Published by Debopriya Das on August 9, 2018

Send Time Optimisation & Subject Line Optimisation – Marketers’ Genies!

Few key questions any marketer or campaign specialist faces are – “Whom, What, When and How to send a campaign”. In the last 15 years, analytics personnel have strived to answer some of them, particularly the first two – Whom and What. But it is not enough.

Today’s customers are always in a hurry, with a very short attention span. Gone are those days, when digital campaigns were themselves sufficient to propel the success of a marketing campaign.

To match the right product to the right customer, but also to send the right campaign at the right time with the right packaging is more crucial than ever. It is often seen that an extremely relevant mail remains unopened either due to sending it at the wrong time or due to an unattractive subject line.

With Netcore’s latest offerings on, Send Time Optimization(STO) which suggests when to send a particular campaign to a customer and Subject Line Optimization(SLO) which suggestively helps customize the subject line of any campaign to achieve the best performance, marketers can now feel a bit at ease and tactfully manoeuvre around the above problems.

Send Time Optimization

Timing is an extremely important concept in modern marketing.

Assume, a customer of yours is a new mom, who keeps busy looking after the baby for most part of the day. She gets a chance to check emails & messages only when the baby sleeps, generally during specific hours of the day. If during these hours, she opens her mail box and sees an email regarding baby toys on top. She is going to open it for sure, isn’t it! The marketer has figured out when to reach her exactly, to get a cut of your short attention span.

Let’s look at another example. A top senior corporate may be able to check his/her personal emails only late in the day, whereas a junior employee is generally online and checks his emails every alternate hour. This means that persons from similar backgrounds may or may not actually have a preferred time slot.

Netcore’s AI powered STO helps solve all these challenges at once by putting the campaign email among the top few in the mailbox. Based on past email behaviour of customers, it figures out:

  1. Openers vs. Non-openers
    Each sent email has an associated cost. We really do need to think if a customer is an opener or not, based on which the marketer may take a call to send a campaign to the entire user base or users meeting certain criteria related to open rate.
    “There is no point poking a sleeping bear.”Also, it is always better sending a campaign to the probable openers first due to email deliver-ability reasons as well. Campaigns supposed to reach millions of customers are generally not sent in one go. If it starts getting opened initially, then the chances of the campaign being marked as spam by some engines decrease eventually leading to better inboxing.
  2. Customers with no preferred time slots
    Analysis shows that when people check emails, they have a tendency to open emails that are on the top of the inbox. Many customers may actually not have a preferred time slot. This also means, that if we fail to get the attention of these openers in the slot we have sent, then there is a lower chance of the email getting opened ever. We would definitely like to reach out to them, but due to uncertainty in their email behaviour we may not want to reach out to these customers at first.
  3. Preferred time slot for a customer
    This is the cream layer. They are openers and we know for sure when they generally open their email. If we can reach out to them in their preferred slot, then uncertainty related to opening of emails decrease. We can just try and imagine the impact of a campaign on enhancing the purchase probability, which not only suggests the right items which you may be needing but also at the right time when you are available.

Subject Line Optimization

Campaign Specialists are creative people. Often before designing the campaign they feel at sea, deciding on which subject line can fetch good success. Just like, “One can judge a book by its cover” so is an appropriate subject line important in defining the quality of the content in an email. A very relevant content suggestion included in an email may remain unopened if the subject line cannot convey the relevant appropriateness.

Netcore’s AI powered SLO helps the marketer experiment and finalize the best possible subject line for a campaign, by suggestively guiding him/her select the best possible subject line by:

  1. Predicting the estimated open rate for any given subject line
    We use Machine Learning based supervised algorithms to estimate the expected open rate of a campaign mail, if it’s sent with a particular subject line within a specific time frame. This can help the marketer to compare different subject lines and decide which of them can tentatively provide a higher open rate.
  2. Showing top 5 best and worst performing similar subject lines historically
    This helps the marketer by matching the entered subject line with all the subject lines which have been used earlier, in terms of similarity score, and selecting the best and worst five most similar subject lines based on open rate and spam score respectively.
  3. Predicting the Inboxing Quality
    We analyze the subject line and evaluate the propensity of the campaign email going to spam, based on which we suggest if it has “High” or “Low” inboxing chances. The marketer can use this spam analyzer, to ensure the campaign enjoys higher reach. Generally, a higher reach ensures higher open rate and eventually results in higher conversion.
  4. Sentiment Analysis
    Subject lines featuring extreme sentiments, either positive or negative result in higher open rates. Really crazy, isn’t it! People get intrigued when they see unexpected strong words like “MADNESS”, “URGENT”, “LOOSE” etc. In a subject line, which perhaps leads to a higher tendency to open.
  5. Word and Metatag Suggestions
    Metatags are some predefined lists of proper nouns or emojis or character combinations (like location, client name, hashtags etc. ) which generally occur in a subject line..
    Example: “ABC launches a new store in Mumbai 🙂
    Metatags: Client, Location, EmojiSmartech has a list of  metatags that impact inboxing & open rates. These are shown as suggestions to the marketer.

The motto of any marketing campaign is to generally generate a higher outcome. The outcome can be varied – to collect feedback, to promote, to generate revenue etc. Whatever is the objective, the intermediate stages are always the same.

The STO and SLO offerings from Netcore helps the marketer to ensure a higher success in the initial two stages (follow the image above), which eventually results in success of reaching the desired outcome.

Debopriya Das

Debopriya Das says, "I am currently working as Lead - Machine Learning at Netcore, and have a rich experience into analytics, deep learning, DWBI, solutioning, consulting, and project management. I have spent a significant amount of time in my career, building solutions and strategies for pricing, loss mitigation, risk scoring etc in the Insurance industry. Most of the other problems that I have worked on have been pretty spread out and abstract, ranging from problems which can be solved by traditional statistical/machine learning models to practical image recognition and video intelligence."

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