Posts Tagged ‘subject line test’

Lead Generation: Capturing more leads with clear value prop communication

October 3rd, 2013

According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, 51% of marketers surveyed indicated the most effective platform for testing their value proposition was through email marketing campaigns.

This is no secret to savvy marketers. Austin McCraw, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, also discussed how to discover the essence of your value prop through email at Email Summit 2013.

Jon Ciampi, Vice President of Marketing, CRC Health, did just that and revealed his strategy at Lead Gen Summit 2013, happening right now in San Francisco.

In his session, “Lead Capture: How a healthcare company increased demand for services 300%,” Jon shared with the Summit audience how understanding customer motivations, driving traffic, and clearly communicating the value proposition all helped his company capture a higher quality of leads.

At CRC Health, Jon developed nine value propositions, and broke that list down into problem- and solution-focused messages. He combined the company’s in-house list with a purchased list consisting of psychiatrists and therapists who refer their patients to CRC Health. Then, the team crafted email subject lines reflecting the different value propositions to test where the customer was in regard to researching the problem, or looking for a solution.

Through testing, Jon discovered a 14.49% clickthrough rate in the top-performing subject line, and this was problem-focused messaging rather than solution-focused messaging. For CRC Health, the process of searching for a rehabilitation center is most likely a first-time experience for customers. Therefore, understanding that these prospects are looking for different options related to their problem, rather than immediately solving the issue, was extremely important to targeting their needs. 


“What we found is with rehab, everyone is focused on the problem. With our in-house list, patient-focused messages were more motivating and increased clickthrough rates,” Jon said.

Even though he made a breakthrough with testing value propositions through email, he did encounter the fact that one size does not fit all, particularly with his audience, and even more specifically with a purchased list.

For psychiatrists opening CRC Health sends, their top message for open and CTR was scientific-based. The subject lines and topics that most resonated with this segment were “improving addiction treatment with science and research,” “outdated addiction treatments fail patients,” and “CRC Health as the strongest clinical supervision in the nation.”

However, the audience that preferred more relationship-based messages was therapists. Messages like “Treatment fails when therapists & clients aren’t aligned,” and “Most rehabs can’t provide effective clinical supervision” were the top performers for this segment of CRC Health’s audience.

“Overall, self-serving messages performed far worse than patient-focused messages. Patient-oriented problem statements motivated them as well,” Jon said.

Through value prop testing with his audience via email messaging, Jon learned much more about his audience and their motivations.

As an exciting result of value proposition testing, he discovered a 3x to 4x increase in demand for services. According to Jon, when testing began, both inquiries and admissions increased.

“One of the top things I learned is to look at funnel. What are the motivations of your customers? … Also, understand their language. Different buyers with different perspectives will affect how your messages are interpreted,” Jon concluded.

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Conversion Optimization: The MarketingExperiments year in review

December 28th, 2012

In last year’s wrap-up on the MarketingExperiments blog, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, and Paul Cheney, Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, shared the most-tweeted articles from 2011.

This year, Daniel and Paul have been gracious enough to hand me the reigns for our year-end review, and I decided to do something a little different …

Today’s MarketingExperiments blog post is crammed full of the posts and Web clinics you found most helpful over the last year.

And if that isn’t enough, we’re sprinkling in a few extra posts that some of the MarketingExperiments contributors selected as recommended reads in case you missed them.

Our goal for putting this massive amount of content into one location is that it will hopefully serve you as a quick reference guide that aids your testing and optimization efforts in the year ahead.

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Promise vs. Intrigue: What is the most effective way to word a subject line?

December 14th, 2012

I could have made the title of this blog post, “Subject Line Testing: How we achieved a 48% lift from a split test.”

That is the challenge you face with your subject lines, as well. Should you make a promise? Or should you intrigue your audience? This is a perfect opportunity for you to do a little A/B testing and to see what resonates most … which we did recently for a MarketingExperiments Web clinic invite.

This was a single variable, A/B/C split test, with the only variable being the subject line. One “promise” subject line was tested against two “intrigue” subject lines.



“We created two subject lines that were intrigue based. One was a question, and one was more of an intriguing statement,” said Paul Cheney, Editorial Analyst, MECLABS.  “We wanted to narrow down what makes people more intrigued. Is it more of a question or more of a statement?”

Subject Line Treatment A (promise) – How to Effectively Use Color on a Website

Subject Line Treatment B (intrigue) – Are Your Website Colors Hurting Conversion?

Subject Line Treatment C (intrigue) – 5 Horrifying Mistakes Designers Make With Color

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Email Marketing: Questions about subject line length, differentiating alert emails, and multivariate testing

December 5th, 2012

In the MECLABS editorial content department, our goal is to help you do your job better. One way we can do that is by answering your questions. And for tomorrow’s MarketingSherpa webinar (sponsored by ReturnPath) – “Email Marketing: 3 Tips for Producing Engaging Email Content” – we have received a plethora of questions.

While Courtney Eckerle, Reporter, MECLABS, and I will try to answer as many of your questions as possible in the hour-long webinar, I wanted to answer a few testing-related questions in today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, as well …


Looking for tips on appropriate subject line and message length – my emails all tend to be too LONG! We’re in B2B sending emails to HR professionals.

My biggest question back to you is … how do you know they’re too long? Essentially, how do you know they are not the optimal length?

I would suggest testing subject line and message length with your audience. The results might surprise you.

For example, we found in an email test to a B2B audience where the longer subject line actually generated 8.2% more opens than the shorter subject line.

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Value Prop Testing: 17% increase in open rate from a subject line test

November 9th, 2012

What started as a little humor added to a reminder email about an upcoming split test became a learning experience on testing value proposition and discovering opportunities for optimization.


Click to enlarge


In today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’ll share the results of our experiment and what we learned from putting these contenders to the test.

First, let’s get a little background on the test design.

The idea for this test came from a brainstorming session between Paul Cheney, Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, and Austin McCraw, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS. The goal for Paul and Austin was to discover which segments of the value proposition for MarketingExperiments Web clinics have the greatest appeal and where opportunities for optimization exist.

They used a Web clinic invite email to run their subject line test. The research question was, “Which email subject line will get the highest open rate?”

When I asked Paul why they chose a subject line test instead of a split test of the title, he explained that a subject line test allowed them to test their hypothesis and keep the Web clinic title congruent.

“Because we couldn’t exactly change the title of a live event while we were trying to promote it, we needed a subtler way of testing the hypothesis. An email subject line was perfect because it has the same effect of a headline, but we didn’t need to change the title of the clinic,” Paul said.

Below is a screenshot of the Web clinic invite used for the test. All of the copy, images and the call-to-action were kept identical for both the control and the treatment.


Click to enlarge

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Email Optimization: 72% of marketers test subject lines

October 5th, 2012

We surveyed 2,735 marketers for the 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, and asked them which email marketing elements they test most often …

Q. Which of the following email campaign elements do you routinely test to optimize performance? 

Click to enalrge

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