Earlier this week, Carly wrote about Retention Science’s study about subject line length (spoiler alert: keep them short!). As I prepare for our next stop on the SendGrid Delivered email tour in Toronto next month, I’ve started thinking more about email subject lines myself.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I scanned my promotions tab in Gmail yesterday to look for some good last minute deals (sorry Mom!) and I ran across something that appealed to the email geek in me:
UnCommon Goods is one of my favorite creative gift sites and email senders. I’ve written about them before and I’ll continue to sing their praises, as many others have, due to their impeccable branding and incredible, creative storytelling.
But back to the task at hand. When I look at these emails, two things stand out.
- Sending frequency
- Subject line variety
We get asked fairly often about best practices for sending out holiday email campaigns—this is a great example. With Mother’s Day on May 11th, UnCommon Goods started their email campaign 2.5 weeks prior, on April 23rd. And they kept every email (spaced two days apart) Mother’s Day-focused until the actual day. Depending on your industry and list size, this cadence might not be realistic or appropriate—but the key takeaways here are—consistency and preparation. Uncommon Goods never strays from their main goal (Mother’s Day sales) and starts sending with enough time that they stay competitive…and stay top of mind with their customers.
Outside of frequency, my favorite thing about this 2-week Mother’s Day campaign is the variety of subject lines used—that vary from appealing to our emotions, to our curiosity, and to our productivity. Let’s take a look:
A Tribute to Mothers—emotion
This Just In: Pretty Pieces for Mom—practical
Love You, Mom—emotion
Mother’s Day Top 25—practical
‘Are you my mommy?’—intrigue
Make it an Easy Delivery—practical/humor
Get it There by Mother’s Day—practical
UnCommon Goods alternates their appeal styles in every subject line—this keeps their messaging fresh and ensures that they’re addressing a wide audience base. They even get a little cheeky in the middle with their ‘Are you my mommy?’ message. This subject line was the one that piqued my curiosity the most and consequently, inspired an open. Including intrigue in your subject line—in lieu of being explicit is something that author Daniel Pink has a fun theory about. It’s worth checking out.
Keep in mind that UnCommon Goods always stays true to their brand and messaging. They have a very fun, creative, and casual voice—something that is perfectly reflected in this campaign. They’re also following Retention Science’s best practices—with all of these subject lines staying between 3-7 words.
Thanks to UnCommon Goods for this great example of a Mother’s Day email campaign and a very happy early Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!
To learn more about subject lines and testing, check out a webcast I did with CEO and Co-founder of sendwithus.com, Matt Harris: “Make Transactional Email Your Superhero: Keys to Optimization and Testing Success.”