Subject lines

All of us are loaded down with emails in our inbox that we file through to read, keep or delete. The subject line is often the deciding factor on whether to read or hit the delete button. Capturing your audience’s attention in a short, enticing headline has its challenges. Let’s go through the list of ‘do’s’ and ‘do not’s” to make sure you capture as many leads as possible.

Subject lines are like headlines in a newspaper or magazine. They are the short verbiage that entices the audience to read further. David Garfinkel says in his book, Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich that “headlines that work will either draw your reader’s attention to the [subject at hand] or are likely to face, or a desire they have that is not fulfilled.” In other words, the subject line becomes imperative to grab their attention through the potential offer to solve their problem.

Use a headline such as “Give Me An Hour—And I’ll Give you [fill in the blank].” This one focuses on something that you can deliver quickly. It grabs the attention and solves a problem.

Using unfamiliar words will be like having prime real estate lost. Speak your audience’s language in the wording. Using conversational language with friendly antidotes in lower case looks casual and helpful to the reader. Perfect timing or reminders such as ‘Uh-oh, forget to fertilize?” can be an effective subject line. Asking questions immediately engages the reader. Using urgency messages that inspire them to open, entice or excite them is advantageous for open rates.

Words that have been reported to send an email straight to the spam folder should be avoided. According to Yahoo Small Business, these words include: ‘clearance’, ‘cash’, ‘free’, ‘urgent’, ‘buy’, ‘help’, ‘percent off’ among others.

Keeping your subject lines less than 7-8 words or 50 characters since many are reading emails on mobile devices is advisable.

The best advice is to take note of what gets your attention as you read through your email and use those samples to rewrite your own customized subject lines. If you need help in putting together newsletters that will attract your audience’s attention, contact me for packages.