Every new agency I get to work with produces a list of email marketing tactics that they consider best-in-class, everything from length of subject line, best day of the week to send email, to right column vs left column arguments. Also, every agency’s list is different from the other. I even have my own.
My list though is getting to be shorter and shorter because except for a few rules that have consistently proven to work and some that are mostly ISP service related, what may prove successful in one email campaign with one set of consumers may be unsuccessful with a different set of consumers. Assuming that an email creative that performed well with one customer group will perform the same with different customer group is like assuming that an award-winning burger will make a vegetarian into a meatatarian.
There’s a simple explanation for this – if we are to take into account the weight each variable plays in the success of an email campaign, the larger share of influence comes from the information we deliver, how we deliver it and the context in which we deliver it. Whether it’s typeset in Arial or Helvetica, whether my message is in the right column or the left may matter a lot less than how relevant and contextual the information is to my customer.
To truly develop the email creative that will get best response rates, first get the message and the context right for your target audience, then test a few subject lines and a few creative options. You may be surprised by what you find. And if you are, I’d love to hear about your experience.