Crafting Compelling Titles

I love taking advantage of free (or low cost) resources that are abundantly available to enhance my skills or learn something completely new. If you want to, you could probably sit in on a webinar on some topic of interest to you, every day of the week. Well, last week I sat in on a free class that was hosted by Mad Mimi (the e-mail marketing company) & Clever Zebo (online marketing company) that looked at subject lines in newsletters. Subject lines are super important. They are the first things  your customers see when your email pops onto their desk. Oftentimes they are the difference between the “trash” bin and a sale, so take the time to craft compelling titles.

Just a few notes from the class:

  • Remember to use subjects that capture people’s attention!
    • Sometimes shock value is good
      • The example the presenters used in this scenario was a tech company that sent out an email with the subject “QTP is no more…” (QTP was a favorite software that many of their clients used). Now once you opened the email you found out what that really meant (they were upgrading their software, not getting rid of it altogether). This email got a larger open rate than say one that simply stated that they were upgrading their software. Of course, with this method, you want to be careful not to anger your customers either 😉
      • A sense of drama or urgency can compel an audience to take action
        • Today vs. Tomorrow
          • The folks at Clever Zebo ran a test using the wording “today” in the subject line and another one using “tomorrow”
          • Ironically the one with the word “tomorrow” in the headline got more opens and a higher click through rate, BUT
          • the newsletter that went out with the “today” subject actually had a higher number of actual registrations for the event they were promoting (it was actually a webinar that they were holding)
          • They discovered that urgency mattered more if the people reading it (your customers) already had a strong emotional connection with you
          • An important point to note is to be thoughtful when using words, don’t overuse them, make them count
      • Try using a subject that begs a question that can only be answered by opening your newsletter
      • Something that speaks to our sense of curiosity can be very effective
    • Interest vs. Importance
      • There is a difference between creating a subject line that creates interest “oh, i’ll leave this in my inbox and check it out when I have time” and importance “I need to find out right now what this is about”
    • Remember to let your customers know where value is in your email, the sample they used in the class was “Increase sales by 8% per month”, in that headline there is a very specific value to the reader

A few key takeaways that they mentioned:

1. Simplicity-Remember less is more-Stick to no more than 8-10 words in your subject

2. Specificity-give people a specific reason to open your email

3. Sytntax-remember to be true to your voice and your brand

A couple side tips that came out via questions that were asked:

  • Remember to link your email marketing to your social networks
  • Add a newsletter sign up form to your Facebook page
  • Keep it simple!

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