Pharmaceutical marketers on top of their game know that they have about 150 characters, or 18 to 20 words, to make or break an email campaign. Why just 150? The sender field displays roughly 15, the subject line 35, and the preheader 100, when viewed on an iOS mobile device, the type used by about 95 percent of healthcare professionals (HCPs). These three fields, the three amigos of your inbox, have about a second to convince your recipient to open your message. Are you unleashing the power of the three amigos in your email campaigns?
Boosting Open Rates, the First Metric of Success
The open rate is a direct and concrete measurement of your campaign's performance. When the three amigos are in harmony, open rates soar. But pay attention to nuances. Judge campaign engagement by the ratio of unique-–to-total opens; measure effectiveness by comparing open rates with established benchmarks by specialty.
Finding the Sweet Spot in 35 Characters
While some devices and email clients display up to 55 characters, HCP email best practices recommend designing around the limitations of iPhones and iPads, which display 35. Word choice is exquisitely important in conveying campaign objectives in an authentic, compelling brand voice.
Recently, an email marketing firm analyzed 21 billion emails from 2,500 different marketers and identified the five best and worst words that affect a subject line's performance. The results?
Of course, the words varied by industry and specialty, but the bottom line is clear: continuous A/B testing, especially of the subject line, is vital to identify the words that perform best with your target audience.
Creating Synergy Between Your Subject Line and Preheader
In an increasingly mobile HCP environment, the preheader becomes as valuable as the subject line, if not more so. With best practices recommending around 100 characters, the preheader more than doubles your visible email real estate. Don't waste it with the default language (e.g., "Having trouble viewing this email"). Maximize it with a message that reinforces your offer.
Email marketing pros suggest some powerful uses of preheader space:
- Rewording the benefit or highlighting a separate one
- Promoting secondary or supporting content
- Highlighting a stand-alone call to action
- Placing functional links to landing pages or microsites
The preheader is another opportunity to add value to your message and entice your recipients to open and read it. Don't merely repeat the subject line content; elevate and reinforce it with unique, compelling copy. Just as you rigorously A/B test subject lines, test your preheader copy too, so every character is optimized to boost opens, click-throughs, and engagement.
Each of these email elements is powerful on its own, but when sender, subject line, and preheaders are unified in support of campaign objectives, the three amigos become an unbeatable force.