Experiment: Email Subject Lines (With Nilsen Strandskov)
Publish Date2019-02-22

โœ‰๏ธ Importance of Email

The value of an email list as a marketing tool is neither new nor secret. Despite it being the old guard of digital marketing strategies, it maintains a strong lead as being the most effective means of getting a targetied message to a wide audience. Dont't just take my word for it. Check the Email Stats listed by Campaign Monitor. It aggregated 70 statistics from across the internet. All of them are compelling.

Another study: Social Media Marketing vs. Email conducted by agencyanalytis shows email to be a more lucritive than social media marketing.

These statistics are for aggregate markets, but it is generally accepted within the music industry as well.

Ari Herstand, notes on his very popular blog, Ari's Take: 'The mailing list remains to be THE BEST way to communicate with fans. All the contacts on your email list YOU OWN. All the Likes on Facebook, Followers on Twitter or Instagram you rent. Any third party can change their terms and overnight you could lose access to your all your hard earned fans (like Facebook does all the time).'

๐Ÿ˜ฌ The Harsh Reality

While I deeply understand and value the importance of my email list, in practice it does not get the attention it deserves. I have found this to be especially true for important promotional opportunities. In the past, I have missed a lot of opportunity by neglecting my email list.

Here are some of things I did wrong (just in this campaign):

  • Forgot follow up email
  • Forgot day before email
  • Forgot Two weeks before email

Just to put that into perspective, I only sent two emails, but intended to send five. I sent:

  • Announcement Email
  • Week Of Email

This has a significant impact on the turnout of my events. Employing these techniques in the past has vastly improved my turnout. Not employing them at all has resulted in no one showing up to shows. Needless to say, this stuff is really important.

๐Ÿ‘ฅ Teaming Up

2019 02 22 nilsen
nstrands (Nilsen Strandskov) nstrands.com

Because its so important, I decided to pay closer attention. I also decided to recruit some expert advice. Luckily, my lifelong friend, and current co-commuter, Nilsen Strandskov, happens to be an email marketing mastermind. If you personally haven't opened an email Nilsen has written, you certainly know someone who has. He ran email campaigns for Avon, Travellers, Achieve3000, and Rutgers among others.

I solicited his help on my promotion campaign for my Show at Pine Island on February 16, 2019. We came up with a neat experiment, that ended up being very successful.

๐Ÿงช The Experiment

We conducted an A/B test on my 'Week Of Reminder' email. As the name suggests, this email is sent about one week before the show reminding the list about it. Pretty simple.

I usually use a very simple subject line like: 'Show This Saturday'. Nilsen suggested we A/B test this line with something more experimental like: "Hey {Name}, what are your plans this Saturday?". That is exactly what we did.

  • 50% of the subscribers got the subject line: 'Show This Saturday'
  • 50% of the subscribers got the subject line: '{Name}, what are your plans this Saturday?'

๐Ÿ“ˆ Results

2019 02 22 results
Mailchimp Survey Results

As the table above suggests, Nilsen's subject line did 50% better than mine! This subject line got 11 people to turn up to that show, which is about my recent average amount. However, I usually send more than just that reminder email, so in my opinion this campaign was very effective.

I am optimistic about future experiments and improvements which can be made to my email strategy ๐Ÿ˜Ž