It happens all the time: You’ve written the content for your newsletter. You have all the articles perfectly squared away and laid out. Then you’re faced with the task of writing a compelling subject line so irresistible that readers can’t help but open and read your email.
I wish I could tell you that somewhere out there is the perfect subject line, one that could send your open-rates skyrocketing and make opt-outs and spam reports ancient history, but I can’t.
I can tell you, however, that creating almost perfect subject lines is possible and it starts with understanding six simple truths about your readers:
1) People won’t act unless told to do so
Before sending your newsletter, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take? That action won’t always be one that has an immediate impact on your business (buy now!) but it should be the first step in some path toward driving real results from your email marketing. Keep in mind your subject line will be the first impression you’re email has on your reader—making it your first call-to-action will improve the likelihood of that action being taken.
2) People do NOT like to have their time wasted
When it comes to your emails, you have at most, only a few minutes to get your message across. When it comes to your subject line, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention.. The typical inbox preview pane will only show 30 to 40 characters so try to shoot for 25 to 40 characters or 5 to 8 words.
3) People care more about the sender than the message
The content of your email and the design of your subject line are important—nothing is more important than the relationship the recipient has with the sender. According to a recent Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what is in the subject line. Want the best results? Tell people who the email is from in the subject line.
4) PEOPLE DO NOT RESPOND TO CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!
5) People have needs, questions, and concerns
If any of these truths is truer than the others it is this: all people have certain needs, questions, and concerns. Understanding that can help overcome one of the biggest email marketing obstacles: relevancy. Think about your audience’s needs or the type of questions that might be on their mind when they’re going through their inbox—if month after month you’re answering those questions, your content will always be relevant.
6) People hate being sold to
If you want to drive real business results from your email marketing, you’re going to need to learn how to sell… without selling. That starts with your subject line.
Using an overly “salesy” subject line is like hiring an overly aggressive salesperson—they may get you results sometimes but for every one sale they make—they’ve chased ten others out the door.
Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.