Are You a Copywriting Hotshot? Test Your Skills in an Email Marketing Duel

Are You a Copywriting Hotshot? Test Your Skills in an Email Marketing Duel

Reader Comments (362)

  1. Are you being ignored by those you reach out to? Then grab a seat at the Email Summit 2014 and save $300 when you book early.

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  3. So 3 blind mice go to Vegas, one rolls the dice, one throws the rice, and one thinks twice-who’s reading our emails?

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  6. Great contest! I didn’t see a limit on the number of entries, so here are a few:

    What Does Vegas Have to Do With Email Marketing? It Turns Out EVERYTHING

    How a Trip To Vegas Can Turn You Into an Email Marketing Hotshot

    What 3M, Dell and Porsche Can Teach You About Email Marketing

    Learn the Secrets of Insanely Successful Email Marketing from 3M, Dell and Porsche

    What the World’s Most Brilliant Email Marketers Wish You Knew

    What Top Hotshot Email Marketers Wish You Knew

    From Their Brains to Yours: Email Marketing Lessons from the World’s Best Marketers

    Advanced Email Marketing Lessons from The World’s Most Brilliant Marketers

  7. RE: Open this email so I can give you yet another “last day to take advantage” sales pitch while waving a “$300 off” discount (because I’m too embarrassed to state its real price and value to stand on its own), so that wow, you can be an “Early Bird” (can I, can I, a bird). This will be so important (whatever this “MerketingSherpa Email Summit 2014” thing is, as if they really think I memorize past “great experiences” deleted emails) that you should re-prioritize your own family vacation plans because we will deliver an “opportunity to learn” (just an opportunity folks, don’t get too excited) and let me close by asking (in a condescending way) do “you want to learn how to grow … boost your performance … and increase your …” great Scott I got it … come to Vegas for SEX … “order your tickets today” … “don’t miss out” … “offer expires”.

    Okay, too long for an Email Subject Line … but it’s honest. It may not matter how pretty a bow you can craft to put on this message (of course I’m not a copywriter). So my honest answer (fun aside) is to leave the Subject blank and hope nobody reads it to save your reputation!

    • Honestly, I agree with Tom. The subject line may generate opens, but it’s the copy within the email that leads to click throughs (the KPI chosen) and from a copy writing perspective… this email is pretty weak.

      And unlike Tom, I AM a copywriter 😉

      Also, this post includes no real info about the target audience. — — How did these people end up on this list?
      — Are they all folks who went last year, just people that read free stuff from the website or have they spent money with the organization in some other way?
      — Are these people even the key decision makers?

      All that matters A LOT. It builds a context for this email that can be used to help craft a strategy for getting them to open and click through.

      • That said, here’s my subject line:

        Email Summit 2014: Does your email work hard enough? Discount ends 1/9.

      • Thanks for the questions. All great questions Melissa.

        – While we have more targeted and segmented sends, this particular send is going to the entire list for both MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa. A list this size will allow us to test many subject lines and get a large enough sample size to have statistically significant results for CTR. So they end up on the list in a variety of ways. Some have attended previous summits or bought products from us in the past. Some only read free content or attended a webinar. For example, here are some of the MarketingSherpa newsletters they can sign up for…

        – Much like the above, it’s a mix of decision makers, and those that have to get approval from a decision maker.

        I hope this info helps, and thanks for your subject line idea.

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  11. A: Calling all penny-wise, punctual pigeons!
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  12. A reality check? In Vegas? For once, it’s true.

    Do better lines in Vegas. (Here’s three 100 dollar bills to get you started.)

    • “Do better lines in Vegas. (Here’s three 100 dollar bills to get you started.)”

      This one is the most funny and shareable of all 🙂

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  14. Are you really an early bird if this is the last chance?

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    • Sorry made a mistake above…

      Amended headline below.

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  16. 1. We know what makes people click…Do you?

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    • Interesting… I would think you would be exempt, but hey welcome to your own party. 🙂

      What I find interesting about your subject line is you MUST be going for CTR vs. Opens.

      I’d love to hear your rationale on that.

      • Well, we can start with the fact that clickthrough is what Daniel is measuring for this test. 😉

        From there — ask yourself as a marketer. Why would clickthroughs be what’s measured vs. opens?

