The secret formula of subject lines.

by Colleen Backstrom
Kaleidoscope Online Marketing

A comment in an email marketing group on LinkedIn recently about the viewer “deleting any email that doesn’t grab his attention”, hits the button.

The fact is that inbox clutter continues to drive down opening rates, a leading factor in failed email campaigns. And the BIG fact is that nothing happens until the email gets opened. As the tolerance for inbox noise reaches breaking point, companies can improve their opening rates by using proven subject line templates.

I did some research on the best (tested and proven) email subject lines … and a few of the worst… for a paper that I delivered at the International Direct Mail Conference held in Johannesburg last month, The presentation was called  The Secret Formula of Subject lines.

Contact me at if you would like me to send you the presentation.

And if any of you out there have some more good ones that worked for you, let’s hear from you.

Colleen Backstrom. Digital marketing specialists.


19 Email Deliverability Terms Every Marketer Should Know

1) Acceptance Rate

The percentage of email messages that are accepted by the mail server. Note that an email being accepted by the mail server does not necessarily mean it will get to an inbox.

2) Black List

A list that denotes a sender as a spammer, making it difficult for the sender to get future emails into an inbox.


Short for ‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003,’ it’s a law that outlines rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, provides email recipients with the right to make you stop emailing them, and lays out consequences for violations of the Act. You can read more about how to make sure your email adheres to this law in this post.

4) Deliverability

The ability to get an email into the intended recipient’s inbox.

5) DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

Also known as “digital signature,” this is a method for associating a domain name with an email message, allowing a person, role, or organization to claim some responsibility for the message. A digital signature gives recipients a reason to believe the email message was created by a known sender and was not altered in transit.


The Time-Crunched Marketer’s Guide to Creating Lead-Gen Offers

MarketingSherpa reports that 60% of marketers have fewer than 10 landing pages on their website. But the more landing pages you have, the more opportunities you have to generate leads. So what gives?

Well, before you generate leads, before you create a landing page, before you even craft your call-to-action, you need something to offer your leads. You know, something worth redeeming in exchange for their contact information. The problem is, creating content takes time, which might be why so few marketers are utilizing landing pages to their fullest extent.

So what’s a time-crunched marketer to do? The time for excuses is over, because there are ways to create valuable marketing offer content quickly; it just takes a little out-of-the box thinking. Use these shortcuts to create new offer content, quickly build a new landing page (following these landing page best practices, of course), and start generating more qualified leads for your business!

Blog Bundle

If you’re a dedicated inbound marketer, you’re probably blogging on a regular basis and have built up a great arsenal of short-form content. And while each new blog post you publish continues to work for you in search engines, eventually they get buried with all the new content you publish. A blog bundle — a compilation of your best blog posts around a given topic — is a great way to resurface your best blog content and simultaneously create a new lead-gen offer.


Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Best Practices

By Steven Bradley

Search engine optimization is a complex subject, especially when you consider all the information and misinformation readily available online. Unfortunately it’s often hard to tell which is which. Does the latest tactic you’re reading about work? Does it work for all sites? Only some sites? Or is just another crackpot theory that sounds reasonable, but will never help to improve search traffic to your site?

Let’s face it SEO can become very confusing. The good news is it doesn’t have to be. The basics of SEO are actually quite easy to understand and if you give yourself a good foundation in learning search engine optimization you’ll be able to sort fact from fiction much more easily and you’ll have the tools to delve into more advanced SEO concepts.


9 Excellent Examples of Brands Using Facebook’s New Page Design

It’s been about a week since Facebook launched the new design for brand pages (along with some slightly new rules and capabilities). If you haven’t set up your new Facebook page yet, not to worry. You have until March 30th to play with the design before your page is forced live.

We had a feeling you might still be in experimentation mode, so to get your creative juices flowing, we’ve scoured Facebook for examples of brands using the new page layout in appealing ways. Take a look at how these brands are making use of the new Facebook page design, and use it as inspiration to get your own page up to date!


Learning from four viral events

If you’re thinking about making a video for your product or service, here are 4 quick case studies from Seth’s Blog; the good and the bad.

March 2012 is a big month for viral ideas that change the way people think about more than just LOLcats. Here are four that happened in the last week or two and each brings its own lessons:

Marilyn Hagerty’s review of the local Olive Garden was a huge Twitter sensation, an easy target for ironists in search of something to snark about. The octogenarian (as much fun to type as it is to say) was fabulous in her refusal to take the bait, and this is a classic Internet meme, here today, gone tomorrow. One lesson: you can’t count on media stories to pop, and when they do, they are not worth much to the media companies that publish them. You need more than one to make it a business.

The Kony video is the fastest-spreading internet video of all time, and one that is much harder to pigeonhole than an Olive Garden review. The most important takeaway is that this overwhelming pop is unlikely to ever happen this way again. A video this long, on this complex (and previously little known) a topic, for a non-profit–no, this is the exception that proves a bunch of rules. I have no doubt that the success of the video (seen by more people than any single TV show this week) will lead many organizations astray in the naive belief that they can emulate this one. If a non-profit board decides to spend precious resources on a video hoping it will change the world in three days, I think they’re misguided… read more >>

The Difference Between Web Analytics and Marketing Analytics

So what exactly makes marketing analytics different than web analytics? HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe can clarify:

“Web analytics measure things a webmaster cares about, like page load times, page views per visit, and time on site. Marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers. Marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and even offline events. Marketing analytics are also usually people-centric, featuring the prospect, lead, or customer as the unit of focus, whereas web analytics usually regard the page view as the unit of focus in its reports.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, boss!

With marketing analytics, marketers can understand… read more >