CURVE your subject lines the Trendline way

[tweetmeme source=”getintheinbox” only_single=false]As you know, subject lines get the opens and if you want to do well you test subject lines. You have between 2 and 5 that you’d like to test. Any ESP worth any salt will allow you to add multiple subject lines to  a message and automatically perform live A/B testing during the delivery.

Some ESPs will ask you to send the test to small segment of your list and some ESPs will have features to choose the best subject line during the main delivery and send it to the bulk of the list after a period of live testing in the same delivery.

Either way, we all spend time trying to think about which subject would and should work best and during this process we find our selves categorising what we think a good subject line should have.

A very clever bloke called Alex Williams from a particularly experienced and talented agency called Trendline Interactive has really hit the nail on the head by defining the elements that have worked for him over the years and calls it CURVE:

  • Curiosity
  • Urgency
  • Relevance
  • Value
  • Emotion

In his blog “Do your Email Subject Lines have C.U.R.V.E.?” Alex illustrates each point in great detail, it’s well worth a look…read on

At Pure360, one of things we recommend to clients when choosing subject lines, early on, is to ask people in other parts of the business for suggestions. It is not always their suggestions of subject lines that help but the process of trying to quickly & clearly explain what the email is about, what they want people to do and why anyone should open it in the first place. Then getting feedback and follow questions as well as the subject line suggestions.

Not only do many marketers often find out that their perception, being directly from the other side of the email, is not always right but recipients CURVEs are not always the same a marketers’. On many occasions they find that the subject lines they have from asking the office are more successful – and on some occasions they are miles off 🙂

However you decide on your subject lines now, give the CURVE test a go and try to work it into your process where you can, and make sure you test, test, test.

Also don’t forget that the top line or two from your HTML version often appears under or next to the subject line in some inboxes and Outlook takes it from the plain text version if you have the auto-preview turned on.