Email Subject Lines; What Works and Doesn’t?

It’s well-known adage that at least 80% of the effort in writing advertising is spent creating the headline. In email marketing this is equivalent to the subject line of the email. There are some general subjects to avoid in email marketing, subject lines like; “Are you tired of this”, Are you sick of that”, “Do you have this problem”, etc.  The email subject line grabs attention, but it is also the first sentence of a sales conversation. This makes an email subject line subject to the established rules for both advertising headlines and a sales pitch openings

So Don’t Do It

                  The yes/no question doesn’t work for either advertising headlines or sales conversations. Since advertising attempts to complete a conversation already in the prospects mind, people don’t typically walk around asking themselves question about their needs (am I sick of this, am I tired of that). As for sales conversation, no sales person would ever open the conversation by giving the prospect the chance to say or think “No”. Can you imagine a Kirby vacuum sales person opening the conversation with the question “are you sick and tired of your current vacuum”. The prospect answers “no, not really” and the conversation is over with the slamming of the door.


WIFFM (What’s In It For Me)

                  It is better to uniquely, but clearly state needs and benefits with a headline. Then the viewer can become interested enough to open the email without explicitly admitting they actually have a problem. The choice of subject lines can be the greatest controlling element in your email campaign. Our split tests have show 100% increases in open rate by changing the tense or position of a single word. The subject can also have a great affect on the the click through rate once the email is opened by establishing expectations in the viewer.

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