Counting E-mails Not Calories This Holiday Season
Here is a summary of what they found:
- We should stop questioning this one — personalization works. Including the first and last names in the campaign subjects and bodies increases open rates. In fact, using it in the subject has the largest positive impact on open rates. And as you can imagine, full name is better than just the last name or just the first name. However, it does vary by industry. The article breaks it down so you can see where it matters the most and the one industry (legal) where having the personalization in the subject line is actually a negative.
- "Free" might cost you. When they looked across all the industries, it did not help. But for some industries it really did have a statistically significant increase. However, the word "freebie" blows "free" out of the water.
- The indication of "urgency" in the subject line is really a mixed bag. Words like "urgent" and "breaking" resulted in open rates that were much higher than normal. "Important" and "alert" were not as high but still had positive impact.
- Variations of the word "announce" (i.e., announcement, announcing, announced, etc.) show positive impact on open rates. However, "reminder" and "cancelled" had negative impact. But you have to pay close attention to the details of the study: Readers were more OK with "reminders" (plural and less personal) than with "reminder" (more personal). The word "cancelled" had significant impact on open rates for every single industry except for one, Restaurant & Venue.
- Big bummer for nonprofits — or perhaps let's just say it is an important insight for us — throughout the analysis, words related to charitable actions and donations had a negative impact on open rates. "Donate" had the worst impact, but other words like "helping" had lesser negative impact. Take a look at the words they looked at including "raffle" and "charity," etc.
- The use of word pairs (i.e., "thank you," "last chance," "sign up," etc.) is an interesting find. As you'll see, current events and being thanked are viewed as positive, but being told they're missing out on something — not so positive.
Take some time and glance at this study to see where your industry falls on specific elements. Luckily we've got an industry player like MailChimp willing to really take the time and provide some of this data to help all of us.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.