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

Picture this. Sonia Simone and me in an advertising agency conference room.

She pitches her headline to the account executive.

I pitch mine …

… and promptly get blown out of the water. It doesn’t matter which headline is better. Sonia is a legend. So the account executive goes with the better copywriter, not the better headline, 10 times out of 10.

So let’s try scenario B …

This time, we don’t ask the account exec’s opinion on which headline is better. (Steaks-and-strategy sessions with the client aside, he doesn’t know anyway.)

This time, after Sonia presents her headline, I whip off one of the dainty white gloves I’m prone to wear, slap her across the face, and say, “Madame, I demand satisfaction! I challenge you to a duel!”

When you don’t know the answer, let the customer decide

I wouldn’t let Sonia choose pistols at dawn. Instead, our weapon would be a split test.

Half of prospective customers would be exposed to Sonia’s headline and half to mine. And then we’d see, under real-world conditions where customers don’t even know they’re making a choice, which headline was really more effective.

On the surface of it, testing your copy seems like a great way to improve conversion and learn more about your customers. And it is. As Brian Clark says, “Conversion optimization is the coolest thing.”

But beyond the customer, think how A/B testing can help you

As a writer, I pride myself on my pitching ability.

But … I still hate pitching. At heart, I’m a writer, not a salesman.

So, imagine, if instead of having to pitch and convince the account executive or the client why your headline is better than the jargon-filled, scalable-automated-solution they normally prefer … you could just show them.

Let us show you how it’s done …

Give us your best subject line for a chance to win a ticket to Email Summit 2014 (plus hotel)

To give you a real example of A/B testing you can participate in, and test your copywriting mettle, I’m not going to challenge Sonia to a duel.

I’m challenging you.

To be more specific, Copyblogger and MarketingExperiments are pitting our audiences against each other for an A/B testing duel.

If you scroll down, you’ll see the exact copy of an email we are going to send promoting MarketingSherpa Email Summit in Las Vegas.

We’re asking you to write the best subject line you can think of, and leave it as a comment for this blog post.

Then Sonia and the Copyblogger team will read each and every comment and hand-pick the five subject lines they think will perform best. We’ll pick five subject lines from the MarketingExperiments blog as well (you can see the blog post announcing this contest to our audience here).

We’ll then run all 10 of those subject lines in a split test.

The writer of the subject line that generates the largest number of unique clickthroughs will receive a complimentary ticket to Email Summit 2014. We’ll even put you up in the host hotel, the Aria resort, for two nights.

The writer of the subject line that gets the highest open rate (clickthrough rate is our primary KPI, or key performance indicator, but opens will be a secondary KPI), will receive complimentary access to the MECLABS Email Messaging Online Course.

Rule Number 1, no touching of the hair or face.

As for the rest of the rules, they’re right here. Deadline is December 10, 2013.

Make sense? Great, let’s see what you’ve got. Below is the email we will be sending. Write your best subject line, and leave it as a comment to this blog post. Easy peasy.

[Send Dates: December 16-20, 2013]
[Sender: Pamela Markey]
[Audiences: MarketingSherpa + MarketingExperiments lists]
[Subject Line:] TBD

Hello [xxxx],

The last day to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount ($300 off) for Email Summit 2014 tickets is January 9, 2014. If you plan to be out of the office for the holidays, be sure to book your ticket before your vacation so you don’t miss out on this special rate.

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 promises to provide you with a great experience and an opportunity to learn what is and isn’t working in email marketing today. All case study presentations focus on real results with practical concepts you can use to do your job better. Come learn from your peers at companies like 3M, Dell, Porsche and Whirlpool.

If you want to learn how to grow your list, boost your performance and increase email ROI, join us at the Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas on Feb. 17-20, 2014 for Email Summit 2014. Order your tickets today so you don’t miss out on the Early Bird price before it expires January 9, 2014.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me anytime at p.markey@meclabs.com.

I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,
Pamela Markey
Senior Director, Marketing
MarketingSherpa

Recap:

  • To enter the contest, write the strongest email subject line for the above message that you can.
  • Leave your entry as a comment in this blog post.
  • The best five entries from Copyblogger will be tested, along with the best five entries from the MarketingExperiments blog.
  • The writer of the subject line that generates the largest number of unique clickthroughs will receive a complimentary ticket to Email Summit 2014, and we’ll put you up in the host hotel, the Aria resort, for two nights.
  • The writer of the subject line that gets the highest open rate will receive complimentary access to the MECLABS Email Messaging Online Course.
  • The deadline is December 10, 2013.

Fire up your creative engines, and may the best writer win!

About the Author: Daniel Burstein has 13 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement, and field marketing communications. He oversees all editorial content coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands, while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS. Daniel is also a frequent speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars.

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