Ramsey Solutions is on a mission to give hope to people in every walk of life by providing information and tools to help with their money, relationships, business, work/life balance, and more. New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey created the company in 1992 as a means to provide financial counseling and education. The company relies on the email channel to help their advisors create a connection with their customers and provide important, timely guidance.
The team at Ramsey Solutions wanted to use their email communications to deepen the relationship between sales advisors and their customers, while also increasing overall customer confidence in the company and its programs. They were seeing a significant drop-off in attendance after their first class and needed to find a way to reduce this churn. To achieve these goals, they focused on an email designed to be sent before their first class in an automated email series. In particular, they decided to experiment with the email subject line, as this can often be the “make-or-break” that determines whether or not an email is even opened. The challenge was to develop a compelling subject line that would resonate with the audience, enticing them to open the email, consume the valuable content inside, and ultimately continue attending the classes.
The marketing team at Ramsey Solutions sends emails on behalf of their advisors, to nurture the relationship between advisors and their customers. These emails include dynamic content that is personalized to the individual customer. Using the Return Path from Validity suite of deliverability and optimization tools, the team at Ramsey Solutions was able to determine that their average read time was only about six seconds—so they knew they had to keep the content short and punchy. Using the Subject Line Optimizer tool, they also learned that their deliverability and engagement were higher when the subject line was personal in nature.
The team had never before attempted to tap into their customers’ feelings in an email subject line, and faced a great deal of resistance from those who felt a short, heart-felt subject line was too simplistic to be effective. However, backed by data from the Return Path tools, they secured approval for their subject line recommendation.
Using the simple subject line, “How are you?” paid big dividends for the team at Ramsey Solutions. The open rate for this email was nearly four times greater than their average open rate for the past year, and vastly outperformed the engagement of any previous email campaign. This email has been widely recognized as the best performing email in the entire organization, and continues to perform as an automated email for more than four months.