ContentBiz Summit 2006: Secrets of Match.com’s Email Marketing Success
NEW YORK – People check their e-mail four times a day. That’s four times a day you can market to people via e-mail. Michael McCurdy, CRM Product Marketing Manager at Match.com, got the conference started with a case study, “Secrets of Match.com’s Email Marketing Success”. Key points covered by McCurdy:
You have 2.67 seconds to get someone’s attention in an e-mail.
Single focus e-mails perform dramatically better.
More means less and less means more. The more cluttered the e-mail, the less likely people are to click through. McCurdy says he tries to limit e-mails to 30 words including headline and copy.
The subject line is the most important part of the e-mail. Without a solid subject line, people won’t open the e-mail.
Intrigue the recipient of the e-mail. This is a proven direct marketing technique, applied online.
The price is right? WRONG! Don’t emphasize price in the e-mail offer. Selling content isn’t about the price. It’s about the content and representing the value of the content. It’s about relationship building and guiding a person through a process.
Use an active voice, not a passive voice (eliminate words like “is” and “are”) to drive statistically significant improvements in response rates.
In the design of the e-mail, tell the person where you want them to go. Be sure the design of the page doesn’t cause the reader’s eyes to bypass the buy button.
Don’t tell people to “subscribe”. That word signifies buying. Emphasize the word “free” (with a caveat: to bypass spam filters… McCurdy says Match.com doesn’t use the word “free” in the subject line, and uses graphics to denote free, instead of pure text).
Free trial stated in hours (72 hours) performs better than free trial stated in days (3 days).
Test e-mails in different e-mail clients to see what they look like to different people.
For Match.com, HTML designed e-mails achieve significantly better conversion than plain text.
McCurdy recommends these three books: “The Paradox of Choice” – in which the author says 4 to 6 choices are better than 20 choices, because there is less buyer’s remorse; “Freakonomics”; and “Permission Marketing”.
Next Up: “Hoover’s Website Design Tests Results to Increase Conversion”