Gladwell makes excellent points, but I sure wouldn't trust intuition over hard data when it comes to email copywriting!
And for email copywriters, it's so easy to find out what's working -- either through the testing you conduct for your clients, or the research and best practices you can find on the web.
The bottom line?
Unless your copywriter has made a consistent commitment
to reviewing the research literature on an ongoing basis,
they're flying blind.
Let me give you an example of just one fact that this copywriter learned that will, of course, be put to work for my clients.
A while ago I reviewed an excellent research study conducted by Silverpop, a respected Atlanta-based email marketing services firm.
The study was titled, "Email Creative That Works - An Evaluation Of Opens And Click Rates Associated With Various Creative Elements."
One of the variables the research addressed was the use of links. Data were provided on the optimal number of links that should be included in both B2B and B2C emails. The study concludes:
When it comes to links, the magic number for high click-rates appears to be between 6 and 10."
Since the emails that I write tend to be on the short side (for reasons I won't go into now), six to ten links would be too many for most of my clients' emails. However, this information is of real interest to me and went into my personal "Research Findings" database.
How can you stay up to date on the latest email research?
Well, you really don't have to if I'm doing your copywriting. Or, if you want to spend hours a week doing research on what's working, here are a few places to start . . .
Some Useful Resources . . .
The next time you need an email written, give me a call and let me put the latest email-response research to work for your product or service.