For legitimate email marketers it’s often difficult to avoid the dreaded spam folder. Now imagine that you service the pharmaceutical industry and your best selling point is that you specialize in said industry. Ouch. That’s the challenge that Bragfolio, a niche job board for pharmaceutical and medical job board, is faced with everyday. However through creativity and ingenuity the marketer claims huge returns on their email marketing efforts.

The email below was mailed to four separate 3rd-party, rented email lists. In this case their target audience was recruiters. First let’s look at the email with images on and off. Then we’ll identify some of the elements that most likely contributed to the strong performance.

Subject Line: Want to know the best kept secret in recruiting?
From Line: Bragfolio and [publication/list owner and name]

Click to enlarge

The subject line “Want to know the best kept secret in recruiting?” is intriguing and to relevant to the audience.

The preview text  read “Finding top phármáceutica| sales talent should cost less…” (via the alt tag on the upper-left image), which effectively continued the theme of the subject line and further incented the reader to open the email. Note the use of alternative characters to avoid falling into the Pharma/Viagra spam bucket. Although this is not ideal it is necessary.

Once opened, the reader was encouraged to download the images, which again continued the story of the subject line and the first image. Those two image descriptions read “Know why?…”, “Please download the images first.” Once the images were downloaded, they displayed copy that was different from that n the alt tags, which answered the question of the subject line and delivered on the promise.

The offer was clear and above-the-fold. The copy was concise and crafted for the niche. The graphics were on brand, light, and well balanced. The email used clean inline CSS and standard fonts. I tested the code across all major business and consumer email clients. It was bullet-proof. The arrow which directed attention to the offer used a subtle amination (although I cannot recreate it here, it worked, trust me). My only criticism is that the landing page, often the ugly sister of email marketing and search marketing for that matter, needed work and I would also recommend including social media invites.

Jeff Stahl, CEO at Bragfolio, reports that this promotion received an average open rate of 38%, a 17% click-through rate, and a conversion rate of 6.2%, which crushed their previous control by a country mile. Keep in mind that I have no insight into their list selections or if the offer was particularly strong. But  from looking at the creative it’s apparent that much time and attention was paid to crafting a message that resonated with their prospects and ensured that it was delivered to the inbox, opened, and acted upon. Very good stuff!