So what do YOU think? Drop your comment in below.
Fantastic study. When you showed the 3 headlines, I guessed the results in both CTR and ROI. Which doesn’t mean much except it feeds my own ego. lol.
Question? What are you using to track ROI? I’m sure you’re using something more efficient than I am, so I’m curious.
Great job, Linda! Very few people get both right so you deserve a little ego gratification .
I use a very simple formula for measuring ROI: (Gross revenue – marketing costs – cost of goods). While there are other methods that include factoring in some percentage for overhead or cost of doing business, I don’t do that. Oops, don’t tell my accountant.
Thank you for the interesting test results. I did pick the correct subject line that made the most money.
However, I am more interested in and could get a better insight into this tutorial, if I could view the actual sales letter.
Then, I could FEEL how the title subliminally triggered the phenominal increase in buying response.
Don’t you agree?
Actually, it shouldn’t matter. Because the purpose of a subject line is to get people to open and read your email. And the case study was really about whether a benefit, problem, or quirky idea draws (a) the most response; and (b) different categories of respondents. So the marketing piece, which was an email, doesn’t have any affect on that.
Then I guess the proper question should be:
Were the recipients of your tests all from the same targeted group such as previous buyers of yours or some other specifically targeted group who didn’t know you from “Adam”?
The reason for the previous question is that if I received an email with the “winning” subject title, I wouldn’t open it in the first unless I had specifically requested such information.
I would probably consider it spam.
In as much, I don’t agree with your answer to my first question. This is because if the sales letter behind the subject title had nothing to do with the subject title, it would be misleading and piss me off that you wasted my time to start with.
So yes, I would need to read the sales copy to validate your conclusion as to the real reason the 3 subject line responses and buying actions varied so greatly.
Thank you again for the interesting info, but in today’s marketplace, transparency is a must. I just felt force fed with your original reply.
Especially since the first 2 subject lines had nothing to do with the third. Unless this was revealed in the sales copy.
All 3 emails were sent to a list that had opted in. And you’re absolutely correct in that the copy needs to deliver on the subject line, which it did. Part of that copy featured the results I had produced for a French client who sold dating services.
Now, I was probably a bit naive in my response to you because I assumed that everyone knows that you can’t use a misleading subject line (or any type of misleading copy) and expect to get good results. So thanks for your help in clarifying that point.
So what exactly did you teach the French about romance?
I aided them in this critical endeavor by helping the company that sold the course on how to find and marry the partner of your dreams. So I guess you could say that I was really a surrogate .
Great stuff, Bob. I like it.
Question: Do you think this lesson applies just as well when selling products to consumers? I notice that this was successful in selling consulting services, but do you think this concept would do equally well when selling, say, an information product to a list of people who opted in to receive info? (You know, the classic info marketing funnel.)
Hope the question makes sense, and thanks for the great insight.
Thanks for your kind words! And, yes, I’ve used all 3 types of subject lines with a variety of products and services. When it comes to information products, because there tends to be so much competition regardless of what market you serve, quirky subject lines can cut through the fog where other more traditional subject lines just get a “so what” reaction.
I once sold nearly $3 million worth of an expensive information product with the subject line “This is it”. A few of my knowledgeable affiliates later told me they thought I was out of my mind using it – but they were glad I did as they ended up with substantial commission checks.
One more thing, about the classic marketing funnel you mentioned. In one of my future free trainings, I’m going to share what I call the Outcome Funnel. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but once you understand it, I doubt you’ll ever go back to the conventional marketing funnel again. So stay tuned for that.
Great job. Any strategy or tactic that can increase ROI should be kept in any marketers arsenal of weapons. Subject lines are just just like headlines for advertising and need to be tested to see which one pulls better.
Thanks for taking your time to “fully” explain your test results and explanations of why it worked.
The “Quirky” subject line didn’t just cut through the fog… it “rose above” all the other clutter of emails. I read the emails of your previous 2 subject lines but was “compelled to read the Quirky subject line email knowing you were testing subject lines. Actually, I read the Quirky subject line email with greater attention and anticipation.
One quick question: Have you done other testing using the 3 subject lines in order of Benefit Focused followed by Problem Amplification followed by Quirky subject line?
If it proves out then maybe this 1, 2, 3 punch could produce a winning formula.
Actually, I have a separate sequence for each one, which is designed to maintain the continuity between each email. But as you suggested, I do regularly rotate the sequences because the time may not be right for people with a specific need right now, but it could be a few months from now.
Thanks for a video and for a effort you are are putting in all this.
I guessed totally wrong. I never can learn, that people buy not what they need, but what looks sexy to them.
Okay, I received an email with a close equivalent of the 2nd subject line in early April (“Why you aren’t getting all the traffic you need”), and another email with the exact 3rd subject line at the end of April. But the copy that followed each subject was entirely different.
Specifically, in each case, the copy immediately built upon the subject line, which seems almost mandatory given today’s short attention spans.
The third subject line is so different (quirky) from the other two that it almost needs a follow-thru in the first few lines of copy (such as the copy I received: “Bet you didn’t know that I’m now considered to be a minor love expert, did you? etc …”).
I’m having a tough time visualizing how the copy following the 3rd subject line could be the same as the copy following the 1st or the 2nd.
Thanks in advance.
I’ve used multiple versions with different lists. Some have the identical copy and some have copy that’s completely different from the others. Which is another good point to test. Whenever you have a subject line that works well, be sure to test just that subject line with different copy. The results can be great – or they can be terrible. But you won’t know unless you test.