        Every entrant would do well to sit down and consider why Brian’s entry is structured the way it is.

        • Exactly… clearly there’s an insight that most of us appear to be missing.

          Here’s at least a bit of where my head’s at. I’d love to get your take on it Sonia.

          With the understanding that the subject line and body copy need to live and work together as a team, within reason, I’ve always used the subject line to drive opens and body copy to tell a convincing story and pitch the product.

          This is why I (and I suspect many of the others) have focused on driving opens with the headline. We are relying on the body copy to do the heavy lifting and drive CTRs.

          With an awesome list and great customer loyalty you might not need much “convincing” to get people to open your mails and take quick action, but I’m not sure this conference has the awareness and brand to generate that kind of gravitational pull.

          • Brock,
            My bet is that the entire subject line is targeted at click thrus. That is, it won’t get a high open rate but those who do open it are highly likely to click. It’s very relevant to the subject matter, and therefore represents exactly what’s inside…

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    “Holla Fo Yo Dollar: Email Marketing For Results”

  18. “So A Priest, A Rabbi & Email Marketer Walk Into This bar…”

    “Epic Fail: Marketing Email Blunders & The Fix”

    “Call Me About This Email.”

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  19. Cold? Come to Vegas.

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    4. Hone your audience-listening skills: learn about the latest findings in email performance improvement

    And, my favorite quote, by C.S. Lewis: “The universe rings true whenever you fairly test it”. Not sure if can be used in a subject line, but it speaks to me as an expert tester.

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  25. Running out if idea for headlines? Vegas Email Summit 2014!

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  26. Open eyes & ears to your emails. Knowledge is power and the location is Vegas. Registration is limited.

  27. Here is my entry :

    ✔ [xxxx] Get Your Early Bird Discount & Full Value Expertise

    tick + first name + action + first letter caps + consistency with the email message

  28. Subject:

    “The Email Marketing Secrets Used By Industry Giants (including Porsche, 3M, Dell, Whirlpool and more…)”


    The biggest benefit should be in the subject line because its only role is to get someone to open and read the email. Including the “proof” (company names) in there will increase response too.

    The “$300 discount for only 1 more day..” is the offer to induce a response to the email so I’d place it after the “here’s what you get on this great day…” part of the main body – generate the desire for attending first.

    Once the reader wants to attend, then they discover they can book now and save some money, I believe they will be more likely to respond to the $300 discount deal.

    I also have an idea for a different deal that could generate more interest and increase the profit from each ticket sale. Email me if you want to hear it (sorry for hogging page space!)

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  31. “Open vs CTR: Email Summit 2014 Discount Now”

    “Tune Out, Turn Off & Reboot: Email Summit 2014”

    “Wordsmith Bets Sure Thing. Leaves Vegas Richer. Email Summit 2014.”

  32. A few for the MECLABS team to noodle on:

    – E-mail Secrets From Porsche And More

    – Want Better Results From Your Email Marketing In 2014?

    – Save $300 And Transform Your Email Marketing – Email Summit 2014

    – Early Bird Access: $300 Off Email Summit 2014

    – Treat Yourself To $300 Off Email Summit 2014

    – see you in Vegas, ~FIRSTNAME~?

    – Reserve Your Seat: $300 Off Email Summit 2014

    – An Early Holiday Gift For Better E-mail Marketing In 2014

    – $300 Savings | Vegas | More ROI From Email In 2014

    – Master E-mail Marketing For 2014

    – Last Call: Save $300 On Email Summit 2014

    – Re: Your $300 Email Summit Savings (expires soon)

    – [Exclusive] $300 Early Bird Discount For Email Summit 2014


    – Mike

  33. “Why will work pay for your Vegas vacation? Find out now.”

    “Why work will pay for your Vegas vacation”

    “New year, New email strategy, Save $300…Done!”

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    “Use It or Lose It, save $300 by booking today”

    “Want a better email strategy in 2014? Book and save $300 today.”

    “Check this off your work wish list and save $300 now”

  34. “Guaranteed to win big in Vegas. Email Summit 2014. Save $300 now.”

    “Guaranteed to win big in Vegas @ Email Summit 2014. Last chance to save.”

