Thinking of including unusual discounts in emails? It might be best to keep it simple

Unusual email subject linesIf you’ve been keeping a close eye on email offer and subject line trends over the last year, you may have noticed that ‘odd’ or unusual offers, such as 14 percent or 56 percent off, have started to appear more. The offers, such as ‘14% Off Limited Time Only!’, ‘Our weekly deal 71% off of today’s item‘, ’56% off Membership‘, and ’Famous February Artists + 22% off‘, are just a few of the examples we noticed at Experian CheetahMail.

These promotions may catch the eyes of subscribers, but return mixed results for mailers. Experian CheetahMail’s Strategic Services Team has proof – included in a recent benchmark analysis. Specific findings include:

  • Subject lines with ‘odd’ or uncommon percent discounts (ex: 14%, 53%, 47%) were compared the email performance of traditional discounts (ex: 5%, 10%, 25%, etc)
  • Subject lines with traditional discounts reported higher open, click and transaction rates for over 60% of the brands who also deployed odd discount offers.
  • Not all of the campaigns with odd discount offers were unsuccessful.  The highest performing campaign in this study had open rates over 34 percent, click rates as high as 12 percent and transaction rates over 0.80 percent.

Tempted to try this tactic out? Go for it! But, test first. Testing is necessary before making these a standard part of your email marketing program. How can you test, you ask? Check back next week for my post entitled, ‘Dare to be different? Test first!’

Methodology: A selection of 23 clients that deployed odd discounts in Q1 2011 were analyzed, and the results were compared to promotional mailings with more traditional offers in the subject line from the same brands.


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