Email subject lines can make or break your mailing. It’s a strong claim, possibly a bit too strong. It’s only a podcast Jon, calm down.
But email subject lines really are important if you’re mailing out, whether it’s follow ups, introductions, thank you’s, whatever it is.
If your email subject line does not get the click, does not attract the attention, does not encourage the person to open, then all of that effort you put in to writing the actual email, is wasted.
Of course you must start with having a good email provider to make sure it gets past the spam filters in the first place but that’s for another day.
I think we may have talked about it before, but email subject lines are like newspaper headlines. Newspapers, magazines, when you look in the rack, in the shop or the store on the magazine rack, you see their headlines.
If you’re buying Cosmopolitan, you look at the headlines; they are experts. If it doesn’t appeal, you will not buy it. Cosmopolitan, in fact, is one of the best, because it just makes me laugh. Just to see how they use the standard things like sex and money to get people to open the thing or buy it and look later.
It’s a craft; it really is a high skill. Copywriters have always said 80 percent of their time is probably spent writing the actual headline, rather than the copy. Now you’d think that their skill is in writing the copy, but if no one reads it, if no one opens, no one gets past the headline, all that time is wasted.
So please consider how you write those subject lines.
What’s a good way to write an email subject line? There are many examples. Some use controversy, some use shock and awe, many use numbers, and many use sneaky tricks.
I strongly advise that you do not use sneaky tricks. People may open it and you may get a huge 60 or 70 percent open rate, but if what they then read subsequently in the email doesn’t relate to the shock and awe headline, you’ll get a lot of complaints and you’ll get a lot of un-subscribes.
That is not going to do you good in the long run. You want to build trust and authority over time.
What I recommend is to use good old Google. Just get on your computer, open Google up and search for “Best email subject lines” “Best email subject lines of all time” or “Email subject line advice lists”.
There are numerous articles that have been written over and over on how to write and how to craft a good email subject line. A lot of people like numbered lists, so something like “Seven ways to…” “Eight methods that will enhance…” Etcetera, always works well.
And, consider the words you use, are they power words? Is your email subject line bland? Or does it pop? Does it shout at you? Does it go “Ra, ra, ra?”
This is important. One or other is going to work for you. Test them. You cannot guarantee success.
And another thing, if you find one successful formula, it will wane over time. People will get used to it. It will not appeal so much over time, so you need to constantly evolve, constantly change.
If you use a good email auto responder service like we do, say like Aweber, they give AB split testing, so you can send alternate versions of the email or subject line to every other address and then you can see what works and what opens.
Honestly it’s going to be good. It will improve your marketing.
Drive Time Podcast
Today I’m going to recommend, from Mike Stelzner (we recommended his Twitter handle a while ago), the Social Media Marketing podcast. It’s from his site SocialMediaExaminer.com, but you’ll find it in iTunes; it’s also on Stitcher and everywhere else as well and on Soundcloud.
He interviews experts in the social media space and, as social media changes so often, it’s difficult to keep up. Mike interviews people who do keep up! It’s their job to tell us. It’s great.
I learn stuff every single time. There’s always a new tactic that is going to improve your marketing. And it’s not hyped; it’s all good stuff. A lot of large companies use their advice.
Please, listen to podcasts. If you listen to this podcast, do subscribe. Get on iTunes and subscribe to make sure it comes to you all the time. It’s out every weekday.
I do try my best so give it a rating. In fact after you listen to the Social Media Marketing one, give Mike a rating, give him a review.
It’s nice to know what everyone thinks.