    “Don’t gamble with email in 2014. Last chance to save $300.”

    “Vegas slots = Gamble. Email Summit 2014 = Guarantee”

  35. Dear Copyblogger Copywriting Contest Coordinator,

    Please consider testing the following subject lines:

    Reminder: Claim Your $300 Savings by Jan 9
    Reminder: Your $300 Discount Ends Jan 9
    Reminder: Use Your $300 Coupon by Jan 9

    How to Save $300 on Your Email Summit Tix
    Easy Way to Save $300 on Your Email Summit Tix

    Thank you,

    Adala Suzette Zelman

  36. 1. Start saving $300 now and more forever – Email Summit 2014 – Learn, Earn and Fun at a Single Shot

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    5. Income flies through Inbox to Account – save $300 now and succeed in Email Marketing forever – Attend Email Summit 2014

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    8. Save before Expired – Immediate action is needed.

  37. Following are some eye-catching Subject lines

    – Start saving $300 now and more forever – Email Summit 2014 – Learn, Earn and Fun at a Single Shot

    – Grab the Great Gift – Now or Never – Save $300 and make more through Email Summit 2014

    – Deal of Dollars – Delete it or Dream it – rapid return of $300 – Email Summit 2014

    – Income in your Inbox – earn $300 now and succeed in Email Marketing forever – Attend Email Summit 2014

  38. At last! Experts reveal secrets of Email-Marketing. Be one of the first to know and save yourself a lot of Money.

  39. I finally had an epiphany about e-mail headlines. The ones I usually delete (when the don’t end up in my spamfolder myself) are the ones with:

    a) Save $ (Insert number here)
    b) Early birds or any other animal that is early
    c) Vegas
    d) E-mailmarketing
    e) Register/buy now and…
    f) Mentioning ticketsales

    Re-reading all 268 previous posts (including my own) made me realise there are not many that wouldn’t end up in my own spamfolder.

    Based on these findings my entry for this contest is:

    “Sherpa invites you to learn from your peers (like 3M, Dell, Porsche and Whirlpool) at Email Summit 2014”

    This is the one I would click: a personal invitation, with reference to businesses with authority, a clear sendername and the title of the event. No spammy words at all what so ever. I might even click the link in the e-mail 🙂

  40. The simple, direct nature of Brian Clark’s entry really blew my mind. Sometimes, the catchy and “creative” solution is not always the most effective one.

    Here’s my entry:

    MarketingSherpa freezes Email Summit 2014 discount on January 9th

  41. 1. Here’s the $300 we told you about.

    2. Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, there’s a $300 discount.

    3. $300 says you can’t beat this subject line.

    4. Defeat delete and save $300.

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  44. 1. Your Email Summit 2014 Welcome Package Enclosed
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  46. Sonia said:

    “Every entrant would do well to sit down and consider why Brian’s entry is structured the way it is.”

    Brian’s entry was:

    “Email Summit 2014 discount ends January 9”

    My consideration:

    Trust–> What it is really about? “Email Summit 2014” Plain and simple. No hype. Don’t you hate hype? Always makes me feel like someone is trying to sell me something. 🙂

    Utility–>What’s in it for me? “discount.” Because that is what is going to make me take action.

    Urgency–>Why now? “ends January 9” So now not only am I going to open this email because I deem it useful due to Brian Clark’s Authority, but I’m not going to waste time getting to that click through button.

    How did I do?

    Thank you all at Copyblogger for making this contest so transparent. This is my fantasy of how Authority must operate. I am so there in 2014.

    And speaking of fantasies…aside from desperately wanting to go in to alter my submission in to the essay contest. [finally figured how to tighten the piece up enough to slip in a clarifying sentence]…yeah, didn’t think so–I dream about a contest that would have as its prize to work for Copyblogger. Planting the seed. Or is that something on the other side of the Authority divide?

    My headline entry? I’ll post that before the deadline…after I reread “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” for the umpteenth time.

  47. Thank you – what a relaxing ‘challenge’ to play with after five straight hours of coaching. Here’s what I have;

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  50. Here’s two:

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  55. Another one from me 🙂

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    P.S. Sherry and Cheery: Sheery :). Sherry seems to be popular this Christmas.

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