June 28, 2012, 12:37 PM

Modern Weddings Hawaii vows to craft better e-mail subject lines

The travel site finds more specific subject lines boost click-through rates.

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Since its launch a couple of years ago, Modern Weddings Hawaii has added new content to its site and on such social networks as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube—and more recently, Pinterest—six days a week. However, the site, which offers resources for consumers getting married in Hawaii, wanted a better way to keep consumers coming back. That led it to launch a weekly e-mail newsletter.

After trying a few vendors whose systems were too time-consuming, the site in January began testing the Campaigner e-mail marketing system from j2 Global. Its first e-mails featured a bland subject line, “Weekly Wedding Note,” that failed to spur shoppers to open the note. But after it began tweaking the subject line to fit the content in the e-mail, such as “Retro-inspired engagement shoots” to highlight the types of photo shoots popular with engaged couples, the open rates jumped nearly 30%.

Those open rates typically increase another 20% when the site mentions Pinterest in a subject line and ties in the image-sharing social network within the e-mail’s copy. That’s because most brides, especially those on Modern Weddings Hawaii, are on Pinterest where they curate the dresses, flowers and other elements they want on their wedding day, says Morgan Childs, the company’s creative director, who is also a wedding planner.

Pinterest enables users to ‘Pin’ things on the web that they like, such as photos of a flower bouquet or a wedding band. Those Pins are then gathered together on the user’s Board, which she can organize and share with friends. Consumers can follow other shoppers on the social network, which enables them to see each others’ Boards; that also can help consumers discover brands or products.

Modern Weddings Hawaii regularly leverages Pinterest for contests, which it then promotes in its e-mails. For instance, it recently hosted a contest that asked consumers to create a “My Dream Hawaii Wedding,” with the winner receiving a free engagement photo shoot.

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