So, as much as I loved the “May the fourth be with you” email I received from ThinkGeek – they sent another one the next day that kind of surprised me. To piggyback on the popularity of 5/4, they went with…. Revenge of the Fifth.
Okay, that’s pretty good. I think I had seen it around the internet before. Fair enough. Milk that sale for all it’s worth – you have the PERFECT audience for it, really. But the subject line I received was just….I can’t even….no.
Subject Line: Meesa called Jar-Jar Binks. Meesa wish you a groov 5th-a.
First off – I don’t know any respectable Star Wars fan (or, human) who liked Jar-Jar Binks. Why would they pick the least likeable character in Star Wars history (and possibly of all time*) to quote??
Then there’s the typo – a “groov” 5th-a? (I’m not even going to snark about that. We’ve all been there.)
But the thing that really bugged me about it was that (WARNING! NERD ALERT! And spoiler alert, I guess, if you haven’t seen this movie that came out in 2005) Jar-Jar Binks only had one line in Revenge of the Sith. Because no one liked him and Star Wars fans REALLY didn’t want to watch him in movies. If you’re going to do a promotion based off of a pun from a movie title, maybe pick a quote from a character that was actually significant in the movie, okay? This is bad. I’m sure many of their subscribers thought the same.
The rest of the email was good and featured some fun products that most Star Wars fans would enjoy – if they didn’t immediately delete the email to make that subject line go away.
(I normally put the subject line right before a screenshot, but I just can’t even look at it again. Sorry.)
Update: BREAKING NEWS!
I just heard from someone at ThinkGeek responsible for this email, and it turns out it was part of an A/B test. The other subject line tested was “Come to the dark side.” (Solid and safe!). ThinkGeek knew that everyone hates Jar-Jar Binks (Of course they did. Sorry I doubted you, TG!). But guess what!? The Jar-Jar Binks subject line had a 10.5% higher open rate, 16.5% higher CTR, and a 5.5% higher CTO!
I think that’s a lesson for all of us. Sometimes we can get emotionally attached to our content and have pretty strong opinions (see above) about certain subject lines. It’s important to take risks and always test, and ThinkGeek did a great job with it!
*Just kidding. Everyone knows it’s Carrie Bradshaw.