It’s hard to stand out in my email inbox. I stop to make tea and there are 17 new messages demanding my attention. (It’s probably happening to you right now.) A little caffeine break, or maybe even just navigating away for actual work work and I’m forced to mentally triage the damage when I return – look at it later, ignore forever, unsubscribe, oooh wait, what is THAT?
Shannon, people are looking at your LinkedIn profile.
Is this not everyone’s favorite subject line? It translates to: You are amazing. Everyone wants to know you.
What it actually means might be less spectacular, maybe a profile view from some social media guy in Bangledesh. Or it might mean that the marketing manager from a major interior design brand has been looking at me. Either way the effect is the same – I’m clicking through. And I know when you get that subject line, you are too.
There are some subject lines we just can’t resist.
If you’re marketing for your company you should be thinking everyday about your subject lines. For cold emails, warm opportunities, workflow nurturing and especially, your blog headlines.
I have Rival’s RSS email set to deliver our blog headline as our subject line. So when I’m writing a headline I’m thinking not just about organic search, but how it will look in your inbox.
Sometimes that means a header less than 50 characters so it’s not truncated.
Sometimes though, I’m going for gutsy so you can’t resist the click. In that case I might take a cue from marketing giant HubSpot.
Here’s one that popped up in my inbox the other day:
How The HubSpot Marketing Blog Actually Generates Leads (Hint: It’s Not How You Think)
That’s 87 characters. (LinkedIn is scolding them from afar for breaking their 70 character guideline. I love rule breakers)
But you know it got my attention. My eyes zeroed in on “actually generates leads it’s not what you think”. Tantalizing.
Changing your subject line can have a direct (and instant) impact on your email opens).
Gregory Shiff of Resource Hero App, which helps businesses manage multiple people and projects right in Salesforce, told me that after attending our Write Like A Badass seminar he reworked his cold emails from the subject line down to the sign off and his click thru rates shot up 20 percent to over 55 percent. (Smart guy, he tracks his Bitly links, so he’s not guessing if his emails are better, Greg knows.)
Take a look at how he changed up his subject line.
Before: How Resource Hero helps balance workload and profitability in Salesforce.
After: Gaining insights with Resource Hero in Salesforce.
Greg told me he took three points from the Badass session:
- Remove “How”
- Keep it under 50 characters
- Provoke action
I agree. There were just too many words before and not enough strong ones to jump out at the reader. I’d like him to go even a step further and make the language even bolder:
- Max out your Salesforce insights with this app
- This app takes Salesforce insights DEEP
- Is Salesforce giving you this intel?
I love a question subject line.
Greg wasn’t the only one to change up his email after our event.
Beth Herbruck, an event producer, designer and all around badass herself, took inspiration from Marketing Rival’s unsubscribe email campaign. For her Good Folk Supper Club event she used an opt-in email to reengage her contacts and topped it with a snappy subject line: I don’t want to miss you!
It had me clicking.
Hope you’re making it through these soggy soon-to-be-spring days. I noticed recently that some of my emails bounce back when I’ve tried to contact you. I hope I have the best way to reach you! Tomorrow morning I’m sending out information about the next Good Folk Supper Club in April and I would hate for that email to get lost or stuck in your spam. I am working on 6 incredible dinners over the next few months – lots of yum to come!
If you want to make sure you’ll definitely get future emails, please click the link below and let Mailchimp know you really want to be on this list. And if not, if your inbox in just too crazy and supper clubs are not at all your thing, I completely understand. Please feel free to unsubscribe!!!
Here is the link to sign up with your most current email.
Looking forward to serving you soon!
Did it work?
“I had a number of people respond personally to the email and six joined the mailing list,” Beth said. She also sold out her April event in 20 min so…
Isn’t it comforting to know you can make a small change to the way you say things and get instant feedback on your experiment?
Today I’ll leave you with 10 subject lines that dared me to open this week. I hope they’ll inspire you to stand out in your customer’s inboxes:
- Contains Graphic Material – Swimsuits For All
- Shannon, we just added a documentary you might like – Netflix
- Why wear real clothes? – Anthropologie
- [New Products] Band Wallet | Origami Shelves | Tea Egg and more – IPPINKA
- What Being a Food Writer Is Actually Like – Freelancer blog from Contently.com
- If There Was One Post That Summed Up Marketing. This Would Be It. – LinkedIn group
- “‘Facebook turned me down’ — the job rejection letter that turned into a $4 billion check” – Medium
- Data Usage Alert – Verizon (Though it’s like flashing lights in the rearview, I open it every time.)
- Shannon, Exclusive 20% Coupon! – CVS
- tell me I’m not the only one… – Nikki Ellege Brown, the communication stylist (If you were at the Badass seminar she’s one of the ones I recommended you read.)
Are you dying to click through? Now tell me, what subject line were you unable to resist?