Startling Proof: It's ALL about the headline.

20 replies
We get lazy sometimes. I do anyway.

I sent out an email last week to an existing
and very responsive list of about 900 subscribers/customers.

Because they have always been pretty responsive (over 50%
open rate usually) I got lazy with the headline of my email
about the latest product.

I was mildly disappointed with the result.

So back to basics...I came up with an intriguing headline
which seemed to be completely unrelated to my product
but the secret was the email contained a story.

The story related back to the product in a way
that I KNEW the subscribers would be interested.

The result? Image below.

I wil not make that mistake again.



Have ypou been guilty of making obvious mistakes in your marketing?

We all live and learn.
#headline #proof #startling
  • Profile picture of the author eternalwarrior
    Which software did you use to draw those red arrow? It looks good.
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      Originally Posted by eternalwarrior View Post

      Which software did you use to draw those red arrow? It looks good.
      Snagit

      It's great for all sorts of little jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by helisell View Post

    Have you been guilty of making obvious mistakes in your marketing?
    Hundreds. Unfortunately, most of them weren't "obvious" at the time. Especially when I first started.

    I agree that the title-line/subject-line of an email can make a big difference to its open-rate, but I still think it's a secondary factor. A big and important secondary factor, but not the primary factor.

    The primary factor that determines whether or not an email gets opened is who it's from (and how the recipient feels about that person). If I get an email from my father or from my college professor, I open it, regardless of its subject-line.

    This is why it's so important, for marketers, to set their subscribers' expectations appropriately and to have a real, planned-out and thought-through continuity-process, to make sure that the email's recipients are awaiting and expecting it.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6123982

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      The primary factor that determines whether or not an email gets opened is who it's from (and how the recipient feels about that person). If I get an email from my father or from my college professor, I open it, regardless of its subject-line.
      How do you do that using a pen name? This sure beats me. I open emails of people who disclose quite a bit of information about themselves. That is something I can understand because I have seen it. How do you become the person whose email is taken seriously without disclosing any personal information?

      Good to see that you have started posting again on the forum.(I know that you have been posting for a while now - just mentioning it now.)
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        How do you do that using a pen name?
        Sorry, Ravi, I'm not sure I quite understand what you're asking me, here? What aspect of it seems to you to be harder to do with a pen-name than with a real name?

        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        I open emails of people who disclose quite a bit of information about themselves. That is something I can understand
        Yes, me too.

        But if I were selling a book on (let's say) "article marketing" (not something I'm doing at all, but it's a subject I happen to know about), if I had a website in the name of Kate Ripley, with a cartoonized picture of me, and a description of where I went to school and university, a brief explanation of how I became an article-writer, and a bit of chat about my hobbies and so on, and I ran an email list under the name Kate Ripley with an email address of kate.ripley (at) something-article-related.com, how would you know that I'm actually Alexa Smith using a pen-name? To you, Kate Ripley would be a real person, surely?

        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        How do you become the person whose email is taken seriously without disclosing any personal information?
        I do disclose some personal information.

        It doesn't help anyone to identify me.

        It doesn't make anyone suspect that I'm actually Alexa Smith (because my picture isn't recognizable, and I don't talk about shoe-shopping, or whatever people might associate with me).

        "It's always possible to give selective bits of personal information that don't identify you and don't make anyone suspect that you're using an alias", is all I'm really saying.

        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        Good to see that you have started posting again on the forum.(I know that you have been posting for a while now - just mentioning it now.)
        Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SlfMastery
    With so many marketing emails now days, you better believe Headlines are CRITICAL.

    Here's 2 that will get attention:

    "How To ________ Without __________"
    Ex. How To Make $50 a Day Without SEO, a Website, or Video

    "______ Quickly And Easily With __________"
    Ex. Make Your 1st Sale Quickly And Easily With 1 Pre-made Video

    -Charlie
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  • Profile picture of the author Venturetothetop
    That old adage.... spent 80% of your time on the 20% of things that actually make the difference.

    I know a Mobile games company that went from nearly being bankrupt to overnight millionnaires just by changing the colour of their 'buy' buttons from green to blue....

    Test, test and test some more - but please never forget, it's not the number of opens that is actually important, it's the number of conversions and that is all you should ever be concentrating on... (higher open rates do not always mean higher sales)
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      Originally Posted by Venturetothetop View Post

      That old adage.... spent 80% of your time on the 20% of things that actually make the difference.

      ............. it's not the number of opens that is actually important, it's the number of conversions and that is all you should ever be concentrating on... (higher open rates do not always mean higher sales)
      Do you really mean I don't need to concentrate on the number of Opens???

      Lower open rates ALWAYS mean Less sales.

      To me an 'open' IS a 'conversion', they converted from not opening to opening.

      Then I concentrate on the number of those that will purchase.

      Life would be very easy indeed if there were only ONE thing to concentrate on.
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      • Profile picture of the author Venturetothetop
        Originally Posted by helisell View Post


        Lower open rates ALWAYS mean Less sales.
        Absolutely not. This is why so many marketers fail.

        Measure the end goal... the end goal is not simply a signup to a newsletter or an open... the end goal is something different, quite often a sale.

