Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Email Subject Lines

Sometimes it makes a lot of sense to get back to basics--to review direct marketing principles and remember to apply those learnings to current campaigns.

This article made me think hard about an email marketing essential--the proper subject line. Man Bites Giraffe: Some Awesome (and Awful) Email Subject Lines.

The author, email marketing expert Josh Nason, has collected a wide variety of emails and he comments on what lines are effective, and why they're effective. I tend to agree with most of his observations. And, I definitely agree with his 'golden rule.'
"Always remember the Golden Rule of email marketing subject lines: Tell what's inside, don't sell what's inside."
A reader should know what to expect in that email, and, if at all possible, should be intrigued enough to actually take the step to open it. Tougher than it seems, that's for sure.

Some other ideas we have on the topic of email subject lines:
  1. As firm believers of testing, we urge you to test versions of your subject line to get an objective view of what actually works (and not just what your 'gut' tells you will be most effective).
  2. Try to incorporate humor--this brings the fun factor to your campaign and can be a brand-booster, too.
  3. Consider using segmentation techniques and vary your subject line based on the segment you're communicating with. See yesterday's post that provides a case study demonstrating the power of segmentation in email marketing.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes YOU open an email. Of, if you have some tips and tricks to share, we're all ears.

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