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  • November 9, 2012

AM Inbox: A/B testing subject line-preheader message combos

The Retail Email Blog monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers. Here are highlights from my inbox this morning:

Harry & David, 11/8 — You're invited to the Friends & Family Event
+ preheader text — Save 25% and spread the word with friends and family
Harry & David, 11/8 — 3, 2, 1: Save 25% starting right now
+ preheader text — Our Friends and Family Event is here. Let the yum begin

Subject lines are the most often A/B tested email elements, but there’s a nascent trend to include preheader messages in those tests. It makes sense as preheader messages often function as an extension of the subject line when they are positioned first in the email message, particularly when the email is viewed on a mobile device.

In this email, Harry & David does such a combo test. In the first pairing, the “Friends & Family” element is in the subject line and the “Save 25%” element is in the preheader message. In the second pairing, the position of those elements is reversed.

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Musician’s Friend, 11/8 — Save 15% Instantly In Celebration of Veterans Day
Fingerhut, 11/8 — Everything you need to get ready for Thanksgiving!
Crate & Barrel, 11/8 — 20% off Thanksgiving Day must-haves. 5 days only.
Staples, 11/8 — Black Friday preview! Plan. Strategize. Save.
Walmart, 11/8 — Black Friday Specials revealed! Plus, get free shipping on Online Specials.
eBags, 11/8 — Make holiday travel feel more like a holiday
SmartBargains, 11/8 — HOME for the Holidays: Home goods up to 82% OFF
Williams-Sonoma, 11/8 — 20% Off All Wreaths & Trees - Today Only!
Home Depot, 11/8 — FREE! ONE WEEK ONLY! 100 Ornaments to Trim Your Tree
Montgomery Ward, 11/8 — Complete Outdoor Wonderland Starting at Only $20 a Month
Cooking.com, 11/8 — Our 2012 Top Gourmet Food Gifts
Barnes & Noble, 11/8 — 15% Savings to Kick Off Holiday Shopping
Nordstrom, 11/8 — Stay Wired in Winter with Tech-cessories

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