Sunday, July 14, 2013

Subject Shoppers to Compelling Subject Lines

In face-to-face selling, you’ve the opportunity to gather information from the prospect before making your pitch. But people will want you to get to the point once you do begin the pitch. They don’t want to spend time needlessly, and they get skittish if unsure about where you’re heading.
     To soothe the shopper’s nerves, start with a good subject line, stating what you plan to offer. The words you use for this determine whether the prospect opens up to you. It’s something like what happens when a consumer receives an email and decides whether or not to open it up. Email marketing consultants Adestra say the subject line makes all the difference there, too.
     For their 2013 Adestra Email Subject Line Analysis report, Adestra analyzed results from more than two billion email messages produced in over 90,000 marketing campaigns. Although email selling has its own rules, the size of the Adestra data set is impressive enough to consider what might be learned for face-to-face selling.
  • The word “sale” improved the odds of an email being opened by 23% and the chances of a click-through by 61%. In your face-to-face selling, don’t assume the shopper has spotted all that’s on sale which might benefit her. Early in your pitch, use the word “sale” if there is one. The word “new” also increased open and click-through rates, and, similarly, you and your staff could mistakenly assume that the shopper knows what’s new. 
  • In the Adestra survey, the words “free delivery” raised the open rate by 51% and more than doubled the click-through rate. In your store, those items customers place into the shopping cart or basket will have free delivery, since customers take the items with them out the door. But there might be other services—such as product training or installation—which you do provide for free. Work that into the subject line of your sales spiel. 
  • However, the word “free” on its own depressed open and click-through rates. This argues for you saying specifics in your face-to-face selling. Better yet than the word “sale” on its own was stating the size of the discount, according to the Adestra analysis. 
  • The Adestra experts recommend action words in your subject lines. “Alert” raised open rates by 38% and click-throughs by 62%. “Learn” eroded the rates by 36% and 61% respectively. 
  • Consider the subject declaration to be a headline. Keep it brief. 
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