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Subject Lines are Like Book Titles

July 7, 2016

Too often companies spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on the content of an email, great stories, articles, pictures and the like, but they miss the most important feature, the subject line.  

With it being summer, that means vacations for most of us. This usually includes grabbing a good book to read for some planned downtime on a beach, at the cabin or under a big shade tree. Think about the book you chose and your selection process. You read the title, and if it grabbed your attention, you would read the summary blurb to determine if it would be the book you’d bring. 

Statistics for email success, open rates, clicks and engagement supports the same. Subject lines, like the title of a book, need to be engaging and enticing to get you to take the next action. If your subject line is too boring, too wild, or too sales-oriented, you won’t get people past the cover.

Don’t get me wrong, you need great content within the body of your email, especially if you plan to get people back the next time, but that being said, you need to engage them the first time, and that’s where research supports putting just as much thought and time into the subject line as you do the content.

Here are some helpful tips for email marketing:

Keep it simple – Your subject line doesn’t need to sell your email, rather just explain it in a way that compels the reader to go further. 

Slow down – Take your time and think like your customer. What would you want to read, what worthwhile information can you provide. Do you have any information to share that separates you and your company from the competition?

Start with the end in mind – What are your goals, what do you wish to achieve with the email? Is it for your customers to further engage with your company, product and services? Is it to promote an upcoming event? If so, how can you encourage that behavior or action?

Don’t sell – Provide content that is worthwhile. Give your customers relevant information and let them formulate the intent to buy.

Focus on relationships – Connect at a deeper level. What activities are you involved with in the community? What civic functions are you participating in that your customers will be excited to hear about? Is there a way for them to also get involved? Be real, be personable, and let them get to know more about you.

Add value – Business 101, your product or service should add value and so should your email. 

Peaking interest with a compelling subject line and utilizing these tips will help increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

As for your summer reading, if you’re looking for a recommendation, I suggest “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie

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