When’s the last time you received an
email from a source you didn’t recognize, and were curious enough to open it?
If you’re anything like us, it was probably quite some time ago. Because we’re
now so numb to spam, if we don’t like the look of an email the moment it
arrives in our inbox, it gets deleted without a second glance. That’s good news
for our clean and tidy inboxes. It’s bad news, however, for anybody who relies
on email marketing as a way of generating business. There are even people who
think that email marketing as a concept is dead, because Generation Z doesn’t engage with it.
We don’t think that’s completely true.
While the very youngest adults might consider email to be passe, millennials
are still spending more time checking emails than
anybody else. Unless the target market of your business us under 25s, there’s
still a large audience out there who would be receptive to an email if it
looked like something they wanted to open. Therein lies the problem.
To stand any chance of your intended
recipient even reading your email, you need a subject line that’s going to
entice them to open it. That’s easier said than done. If it’s obviously a sales
email, it’ll be ignored. If it’s too vague, it’ll be dismissed as spam. You
need to pitch whatever it is you’re trying to interest them in absolutely
perfectly – and you need to do it in as few words as possible.
If your email open rates leave a lot
to be desired when the results of your marketing campaigns come in, then the
subject line is probably to blame. Wherever you’ve gone wrong, we’ve put
together a few guidelines that will help you get it right.
- There Is No ‘Catch-All’ Subject
You can’t catch everybody with one
great email. If your email marketing campaign is all based around sending one
email, with one subject, you’re going to miss the mark. Different people will
have different triggers. What works for one potential customer may not work for
another. Some of your audience will be pulled in by offers. Others will be
drawn in by an element of mystery. You should have at least three different
email subjects lined up and ready to go when you start your campaign. Even if
the content of the email is exactly the same, you need three different (and
good) subject lines to use as pitches, and persuade people to open it.
- Special Offers Work
People will always look twice at
discounts to see if it’s something they might be interested in. If your subject
line starts with ’10 % off’ or ’20 % off,’ you can usually be sure that you’ll
hold the reader’s attention at least for long enough for them to finish reading
the subject line. What they do with it after that point will depend on whether
they’re interested in whatever it is you have to sell. If you have the capacity
to give something away free of charge – whether it’s a physical item or a
digital one – that’s also a good bet for a subject line. If the potential
benefit of opening an email appears to be greater than the few seconds it will
take someone to do so, they’ll probably open it.
- Immediacy Drives Action
How many TV commercials have you seen where someone is telling you that you only have a few days to take advantage of an offer? The idea that something is available right now – but might not be tomorrow – might be the difference between somebody opening an email, and someone leaving it unread in their inbox for a while. You can even combine this with the last tip, so your subject line might read something like ’20 % off (your product) for the next 24 hours.’ This won’t work every time you send out an email, because if you give the impression that all of your emails are urgent then by default none of them will be. Save it for when you really do have something great to offer – or some stock you need to shift quickly.
- Clarity Of Purpose
What are you selling, and are you
explaining it in two or three words? It’s no use offering people money off
something for a limited amount of time if they don’t understand what they’re
supposed to be buying. If you want inspiration for his, check out a mobile
slots website, or its sister sites. Nobody does ‘clarity of purpose’
faster or better than mobile slots sites. In the mobile slots industry,
customers flit from site to site looking for the deal and games package that
suits them best – so if they don’t see what they’re looking for immediately,
they’ll move on. That’s why when you log onto one, you’ll be left in no doubt
what they’re there to do. A typical slogan on a mobile slots website will say
something like ‘Win Up To 500 Free Spins On Slots Now’. That would make the
ideal subject line for an email marketing campaign, and that’s the mark you’re
looking to meet.
- Active Words, Not Passive Words
You probably won’t even realize this
until someone points out that you’re doing it, but the use of active words as
opposed to the use of passive words is a major thing in marketing. It’s a
simple language trick which makes a sentence seen more exciting and enticing.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you were trying to tell your customers that you had
25% off shoes this week this week. The passive way to tell them would be simply
to say ’25 % off all shoes this week only,’ which might get some responses.
You’ll find you get more responses, though, if you lead with ‘Save 25% on shoes
this week only,’ and it’s all because you have that little action word right at
the start of the line. It’s an invitation to come and do something, and if they
carry on reading, they find something that could potentially be to their
benefit. If your email has landed at the right time, in front of someone who
was thinking about buying shoes, you should have their full attention.
there’s more to email marketing than just making sure you get the subject line
right. Getting the content right is just as important, and the time of day
you’re sending your emails is critical, too. You’ll find information about all
that elsewhere on our site. Thanks for stopping by and reading our guide to
sharp email subject lines. We hope you found it useful!