Conquering the E-Mail Test (1,116 words)
• Make sure to test several subject lines. Oftentimes, the subject lines that you think will pull the worst pull the best. Don't give away the story and never bait and switch. Write it like an envelope teaser, only more aggressively. Make sure to be brief—people make their decision after
Reading Only 24 to 35 Characters.
• If you are sponsoring a newsletter, make sure to ask for multiple placements in the beginning of the e-mail, in the middle and at the end. Make sure to use a tagline that tells what your company does in five to seven words. And always ask for editorial placements to back up your pitch.
• Test format, source, subject line, list and selects, offer, length, copy, HTML, timing and response.
—Amy Africa, president, Creative Results
On E-mail Copy
• Assume the reader is in a rush, and organize copy accordingly.
• Make sure your message makes three or four "first impressions" right off the bat.
• Be certain there's a so-called "dual value exchange" at work; the reader should find the content relevant and worthwhile.
• Take advantage of the medium's dynamic nature. Test exciting new features such as personalized audio streaming.
—Jim Hoffman, CEO and co-founder, Bigfoot Interactive
Tricks of the Trade
• Refer-a-friend e-mail programs are the new wave in online viral marketing. Just be sure you ask for the registrant's name so that her friend knows where the message is coming from.
• Delivering specially formatted messages to AOL users will allow links to be clickable and inevitably lead to a higher response rate.
—Jay Schwedelson, corporate vice president, Worldata
• Left-justify everything in the body copy unless you really know about tabs. Don't try to be an ASCII-artist. Make sure your signature file stands out from the rest of the e-mail.