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Writing a killer email subject line can make all the difference in email marketing. Why is this so important? Surely, it is the content that’s more important, isn’t it? Don’t they say how you shouldn’t judge a book by its content, or in this case, an email by its subject line?
Let’s think from the perspective of a subscriber to understand the importance of an email subject line. What’s the first thing you do when you pick up an email? You scan the list before deciding which email to open, which to delete even without opening, and which ones to save, so that you can read someday when you are free.
You will look at the sender’s name first. It could be someone important – someone who owes you money, or can potentially give you money. In that case you won’t hesitate to open the email. Similarly, it could be someone whose name rings a bell.
Next, you look at the subject line. Does the subject line catch your attention? Does it in anyway speak out to your needs? You will probably click on the email only if you find the subject line captivating enough.
It is much the same with your readers. Your readers would open an email only if the email subject line is enticing enough. This is just a fact of email marketing, and something that every email marketer knows very well indeed.
The subject line is a terrific tool to get your reader to leave everything and pay attention. What’s the secret to writing a great subject line? We will talk about the 7 strategies to write perfect subject lines, but remember the popular “3Ps” principle – Purpose, Person and Point. That will always help you to write perfect subject lines.
In fact, you should follow the 3Ps in any form of communication – not just at email marketing. They help you deliver perfect speeches, compose effective essays and articles and blog posts, write a killer press release and create effective YouTube videos. Yes, they help you write perfect emails as well.
Think about it – how many emails did you receive over the last few days that seemed to be lacking in purpose, relevance and personality and made no point whatsoever, leaving you bored, confused and even flabbergasted?
Where did those targeted email marketing emails end up? You don’t have to tell us – in the SPAM folder. Well, that is exactly what’s going to happen to your emails that have subject lines that lack Purpose, Person and Point. You need email subject lines that work. Do we have your attention now?
So when writing an email, ask yourself…
#1: Purpose – Why am I writing this email? What purpose am I trying to solve? What do I expect to get out of this?
#2: Person – Who am I sending this email to, and why am I sending it to them? What are the things that drive this person, which compel them to take action?
#3: Point – What am I trying to say, exactly? Do I really have a point here? Am I really making any sense to the person who reads my emails?
Well, now that you are familiar with the 3Ps, let’s talk about the 7 strategies for creating perfect email subject lines as promised.
The 7 Email Subject Line Hints…
Hint #1: More than anything your email subject line is your most important Call to Action. Clever email subject lines have to be powerful, meaningful, clear and direct the reader to take a specific action. The user should know what they can hope to achieve by clicking on the subject line.
The subject line should say, “Click here to know more about my latest Amazon bestseller” It should tell the reader what they can expect from taking action. It shouldn’t just say, “Check out this book”.
Hint #2: Pronouns are incredibly effective in email marketing. By pronouns we mean “you” and yours”. They make your message so much more relevant to the user. They speak out to reader, interact with them and engage them. For example, “Here’s why you really need to used this awesome hack” will work better than, “See how I benefited from using this hack”. Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?
Hint #3: Be creative with your subject line. Alliteration is a trick that many top email marketers use to write their emails. It would help a lot if your email is interesting and fun to read. For example, “Email Marketing – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Top Business Secrets That You Will Not Learn at Harvard Business School.”
Hint #4: Get the attention of the reader by putting specific information in front of them, one that is guaranteed to hook them. For example, “7 Tips to Boost Your Conversions”. This is called front loading and it is much more effective than a subject line that reads, “Boost your conversions with these 7 tips”.
Hint #5: Ask questions. Questions are very powerful and they are guaranteed to convert. They arouse the curiosity of the reader and make them think. For example, “Did you know this awesome marketing secret?” works better than “You probably did not know this great marketing secret”.
Hint #6: Make use of numbers for best effect. Numbers catch the attention of your readers. Make use of numbers to quantify the benefits that the reader can hope to achieve from reading the email. For example, the title of this article – “7 Subject Line Hints” makes for a compelling email subject line in itself. It tells you exactly what to expect and gets the reader’s attention. Other examples are “7 Secrets to Writing a Perfect Email Subject Line” or “7 Top Email Subject Line Strategies”.
Hint #7: Be factual and honest. Don’t exaggerate. You should actually mean what you write. Don’t write something if you don’t believe it yourself or if it is untrue. The subject line should not lie. Don’t write, “This awesome offer ends in 2 days” if that is not really the case. Instead say, “Click here to get this really awesome deal NOW!”
Final Thoughts on Business-to-Business Lists
We have given you 7 highly effective strategies for writing amazing email subject lines. The important thing here is to test your work relentlessly to find out what works with your audience. Called as “Split Testing” or “A/B testing”, this strategy involves testing your subject lines with a small audience, releasing the ones that click with them to a much larger audience while getting rid of those that don’t excite them.
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