February 12, 2014 Filament Email Marketing Specialist

5 Be’s for Subject Lines that Rock

How do you break through the clutter or “noise” in an average inbox? An awesome subject line, that’s how. A great subject line is the first “handshake” with your potential consumer. Many of them receive thousands of marketing emails each year, so the typical email account is a highly competitive marketplace. Subject lines are also complicated because they have to multitask. They need to inspire consumers to open emails by telling about promotions and introducing new products or campaigns – all while fitting into a very limited character space. Email subject lines are marketing workhorses that are extremely powerful if employed properly, and pretty much useless otherwise. Here are five tips for writing subject lines that make email subscribers want to click.

Be focused.
What are your priorities? What are your key messages? Within those, what’s the order of importance? Is it more important to highlight the percentage of the discount, or the fact that you’re offering free shipping? What’s the “big deal?” Ask these questions first, and let the copy direction for the subject line develop from there.

Be brief.
Attention spans are shrinking all the time, so you have a short but sweet opportunity to make a big impression. A good copywriter should scrutinize every character in a subject line for its value. If it’s not informative or critical to the message, it’s gotta go. Deliver big messages with as few words as possible (a.k.a. a quicker “get”). For example, “We’ve got the biggest deals in electronics around.” versus “Hot tech deals are here.”

Be (a little) mysterious.
Build intrigue by telling part of the story, or hinting at something exciting, and let the rest of the email content complete the picture. Ask your copywriter to build a little suspense with cleverly chosen syntax that doesn’t give too much away. For example, “How much will you save today?” or “Unwrap extraordinary deals.”

But be clear.
Avoid confusing consumers with complicated offers or vagueness, resulting in annoyance, and ultimately, the dreaded unsubscribe. For example, “7:00, 7:10, 7:15 …” Would you know what this email is about? No? Us either. This was an actual email subject line from a prominent clothing retailer. The content was about dresses a woman could simply throw on when she’s running late. A better subject line would have been, “Tick-tock. What to wear?”

Be human.
Be funny when appropriate. Be conversational and clever if it fits with your brand. Be edgy or dramatic or even a little sarcastic if it suits your voice. The goal is to make a connection among a sea of emails that leave consumers unmoved. Figure out what kind of “person” your business is, and be faithful to that person. If she’s a fashion lover, your subject line might be, “Spring shoes have arrived. Eeeeeee!” If he’s an outdoorsman, try “All geared up and everywhere to go.” Chances are, the consumers you really want will relate beautifully to your voice, but only if it’s genuine and compatible with your brand.

Let Filament turn your email marketing priorities into fabulous subject lines and extraordinary content. Contact us today to start the conversation.

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