E-Dialog expert says subject lines in e-mail marketing need fine-tuning

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Lexington, Mass.--John Rizzi, CEO-president of precision e-mail marketing company e-Dialog, issued a white paper Wednesday contending that marketers are far too vague in the subject lines and content of their marketing e-mails.

Rizzi, who has worked on e-mail campaigns for clients such as Charles Schwab, Staples Inc. and the National Football League, said marketers are making mistakes such as slugging e-mail marketing campaigns with generic subject lines. He recommends avoiding subject lines such as ``information you requested,’’ instead stating ``information you requested from Acme Inc.” Rizzi’s five-page report is on the company’s Web site,

Rizzi cited previously released data from eMarketer Inc. that show the conversion rates for permission e-mail marketing are about 3.2% of prospects reached, which is higher than the 1% to 1.5% conversion rates traditional direct marketers enjoy. He said careful control of the frequency of e-mail and knowing the audience are critical to any marketer’s success.

In b-to-b marketing, Rizzi said marketing strategists should be wary of using e-mail that includes the elements of a Web page, coded using HTML. That’s because recipients in top business categories such as ``road warriors’’ don’t want to spend the extra time necessary to download a Web-based e-mail. Information technology buyers are also naysayers when it comes to glitzy e-mail, he said.

According to a study by The Winterberry Group, e-mail marketing will be a $3.5 billion industry by 2005. It is already too big a marketing services category to ignore and can no longer be considered in its infancy, Rizzi said.

--John Evan Frook

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