebook worked and MySpace didn't (or isn't). It's exclusivity. People want to be part of the "in" crowd; it's instinctive. "Driving response on the Web is about creating that exclusive sense," states Schwedelson, who says that's why the word "exclusive" appears in millions of subject lines and results in 24 percent higher open rates than emails without that precious word.

Snippets of "exclusive" email subject lines include "for Insiders," "private event," "select customers," "for 2 days only," "free shipping ends tonight" and "exclusive secret sale."

4. Email Early in the Day
Groupon sends their daily email between 5 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. Schwedelson says that data shows 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. is the best time, but then the open rate goes down for the rest of the day. He says, "You are better off going on a day that's not good for you than a time that's not good for you!"


 

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