Contributor Scott Hardigree from Indiemark is active on a few blogs, including his own (kind of scary looking, Scott) Email Critic.
Scott recently invited Codrut Turcanu, a Romanian email follow-up specialist, blogger and copywriter I got in touch with as well, to write a guest post (or was it the other way around, it doesn’t matter).
Codrut’s first post on Email Critic offers some tips and ideas on how to write good email subject lines. In my opinion, you can never share enough of those because, as I recently wrote, your subject line shouts “open me, read me, I have stuff for you, please, please”.
Of course, writing subject lines that want your recipients to open your emails fast, isn’t enough. It’s what happens next, that matters. But you have to start somewhere, right?
So, here are Codrut’s tips. As always, feel free to comment.
Are your emails getting low open rates? Then you have to find out why. And reinvent your strategy. In my 10-year Internet experience I learned there must be a solution for any problem – all you need to do is to find it.
Why are open rates that important anyway? There’s no secret about this; low opens lead to low or no clicks at all. Which translates into zero profit for your business.
Since 95% of business owners quit within 5 years, your aim is not to survive but thrive, even in a bad economy!
And believe it or not, email marketing, when done right, will put your business on the profit map. But it’s not that easy, if you’re expecting instant results.
Motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, once said… “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”
Can you imagine that the majority of email marketers think about subject lines as the shortcut to high open rates? Stumbling upon some “killer” lines and using them in your email campaign, “as is”, is a sure-fire way to failure.
While I dislike to critique I’m keen on giving practical advice for email campaign improvement. All the clients I consult with are “magically” starting to see results from their subject lines and wonder why they didn’t come at me sooner.
This is not a sales pitch, just straight facts. Look, you are reading this because you want to learn the “secret” to writing good email subject lines. I won’t give you any “tricks” here, just simple methods that get your message opened.
Good email subject line writing method #1: get inspiration from others
Take our title for example (disclaimer: this is the title Codrut used for his post on Scott’s blog) – “How to Write Good Email Subject Lines that Get Your Message Opened” – you can easily turn that into winning subject lines, by changing one word.
Let me give you an idea:
“How to Write Winning Email Subject Lines that Get Your Message Opened”
Here’s another twist:
“How to Write Good Email Subject Lines and Get Your Message Opened”
Small tweaks lead to greater results. Keep this in mind when writing your lines.
What I want you to understand is the constant “routine” of observing your competitors, as well as the experts in related and non related industries. We can all get good subject line ideas from their mailings, headlines, article titles and blog posts.
Good email subject line writing method #2: adapt and fit in
There’s not enough to copy-cat somebody else; we’re not thieves, but creative human beings. Writers. We observe, then reinvent and adapt.
This is the second step to writing winning subject lines and one of the quickest and easiest way to jolt your open rate.
American country music singer, television host, actor, and businessman – Jimmy Dean – said “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Good email subject line writing method #3: testing is king
Did you ever have the feeling a subject line you spent countless minutes to craft would do wonders, only to find later on it was a dud?
This happens all the times, particularly to people who do not have a keen understanding of their niche audience most pressing problems, wants and needs.
That’s why you can’t afford to forget about testing, tracking and tweaking your subject lines. Today’s professional autoresponders make it a breeze.
What you should be testing right away, in each email you send out:
1. Your open rates [do a split test]
2. Your clickthrough rates [do a split test]
3. Your user-feedback [run a survey]
That’s it, folks. Please comment here or on Scott’s blog where Codrut’s article was originally posted.
Also read this related post: “Email marketing: simply testing subject lines is not enough!“
Guest post written by Codrut Turcanu: email follow-up specialist, blogger and copywriter. You can download his free report – “99 Good Email Subject Lines” and discover 99 email subject lines that promise to boost your open rates and clicks.
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