Want To Know What REALLY Works in E-Mail Marketing?

26 replies
Check out this article on Businessweek

It backs up tons of stuff we talk about on the forum.

It also backs up a lot of counter-intuitive things some of us have been saying for a long time but get scoffed at for.

The Science Behind Those Obama Campaign E-Mails - Businessweek
#email #marketing #works
  • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
    Thanks, Jason - that's a great article. Some of things mentioned and subject lines makes me think that someone on staff was talking to Frank Kern...lol!

    This part interested me:

    Fortunately for Obama and all political campaigns that will follow, the tests did yield one major counterintuitive insight: Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won't unsubscribe no matter how many they're sent.
    Thanks for the share!

    Jennifer
    ~PotPieGirl
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    • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
      Thanks for sharing JasonParker

      The bottom line: Obama's e-mail fundraising team tested hundreds of grabby subject lines. The most successful--"Hey"-- brought in millions of dollars.
      That is still one of my all-time favorite subject lines!
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by PotPieGirl View Post

      "Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won't unsubscribe no matter how many they're sent."
      Their research is wrong. Unfortunately, someone subscribed me to that campaign. I wasn't able to unsubscribe no matter how many times I tried. Still getting emails. LOL
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      • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
        Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

        Their research is wrong. Unfortunately, someone subscribed me to that campaign. I wasn't able to unsubscribe no matter how many times I tried. Still getting emails. LOL
        No way! Really? That sure explains no one unsubscribing, doesn't it? The President of the United States didn't have an unsubscribe link... wow.
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        • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
          Originally Posted by PotPieGirl View Post

          No way! Really? That sure explains no one unsubscribing, doesn't it? The President of the United States didn't have an unsubscribe link... wow.
          Who's going to make the government comply with their own Can SPAM Act?

          The Romney campaign used different From names that didn't identify the person you originally signed up with. Also against the Can SPAM Act.
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          • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
            Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

            Who's going to make the government comply with their own Can SPAM Act?

            The Romney campaign used different From names that didn't identify the person you originally signed up with. Also against the Can SPAM Act.
            What makes it even more entertaining is this story I just read over at The Onion:

            Obama Deletes Another Unread MoveOn.org E-Mail | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

            In it, Obama is quoted as saying this about emails HE gets:

            "It's irritating that these people think they're doing everybody this great service just by clicking 'send' a million times," Obama said. "I'm trying to make the world a better place, but with all the time I've been spending deleting e-mails, it's going to take me forever."
            Ya just gotta laugh a little... :rolleyes:

            Jennifer
            ~PotPieGirl
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Silvey
            You can expect different open rates when dealing with public figures and political emails which are targeted to cult like groups containing millions of zealots who are under the illusion that they are part of a team.
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            • Profile picture of the author fin
              I think you should change the title to, "Want to know What REALLY Works in 1 Email Marketing Campaign."

              Because if you don't there will be dozens of people start to send ugly emails more regularly because they didn't TEST IT.
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              • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                Originally Posted by fin View Post

                I think you should change the title to, "Want to know What REALLY Works in 1 Email Marketing Campaign."

                Because if you don't there will be dozens of people start to send ugly emails more regularly because they didn't TEST IT.
                Very rarely have I ever seen anything pretty out-pull anything ugly in general with my testing. But I have seen it on occasion.
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              • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
                Originally Posted by fin View Post

                I think you should change the title to, "Want to know What REALLY Works in 1 Email Marketing Campaign."

                Because if you don't there will be dozens of people start to send ugly emails more regularly because they didn't TEST IT.
                In the last 6 months I have tested a lot of different email tactics .. I mean a lot. I spent a couple of hours building what I thought was a very nice HTML email. My ugly old text emails converted to click 41% better overall.

                Go figure lol.
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            • Profile picture of the author Raydal
              Originally Posted by Chris Silvey View Post

              You can expect different open rates when dealing with public figures and political emails which are targeted to cult like groups containing millions of zealots who are under the illusion that they are part of a team.
              I thought this was the aim of every marketer. :confused:

              It's called "brand loyalty".

              -Ray Edwards
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              The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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              • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

                I thought this was the aim of every marketer. :confused:

                It's called "brand loyalty".

