A few months ago, we looked at a study of email newsletters to see what readers were generally interested in. Over time, we found that terms that included or were related to business planning garnered a significantly higher open rate than other terms. Even when we thought that readers interested in business planning would be interested in other business related topics, such as lead generation, our results proved otherwise.
Notice the pattern. Every time the subject line includes terms like “planning”, “strategy”, or “goal” – all related to business plans – the open rate is over 30%. The moment we deviate and include other terms that we think people might respond to, like “competition” or “generating leads,” the open rate drops below 30%.
Look at the last two subject lines. There is a 10% increase in the open rate for the one about our 2008 Business Planning Guide compared to our information on Generating New Leads.
These numbers make it clear: readers want information to help them set goals and write a business plan. The insightful point is how connected our readers are with terms related to business planning, strategy, and goal setting. These terms are our audience’s hot buttons.
So what are your readers’ hot buttons? You can find out by looking through your campaign statistics. For your campaigns with higher open rates, what do those campaigns have in common? Look at everything, from which list you used and the source of that list (readers that opted in on your web site will give you a higher open rate than a purchased third party opt-in list), to the day or even time of day the campaign was sent, news going on in your industry or in the industries of your readers. Knowledge is power. Stay informed with how your campaigns are performing, and you’ll make better decisions about future campaigns.