I read your email enticing us to click through and wondered how you could say, “But one of these subject lines produced 1,208% more sales than the others.” I couldn’t understand how a HEADLINE could produce more sales. I still can’t. And unless a headline was all you used, I don’t see how you can make that claim.
I got to your video page and my suspicions were confirmed – it wasn’t just the headline that produced results. The text of the message had to relate some way or the headline never would have contributed to making more sales. I’m betting that by the end of the message, the reader had long forgotten about the headline – unless you referred to it again. There was likely an irresistible offer that had a big part in compelling people to take advantage of the offer.
For you to assume that everyone knows there had to be body coy following the headline doesn’t align with how you position your expertise. For you to say you didn’t realize that is a bit questionable to me.
You’re right, it SHOULD be clear to everyone that there needs to be congruity and continuity from headline to message, otherwise the whole effort loses credibility instantly. You know good and well that what you were saying about the headline doing all the work was an incomplete statement. You’re too experienced a marketer to not realize something like that. Just admit it.
I didn’t click through to your explanation of all this because I don’t know these things. I clicked through because I continue to get a steady stream of crap from online marketers who hype and mislead to get attention and click-throughs.
The types of headlines you used might be better classified as…
Headline 1: Old School – the hypey way it’s been communicated by businesses that don’t know better.This is similar to your approach with a headline that claimed to produce 1,208% more sales when it didn’t produce sales on its own as a headline alone.
Headline 2: New School – the way a lot of marketing is done in recent years, a bit more manipulative than just making sensationalized claims, but also hints at a previously unknown expertise-producing solution – the problem resolution you mentioned.
Headline 1: Correct School – positioning and differentation by insinuating a better, more effective way without hype – assuming that you actually did teach the French a thing or 2.
I know I’m ragging on you a bit, but to me, the success of this test is only relative to what was actually tested. We can’t assume that the text of the message was necessarily the best copyrighting (but if you wrote it , it was probably pretty damn good). The ultimate winning headline here is only as good as the text that followed it.
I was stupified that you closed by saying, “The only measurement that really counts is how much more (or less) profit one subject line produces compared to another.
I still think that’s a very inaccurate statement.
Try those same headlines with equally different text messages following them and tell us what those results are. If the headlines successes are still the same, I’ll eat beets.
Or take your masterful headline and write 3 different sets of body copy. Then tell us that the headline was the difference that made all the sales. Per your argument, the results should be the same for all emails.
All that aside, you are totally correct in that most people don’t know how to measure ROI. That’s what makes pay-for-performance advertising and marketing a solid business model.
Wow, it looks like I really struck a nerve with you. Of course, it was the subject line. As I stated earlier, the purpose of a subject line (or a headline in other forms of copy) is to convince the reader to open the piece. That’s why the highest paid copywriters always test multiple headlines. That’s not to say that the rest of the copy doesn’t affect the overall results. I never said nor implied that. But given that one subject line can entice more prospects – or different types of prospects – to open your email, it certainly plays a major role in increasing or decreasing overall results and ROI.
Utterly fascinating. I got it wrong, too. The older I get the less I know about more and more – or is it the other way round? My partner Al keeps on telling me “quirky does best” and so it seems.
This was a fascinating case study and nicely presented. I got the CTR leader right but totally missed it on the ROI.
The side benefit I received is that I’ve been wrestling with the headline to use for an upcoming Lightning Talk. Your headlines sparked dozens of new idea for me! I’ll be setting up a test to find the real winner!
Well done on a masterful delivery as usual. I guessed correctly overall, although initially thought I had it wrong at the CTR stage.
In my book, it’s the overall cash that you haul to the bank, in relation to spend that counts. Thanks for re- assuring me that my thinking is on the right lines, and giving me a great (quirky) spark into a campaign I’m currently writing.
Thank you for the delightful video. 1) The information was important but 2) you also showed how to deliver an effective message. No hype or excitement, no breathless wonder at your expertise. Just calm, measured explanation of what you had found out and why this subject is of paramount importance.
I suspect that different personalities respond differently to delivery styles. Yours convinced me far more than many others I have seen. Excellent and correct way to use PowerPoints – Oh my! (Of course, your finding appealed to me also because I have chosen a quirky title for a how-to book I’m just completing.)
Thank you for the case study Bob. Excellent!
Can we suppose, the real key to this is in the fact that the different subject lines attract different personality types or appeal to persons only when in a certain state of mind – SO… the person who is drawn to the romanticized subject line, is already “in the mood” and/or pre-conditioned to be woo-ed and wow-ed. They are thinking with their right brain, the creative side that “believes”, “hopes” and “dreams”, vs. the left, logical side that “questions”, “tests” and “proves” with facts and evidence before making decisions involving an investment of their money?
Excellent incite, Ryan. And that’s why I rotate the 3 different emails as I mentioned in a reply above. Different people come into your marketing flow at different times – and their needs change – so you never have a fixed target. It’s always fluctuating.
BOB! this was one of the video’s that got me an “aha”
i’m deffo goin to be using ALOT more quirky subject lines,
i have various list’s and they all range – some respond to hype
now gonna QUIRK it up!
looking forward to your next videos!
A good effective subject line should not only catch your readers attention, it should also convince them you have something interesting to say and that they should continue reading the rest of your email content.
I scan my emails like I scan newspaper headlines. I look for interesting articles or emails that I will benefit from in some way. Subject lines that contain the most important piece of information in the email plus a sense of urgency to open them now will always get my immediate attention. The subject line must compel me to open the email because like most people I get lots of emails daily and don’t want to or can’t read them all.
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