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Email marketing

The Importance Of A Killer Email Subject Line

I often get asked to send out a piece of email marketing communication and while the creative is stellar (very pretty) and there is a clear call-to-action, nobody has bothered to think about a killer subject line. Strange, considering you need a great subject line in order to grab someone’s attention and get them to open the email in the first place. Far too much time gets spent on the fluffy stuff like what colours and images should be used in the mailer, and too often not enough time is spent on crafting awesome copy.

If you get as much email as I do on a daily basis (and I’m sure you do), you will agree with me that the stuff that gets flagged or opened is the important and interesting stuff.

Business email aside, I subscribe to a whole bunch of different service and product related mailers which I get on a pretty frequent basis – everything from online shopping sales to discounted weekends away.

This is how I handle that type of promotional email.

I read the subject line and if it grabs me I either:

  • Open it and look at it immediately
  • Flag it and look at it later

But if the subject line doesn’t grab me, it ends up getting ignored.

At Manalytics we send loads of email on a daily basis and this much I know to be true: Having a great subject line, that gets people to open your email, is 90% of the battle won.

These are the types of subject lines that have always worked for us:

  • Lead with a question

Take a second to think about what happens when you read something? There is a little voice in your head that actually reads the words out aloud. They don’t come spewing out your mouth, but your brain mouths them, right? One word at a time

So if I asked you a question right now, something along the lines of, “Do you want to earn an online degree for free?”

It’s difficult not to automatically answer that question, even though you do it in a nano second. “Yes, maybe I do.”

And that is all a smart marketer is trying to do. Provide enough of a hook to spark some interest.

  • The bold statement

Why Donald Trump Will Never Get A Second Term!

That is a pretty bold statement isn’t it? If you have an interest in global politics, this would get your attention when it landed up in your email inbox.

If you are going to try and grab my attention, be bold. Watered down, airy-fairy email gets treated the way it should be – It just doesn’t get opened.

  • A bit of reverse psychology

Have you ever told a kid not to look in a particular drawer? What’s the likely outcome? You know for a fact they are going to open up the drawer to find out exactly why you told them not to look in there, in the first place.

I recently ran a competition mailer and instead of using a question or making a statement I simply said this: If you have a brand new Samsung fridge at home, don’t worry about this email.

Turns out it was the best open rate I’ve had for ages. By virtue of the fact that I asked people not to open the email, they did indeed end up opening the mail.

Let me leave you with this: If you are going to take the time and spend some money on email marketing, make sure you take some additional time to craft excellent copy for your subject line.

Or get someone to do it for you. We could always help. Drop us a line if you want to chat.

Brendan