YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!!!!!!

What does your subject line say?  

The other day I received an email from my friend. The subject read, “YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!!!!” I looked at the subject line, and thought, ‘Really? Why?’ So… I opened the email – even though I was in the middle of something else. Of course I would have opened the email even if there was no subject, because it was from a good friend of mine, but I probably would have left it until I finished with the project I was working on.

The subject line piqued my interest; I wanted to know why I was her hero. I did not do anything that warranted this title. I opened the email, read the message – she was thanking me for a small favor I did for her – and then I moved on with my day. But then I got to thinking about the power of a subject line. In this instance, the text of the subject line pushed me to open the email, when I normally would have waited until I was finished working before looking at it.

As I thought about this, I thought it would be useful to share some of the important aspects of a subject line for email marketing campaigns. If all emails sent by business owners utilized the subject line to its full potential, then perhaps their email marketing campaigns would be more successful.

So what is it that makes a strong subject line?

1.  Consider the length. While there is no one solution, generally shorter is sweeter. Do not write wordy subjects, as this will not captivate your audience. However, you also should not sacrifice the message you are trying to convey because you are trying to keep your subject short. So, make sure that your subject line conveys your message, but in the most concise way possible.

2.  Identify yourself. While this is not true of all emails, it is often a good idea for companies and brands to identify themselves in the email. This allows the receiver of the message to connect the email with the positive relationship they have built with the company or brand. You can add your company name in brackets before or after the subject, as to not take away from the message in the subject line.

3.  Match the subject to the content. According to recent research from email campaign platforms, subject lines that contain the key point of the email message perform better. In addition, you do not want to state a promise or expectation that your email does not meet. If you hype up you subject line, readers may open the email, but when they read the message they will feel that you are letting them down.

4.  Appeal to emotions. Know your audience and what will grab their attention. Whether you use curiosity to pique interest, as my friend did, or excitement about a special service offering, understand what will get your recipients to open your message and take action.

Utilize the subject line. If you need help determining what your subject line should read, it may be worth contacting a copywriter, or professional marketer. Writing a poor subject can hinder your campaign, but a good subject can greatly increase the results.

– Michelle


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January 2012
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