As I logged into my e-mail account, I clicked on the Bulk folder to check the latest newsletters. Most of the newsletters and mailing lists that I'm subscribing to, arrive in my Bulk folder.
I glanced curiously through the 25 new messages displayed on the first page. There were only 3 e-mails that pulled my attention and made me open them immediately. Also, I opened 4 additional e-mails because they came from sources that I was expecting e-mails from.
There was nothing in the subject line that would've been beneficial for me. Therefore, I didn't even bother opening the rest of the e-mails. Maybe, I'll go through them later when I have more time to spare.
Who knows! Maybe those e-mails that I didn't open had something of a great value to me. But, the marketers sending them didn't spend enough time to word the subject in a way to grab me by my shirt and make me open them without even thinking about it. Well, at least 3 of them did.
We live in a "Headline Society." With free time becoming increasingly rare and with a massive amount of information coming at us from infinite number or sources, people use headlines as time-saving devices. They direct their movements and attention to the headlines that spark interest.
Analyze yourself and see what grabs your attention first, the content or the headline?
If your headline doesn't instantly reach out and touch the prospect, chances are that the rest of your message doesn't stand a chance.
And, remember that the subject line of your e-mail is nothing else but a headline. It's the first thing that people see before they even look at your entire e-mail. It's your only chance to interest and influence the recipients. It will either grab their attention or not.
Your subject line will tell the recipients whether they should "read on" or "move on". If your subject line fails to attract a sufficient readership, nothing else matters. The body of your e-mail quickly becomes irrelevant. Your entire effort might be doomed.
Ideally, you want to make your e-mail recipient be "fully alert" and pay attention to your message, the same way you would pay attention to a fire truck, an ambulance, or a police car coming down the road with the sirens on.
You have to burst out with your strongest, most provocative, explosive choice of words. Something that compels the recipients of your e-mail to read further and take action.
So, how would you get that accomplished?
A successful subject line consists of carefully selected words that achieve any, or all of the following:
1) Deliver a benefit,
2) Present a compelling offer,
3) Reveal attention grabbing news.
But regardless of the approach you choose, at the end of the day you want to accomplish the following with the subject line of your e-mail:
a) Attract attention and create curiosity;
Never beat around the bush, but cut right to the heart. Capture people's attention with your most remarkable claim or benefit that you will deliver with your e-mail. You want to make your subject line impossible to miss. Benefits, benefits, benefits. That's what everyone wants – including your e-mail recipients. The bigger and more impressive the benefit you offer, the more curiosity you create.
b) Arouse people's interest and ignite their desire to read more;
Give them a hint or a taste of what is to come. It makes the person hungry for more and keeps them involved. The benefit, offer, or news that you mention in your subject line, will be the major reason for your recipient to continue reading. It's the magical lure that compels the person to read on.
c) Sell them on the rest of the message;
Always think of the recipients' benefits when writing the subject line. When you're thinking from your recipients' point of view, you're communicating on their level about something that they're interested about. WIIFM (what's in it for me). Sell them the rest of your e-mail by telling them with your subject line - what's in it for them and not what's in it for you.
Here are some examples of subject lines that will help you accomplish the above.
1) The unfinished sentence;
"Here's the secret source of ..." , "A sneaky marketing trick that will ..." , "A shocking truth about the ..." , "Increase your commission with this new ..." , "Here's a great example of ..." But, don't get lazy and use the 3 dots on a statement. "Only 14 hours left ..." It won't create the same effect as "Only 14 hours left for ..."
2) The question;
"How much is your hour worth?" , "Are you frustrated with your paycheck?" , "John, are you making this mistake too?" , "Did you get the recording from last week?"
3) The "Ah, what?" statement;
"The funeral is Friday." – Mat Gill. "Thank Donald Trump for this." – Kevin Wilke
4) The "how-to" statement;
"How to increase your profits." , "How to have the best sex ever." , "How to write the best articles." , "How to triple your signups."
5) The direct statement;
"The shocking truth about making millions of dollars." , "Finally, the best marketing option."
6) The Indirect statement;
"The best ways for getting signups are waiting for you inside." , "A very special opportunity is waiting for you inside."
7) The guarantee statement;
Be careful with this one. Don't say it unless you have 100% proof. Or, FTC will knock on your door very soon. "Double your money in 30 days or I'll pay you 120% cash back!"
8) Scare-them-half-to-death statement;
"Your online identity is at stake." , "They will steal your credit card right in front of your eyes." , “A teenager can break into your computer nowadays."
9) The pure benefit statement;
"7 easy steps to a professional looking website." , "10 ways to fight Click Fraud." , "25 tips to help you qualify for your job."
10) The news;
"Google changed their policy." , "The best online survey." , "Judge sentences spammer to nine years in prison." , "A brand new free money video" – Frank Kern.
11) The invitation statement;
"You're invited to attend tonight's free phone seminar."
12) The emotional statement;
"I cried when I wrote this for you." , "I apologize for the last week e-mail." , "I'm sorry for the late notice." – Frank Kern.
13) Use your imagination. Create a subject line that will spark interest, create curiosity, get the attention, and most of all, deliver a benefit that your recipients cannot refuse.