Subject Lines That Get Noticed
What can you say in fifty
characters? Well, when it comes to email subject lines,
that is all you get to create enough excitement and interest for
the recipient to open your email. This small number may
seem like it is an impossible task, but it isn't. You do
need to think about it and test different subject lines, but a
well written one will get your email opened like that (snapping
Here are some ideas to help.
Read a Newspaper
Newspaper headlines are a lot like email subject lines.
The purpose is to get you to read an article, with limited text.
Subject lines work the same way and should clearly state what
your reader can expect from your email. Think of it as a "what’s
in it for them".
Focus on the Objective
What is your goal for the email blast? Is it a large
number of opens or something more specific such as ordering gift
certificates? Determine what that one action is, and make
sure all components of your email – especially the subject line
– achieve that goal. Here are some examples:
- Your goal is for people to
purchase an item in your online store. Use a clear
call-to-action that emphasizes their opportunity to make a
- Review the subject lines
you have used that were successful. Try manipulating
them a little to see if the results can be even better.
Perhaps you tried "20% off a $100 order". Now you can
try "$20 off your $100 order". The offer is the same,
but the way the savings is presented may appeal to
differently to different people.
Writing the subject line is
often the last and most hurried step in sending an email blast. As you plan the email blast,
start thinking about your subject line right away.
A recipient of your email is more likely to act on your
offer if they have an urgent reason to do so. Where
appropriate, drive urgency with messaging such as:
- Order by midnight tonight
- Last day to ensure
- Offer for first 25 people
You may also want to use
urgency and deadlines as part of a series of emails. For example
on December 20 use "Only 5 Days Till Christmas", then on
December 24 use "Last 5 hours to order Gift Certificates".
Don’t overuse deadlines, as it will diminish their importance
when you do use them.
While it’s important to drive a sense of urgency, it is more
important to maintain your company’s integrity. Here are
some things you don’t want to do:
- Stretch the truth
- Promise more than the
email can deliver
- Make claims that readers
will find hard to believe
- Offer one thing and
deliver something different
“Free” is not Evil
Yes, you can use the word free in a subject line. People respond
very well to free things, and it will often increase your click
rate. Do follow these simple rules:
- Don’t make “free” the
- Don’t use the word “free”
and an exclamation point
- Refrain from spelling
“free” in all caps
Email Marketing is Ongoing
It is easy to get discouraged when the first email blast results
in little to no sales. Just like with any other marketing
program, it takes time, touches, and tests. Don't give up after
just one or two. People may just be getting used to seeing
your name pop up in their email box... don't disappear.
Or, they are just not ready to buy yet.
Here is a true "Tammy" story.
"I started receiving emails from a coffeecake company in March,
2009. I was not interested so just deleted it. I
didn't unsubscribe, so for the next 9 months I continued to
delete emails without opening. However, on the 10th month
I was in the market to send a friend of mine a Christmas gift.
And guess what, the coffeecake email showed up again. I
had never ordered from them, but I "know" them. I ordered,
and they shipped the item to my friend and she loved it.
Another 9 months went by and I now I needed a birthday gift for
my sister. Well, I decided to order from them again. She
liked it so much that this Christmas she ordered several
coffeecakes. If this company had stopped sending emails to
me after 2 or 3 times they would have missed out on several
Think about it....
Virtualtech offers several
email marketing plans to help you to utilize this important
marketing media. Please call Tammy at 800-474-7001 to discuss or
http://www.virtualtech.com/email.php to learn more and sign
up for a free trial offer.