Sure, there’s some art to email marketing, but when you have data at your fingertips, it can be just as much science. The Informz 2015 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report dives into all kinds of data, from open rate trends to viewing devices.

In our “Open, Click, Convert” webinar, Viv Swertinski from Informz broke down a few of the data points to give actionable advice for marketing professionals looking to improve their results. (I’m willing to bet that is every single marketing professional in every single industry, myself included.)

My favorite piece of advice from Viv was on subject line testing to improve open rates.

She gave the example of an organization that had a goal to convert recently lapsed members through an email campaign. First, the organization tested two really different subject lines with a small test audience. The results were crystal clear:

Slide 1

Great – that’s a nice start point. But which part of Version A was the compelling part? The “2 Steps,” the idea of coming “Back” or using the person’s first name? With so many variables, it was hard to know. Also, was that the absolute best subject line, or just the best of these two? So they tested again:

Slide 2

Talk about consistent! Version A took the cake, again. Interestingly enough when we polled participants in the live webinar about what they thought, Version B for test 2 was the predicted winner. Clearly that subject line did not perform poorly but Version A did outperform it. It just goes to show, when it comes to business decisions, data trumps our gut.

For more ideas on improving your email marketing and member engagement, watch the recording of Open, Click, Convert.