                -Ray Edwards
                Cult-like following would be ideal for any e-mail marketer.
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        • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
          Originally Posted by PotPieGirl View Post

          No way! Really? That sure explains no one unsubscribing, doesn't it? The President of the United States didn't have an unsubscribe link... wow.
          Oh no he had one. It just didn't work.

          I could make a joke here but rules and all. Lol
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Here's one of my favorites...

    “Every time something really ugly won, it would shock me: giant-size fonts for links, plain-text links vs. pretty ‘Donate’ buttons. Eventually we got to thinking, ‘How could we make things even less attractive?’ That’s how we arrived at the ugly yellow highlighting on the sections we wanted to draw people’s eye to.”
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  • Profile picture of the author adamreilly1997
    Thanks for sharing this Jason . I was pretty amazed about the "hey"
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    This is the best quip I took away from the article (bold is mine):

    Writers, analysts, and managers routinely bet on which lines would perform best and worst. “We were so bad at predicting what would win that it only reinforced the need to constantly keep testing,” says Showalter.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Great article Jason!

    The Obama campaign was large-scale too so I'm sure everyone in the marketing world sees this as a shock!

    Thanks for clearing some things up
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  • Profile picture of the author Headstart
    Yeah, it's so true.. I've talked about a lot of this stuff before but it was written off as "doesn't work" or "waste of time". Guess it takes a billion dollar campaign to get through to some people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    It may just be my imagination but it always seems
    that the "small" internet marketers seems to discover
    some marketing strategy before the "big" guys adapt
    it. Hence why these results are no way surprising
    to us.

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
    Here's another new article about it:

    Which Obama E-mail Subject Line Raised Him the Most Money in 2012? - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

    The Obama campaign's rigorous scientific analysis of what happens when it spams your inbox for a couple years straight has revealed some troubling conclusions. First, guilt works. Second, people love swearing. Third, there are no negative consequences for flooding inboxes.
    (edit to add) - Here's another one...lol!

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/morning-j...mail-subjects/

    ...those subject lines were thoroughly tested, yet he attributed their creation to “monkeys chained to typewriters, or computers.”
    Jennifer
    ~PotPieGirl
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  • Profile picture of the author HeatherH
    Test, Test, Test....Also Obama has thousands of followers....very good example of how mass marketing works.
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  • Quite frankly, when it comes to email marketing, I'm not sure there's a "right" or "wrong", nor a "formula". I'm not even sure split-testing is that useful... The more I play this game, the more I believe email marketing and its ratios (high open rates, high click-throughs, etc) follow a rather chaotic pattern.

    Why do I say this? Well, here's why:

    Last year I launched a site and I split-tested the bejesus out of my email funnels. I literally tested dozens upon dozens of subject lines, email bodies, colors, HTML vs text, etc. As a result, I was pretty happy with the results (high open rates, high CTRs, etc).

    Well, earlier this year I launched kind of a 2.0 version of the same site: similar product, same niche, same target customers, same autoresponder provider, etc. Obviously, I applied the intelligence I had gathered from my old site, so I used the type of email copy, subject lines, email structure, etc that had worked so well for me.

    Guess what? for whatever reasons, my results were FAR more humble in this second website. I have no idea why, but my email sequences were delivering far lower ratios, even though all the variables in the equation were the same. No freaking idea what was going on, but the data I had gathered from website A simply didn't work that well for website B (even though it was the same niche, similar product, same target base, etc).

    My conclusion? Email marketing is more of an art than a science, and split-testing is not all that powerful: what had worked previously in test A might not work in test B. Why? hang me if I know.

    Now a days I split-test less and I write my emails as they come out from my heart ;p
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      My conclusion? Email marketing is more of an art than a science, and split-testing is not all that powerful: what had worked previously in test A might not work in test B. Why? hang me if I know.

      Now a days I split-test less and I write my emails as they come out from my heart ;p

      Same point the article makes:

      But these triumphs were fleeting. There was no such thing as the perfect e-mail; every breakthrough had a shelf life. "Eventually the novelty wore off, and we had to go back and retest," says Showalter.
      -Ray Edwards
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      The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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