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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Member #
    Just about any data on emails would be out of date within months of posting, if not much sooner. Which makes Subject Line Testing Scenarios that much more important.

    The idea here is to figure out what to test.

    While the link above is pretty useful, it doesn't go into the scenario idea well enough. Scenarios help you identify what your target prospect wants to buy, not just what you have to sell. Too often the scenario people have in mind is an empty mail box with your one lone message getting read furiously by an eager customer.

    That's fantasy, not a scenario. Deal with a crowded inbox, split attention, and recipients looking for just one thing: An excuse to delete your email.

    Next comes a related idea to the scenario, a persona. That's more than a name, rank, and serial number target profile - a persona is a real person to write to.

    Lot's of people who would swear on a stack of bibles that they are not spammers couldn't actually visualize any specific reader if their lives depended on it. Personas make mass email more like one-on-one correspondence. Because one of the chief reasons your emailings fail is lack of the perception of a personal touch.

    Personalization isn't a search and replace script. Personalization is not "you" sprinkled into otherwise totally self-serving, self-absorbed copy. Personalization is about understanding your customer and their motivations. Personas help you step into the customer's shoes.

    Finally, what is the job of the subject line? To get the body copy read and acted on. That means, yes you must get attention, but not at the cost of conversion.

    It is completely possible to get a high open rate and dismal conversions. One big reason is the subject line gets attention, but the body copy doesn't reward attention.

    Gimmick subject lines get the reader's attention, but if your body copy has nothing to do with the subject line, the reader feels cheated for paying attention. And readers who feel cheated before becoming customers won't convert.

    Subject lines are an important first step, but only one step in the sales process.


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