Editorial note: Our friends over at Marketing Sherpa had the cool idea of running an email subject line contest, and we couldn’t resist joining in.
The contest is now closed for new entries — thanks to everyone who participated! Read the post and comments and see if you can pick the winner — then find out who won here.
Subject lines are by far the easiest element of your email marketing to test.
Heck, they’re probably the easiest copywriting element to test, period.
And it’s a good thing too: there’s a lot you can learn about your audience from testing subject lines.
A well-run test can tell you:
- What elements of your offer are most appealing?
- Do you have to offer an incentive to get your customers to take even a basic action?
- If so, what incentive works best?
But here’s another thing about subject line testing … sometimes you just hit a wall.
To quote The Barenaked Ladies, sometimes you just feel like, “It’s all been done.”
How do you break through this wall?
As a solo act — an individual copywriter or marketer writing subject lines — sometimes you simply run out of ways to rearrange those few characters in that small space.
At times like this, you need to reach out and get fresh ideas to test and push the envelope. For instance, what kinds of ideas can folks like these give you?
- Customer Service
- Your marketing peers within (and outside) your company
- Your audience
We’ve written a lot (and I mean a lot) of subject lines, and we’re taking a small part in looking for a truly fresh perspective for an upcoming Marketing Sherpa email about the Optimization Summit 2012 in Denver.
We’re asking you to join us in this little subject line writing competition, and we’ll make it worth your while.
The winning subject line in our test will receive a free ticket to Optimization Summit 2012 plus a free MarketingExperiments Landing Page Optimization Online Course.
That’s $1,900 worth of stuff. (See, we told you it was awesome.)
Here’s how you can enter the contest …
Just enter the subject line you think will receive the most clickthroughs in the comments below.
(We measure success by clickthroughs, not open rates.) The research question for this test is “Which subject line will produce the highest clickthrough rate?”
The only variable in the test will be the subject line.
The email copy, offer, and everything else will stay exactly the same, so this is a single-factor test. Read the body of the email message below to get the entire picture …
Here’s the email
Subject Line — That’s up to you 😉
Once visitors reach your landing pages, do they have a clear understanding of what they should do next?
Only through testing will you know for sure.
Whether it’s to get more information, download a white paper or register for an event, it should be very clear to your audience what the next step should be.
The challenge isn’t testing. The challenge is discovering what changes to test.
Join us for Optimization Summit 2012, where our industry experts will teach you how and what to test.
Over the course of four days you’ll discover exactly what you need to change on your key landing pages from your ecommerce, subscription, or lead-gen paths.
We’ve assembled a team of industry experts that can help you with your unique set of circumstances. Although the general sessions and pre-summit workshop will be very informative, there is nothing quite like advice that is tailored to your specific situation. That’s where our one-to-one coaching clinics come in.
This is your chance to get one-to-one advice on:
- Metric & Analytics Setup
- Test Validity
- Value Proposition
- Metric & Analytics Interpretation
- Conversion Optimization
- Test Setup
Click here to watch a short video clip highlighting Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, one of our keynote speakers, discussing how you can optimize your landing pages for maximum conversion.
Our goal is for every one of our attendees to leave the Summit armed with great ideas and answers to their most pressing optimization questions.
Looking for more information? Visit the Optimization Summit 2012 website to get more information on the agenda, location and reasons to attend.
Early Bird Special Ends 4/30: Reserve your ticket and save $300.00.
We look forward to seeing you and your peers in Denver.
Todd Lebo , Senior Director of Content & Business Development , MarketingSherpa
P.S. Interested in bringing your entire team? Groups of three or more can save 25% off the cost of their tickets.
Meet the judges
Nathan Thompson, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS will pick the three subject lines he thinks will get the highest clickthrough rate based on his extensive testing experience.
Brian Clark and Sonia Simone will also pick their three favorite submissions from the comments here on Copyblogger to include as treatments in the test.
But the ultimate judge will be the customer. Whichever selected subject line receives the most customer response will win.
And, even if you don’t win, you can show the world your mad persuasive copy skills by entering your submission in the comments section below.
So just drop your very best subject line for the email above in the comments section of this post by Wednesday, March 28th, at midnight Eastern Daylight Time.
Good luck. And may the best subject line win 😉
Note: Submitting a comment with a subject line on this blog post constitues acceptance of the terms and conditions of this contest.
Post image by Land of the Lost
PS. Check out these related resources …
If you want to brush up your subject line chops, here are some resources that can help.