        If you forget the end goal, you optimise for the wrong thing. If I concentrate on email opens, I'll make headlines that encourage people to do just that and perhaps forget about the quality of the user.

        If I remember the end goal, then I will concentrate on making sure I bring in the RIGHT TYPE of subscriber/click that will actually buy.

        I've heard it here many times... 100 buyers in a list is better then 10,000 non buyers. Sometimes its not about quantity but QUALITY of the list/user/click. Success isn't a click... it's a sale (or whatever your END goal is)

        I always teach my students one thing.... The money is not in the list... it's in the ACTIVE list - and that means building the right kind of list. Having the end goal in mind helps you optimise for this.

        I've probably explained it badly but so many people have done a great job explaining this on WF already - just do a little searching.
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
        Originally Posted by helisell View Post

        Lower open rates ALWAYS mean Less sales.

        That is not even remotely true.

        If you want high open rates, send emails that establish your authority. Demonstrate that your subscribers can TRUST you.

        If you want to make sales, send emails that include a big, relevant benefit in the subject line. In conjunction with the TRUST you created, you will make sales.

        But I see it all the time...

        People who send emails with "shocking" subject lines designed to get HUGE open rates.

        And that works perfectly...

        ... right up to the moment I discover it was a ploy and UNSUBSCRIBE from your list.

        This isn't rocket science.

        Create trust. Provide value.

        In a nutshell, that's all you really need to know.

        John
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  • Profile picture of the author gcbmark20
    Hi,

    You can try to make the links in your emails as closely related to the email
    title or even the same.

    I have found that this has worked very well in the past for me.

    Because if your people have opened up the email in the first place due to
    it's TITLE then they seem to be far more likely to click on the links that
    are titled the same way or at least as closely related as possible to that original
    title.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnRyserson
    Banned
    Headlines are definitely the most important part of any sales piece whether it be an email subject line, the headline of a salesletter, or the first sentence you say on a video or audio, the headline is crucial to success.

    I remember reading in copywriting courses that some elite copywriters create up to 500 different headlines before even starting on the ad itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author eternalwarrior
    Originally Posted by Venturetothetop View Post

    (higher open rates do not always mean higher sales)
    Higher open rates is directly proportional to CTR ratio which in turn is directly promotional to sales in 80% of the cases
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  • Profile picture of the author mrgoe
    A little mistake, like using an old ad for a PPC campaign got me to lose a lot of money, so I know exactly what you mean.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    The headline is critical if you want bigger open rates.

    You just have to test all sorts of headlines to know which ones worked and which ones did not.

    When you have curiosity, people will open your emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Silvey
    Originally Posted by helisell View Post

    So back to basics...I came up with an intriguing headline
    which seemed to be completely unrelated to my product
    but the secret was the email contained a story.
    I don't know about others, but when the subject doesn't match the content, that's when I block the sender in most cases.
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  • Profile picture of the author Les Blythe
    You are so right - the headline is absolutely critical. In fact there are only 3 parts to an email (assuming your goal is that you want the reader to take an action, such as clicking on a link):
    1. Strong and convincing subject line (can use a bold statement, curiosity, emotional trigger etc.)
    2. Engaging body text (often quite short)
    3. A strong call to action
    As has been said, you need to retain sight of your objective. For example, in the solo ads business the ONLY objective is to get a click on a link - that's it. It's entirely up to the client (the person buying the solo ad) from that point onwards

    Oh, and on list quality - CRITICAL! Period.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    “I write my headlines first. It has to hit my reader in the heart or the head. It has to stir an emotion or make a promise. And I have to catch her eye with something she wants. Not something she needs.

    What’s the difference? She needs bread to live. But she may want to eat out every day. She needs a dress for work. But she may want a designer business suit. So my headline should create excitement and instantly paint a positive picture in her mind. A picture of something she wants. And the best time to inject these feelings into my headline is when I’m feeling this way myself.

    And when are those feelings most intense? Yup... Before I write my sales message!

    But believe it or not, it gets even better!

    I have everything fresh in my mind. I have examined all the features, benefits, and product information. So I just wrote the most persuasive headlines possible. Then something... magical happens!

    I now find it a hundred times easier to write my sales message!

    How? Simple. My headline sets the “theme” for my main copy. The passion of my headline sets the “mood” of my message.”


    (http://myws.sitesell.com/MYWS!.pdf)
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    • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
      To echo a few in here...

      Opens and click's aren't nearly as important as the end goal.

      Let's take the 80/20 principle and apply it to an email list in a low/high quality split.

      You could be sending all 80% of your subscribers (the low quality bunch) to a page and make 0 sales... or you could send the 20%, made up of high quality subscribers, and make X amount of sales.

      Open rates don't bring in money, sales do.

      People hate disconnects in copy... It'll either confuse them or make them angry.

      By sending an email with an unrelated headline, you aren't setting yourself up to win.

      Here's what I think happened:

      You say you're a bit lazy with your responsive list... so usually you send an email that hypes up a product, right?

      So by switching your style over to a story, you're forcing your battle-weary subscribers to open their eyes and get excited at the prospect of seeing something new... therefore conversion rates jumped.

      Correct me if I'm wrong

      Chris

      P.S. Don't get me wrong... I'm all about maximising open rates, but only if it proves beneficial to sales.
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