ContentBiz Summit 2006: Secrets of’s Email Marketing Success

by David Eckoff · 0 comments


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, got the conference started with a case study, “Secrets of’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 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, 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

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