Trying and failing and succeeding – email style

May 2013 - May Newsletter HTML Preview - MailChimpSo on my most recent email campaign I tried a few new things (mostly based on an amazing session I had been at by Chris Brogan.)  Here is what I tried:

  1. I used a subject line that was so personal that it could almost be confused as a personal email, “Looking for some advice”
  2. Instead of making a very general ask “let me know if you need help” I made a very specific ask, “send me advice ideas for my new intern”.
  3. I asked for response from that ask to be sent by reply email instead of asking the reader to click somewhere.

Reports - MailChimpSo here is what I know, the results were resounding. Some were good, some were bad (sort of) but all were resounding.  Check out graphic to the right.  The results:

  • The good: A full 47.2% of the recipients opened the email.  Take look at the blue spike up.  My open rate typically hovers around 37% (very good for my industry though not earth shattering) so this was a full 10% lift.
  • More good: I had an overwhelming response to the ask.  Whereas typically I get only a scattering of response to a newsletter, this time I received a bunch of responses to the request.
  • The bad (sort of): My unsubuscribes increased three fold. I suspect the people that unsubscribed had been ignoring the email but since my subject line interested them enough to open, they took the trouble to unsubscribe. I am not too concerned since if they unsubscribed they aren’t the right people for my list but it is worth noting.
  • The interesting: Check out the red line which indicates how many people clicked on links within the email.  It dropped from my typical 6% or so (decent) to less than 4%.  I think that is due to a combination of asking people to respond instead of clicking and bringing people that don’t normally open the newsletter to do so.

All in all, I think the newsletter experiment was a success and I definitely will continue to play around.  Have you tried anything new to mix up your marketing?