• Jacob Henner

From Lines

Updated: May 13

Does this sound familiar? A new offer with brand new swipes steps on the scene. The performance is surpassing all benchmarks on send after send… until it plateaus… and starts to drop. So what can you do as you helplessly watch performance decline? You give it a new hairdo.


In this metaphor, the hairdo is a new custom from line. While a new hairdo doesn’t change who you are, it can still grab some attention and cause people to see you in a new light.


If you send to your list every day, or multiple times a day, subscribers are very used to seeing your name in their inbox. A good new from line will make a send stand out, and a great new from line will generate more revenue.


Now when the email arrives in the subscribers’ inboxes, instead of appearing from: YOUR COMPANY’S NAME it appears as from: CUSTOM NAME.


The from line is just a way for an offer and creative to stand out again. Same person (email copy), same face (subject line), new hair (from line).


How to pick the from lines


If the high-performing swipe already has a custom from line, we will run the existing from line as the control against 4 or 5 new from lines that fit the same theme. If it doesn’t already have a custom from line, then we’ll try to think of a few different angles related to the offer or swipe. I’ll explain both in an example below.


Example: There is a Cookie offer that was performing well with one particular creative, but has since started to fatigue.


With an existing custom from line:


Offer: Cookies

SL: Best low-calorie cookies

From: Chocolate Chip


We then will try the same SL and swipe with these 4 from lines:


From: Snickerdoodle

From: Cinnamon-Raisin

From: Peanut Butter

From: Macadamia Nut


*the creative may need a small tweak just so that it still makes sense


We start by keeping the theme of the from lines the same (types of cookies). It has already worked for “Chocolate Chip”, so what’s stopping “Snickerdoodle”?


Without an existing custom from line:


If the swipe doesn’t already have a custom from line, we just spitball. We’ll try to find catchy relevant words and have a little fun with it. The whole point is to grab the subscribers’ attention, so if a word strikes you as fun, makes you laugh, or sparks curiosity, it’s worth a test!


For the cookies example above, let’s say there wasn’t already a custom from line. So we might try:


From: Messy hands

From: Gooey

From: Slim tummy

From: Midnight snack


This simple process has allowed us to give new life to swipes that were fatigued. Then we may be able to run that same old swipe with this new from line 4 or 5 more times!


How to pick the winning from lines


When an offer is hot, there usually isn’t time to conduct in-depth testing to isolate each possible variable. So rather than evaluating each piece, we are looking at it as a whole. We ask, “Did this creative, with this subject line, and this from line generate the most conversions?”


Other metrics like clicks and opens can help guide us, but at the end of the day, the email needs to drive conversions. By focusing on opens, maybe the from line grabbed attention but didn’t match the creative. Or maybe the from line attracted clickers who weren’t necessarily buyers.


While we do love a thorough test, in some cases if it works, it works. And when it does, we try it again to a different segment or list. And when that works, we have a winner.


Conclusion

  1. Start with a high-performing offer and swipe

  2. Work from an existing theme when possible

  3. Have some fun

  4. Don’t get lost in the testing

Extensive and methodical testing is great, but from lines are all about making the swipe pop again. We’re trying to grab the subscribers’ attention after seeing the same subject line multiple times. This is a hairdo that should turn heads in the inboxes. So throw some out there, see what sticks, and roll it out when you find a winner!

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