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Great Subject Lines? Priceless!

48 email messages filled my box when I returned from my morning meetings. Guess which one I read first. Not the one from my most favorite client, my spouse or an important vendor. It was the one with the most compelling subject line.

Composing subject lines is an art form that shouldn’t be but often is relegated to an after thought. Over and over clients spend cycles composing compelling and informational email marketing messages only to throw something into the subject line at the last minute. We’re even worse when composing individual messages, not giving enough thought to the reference or motivation necessary in the subject line.

It’s important to remember that unless the message is being sent to a best friend, family member or someone you pay money to, there is little guarantee that they will actually open the message. As a matter of fact, most of the email marketing campaigns I see lately earn a 25% open rate, including those sent to known associates. So you can see the importance of those subject lines.

Why else do you think so many of those messages from displaced interior ministers looking for help getting millions of dollars out of their war torn countries get open? It’s their priceless subject lines.

Now which crafty message motivated me today? One from Upromise that titled “Jennifer, Please go away” that upon opening greeted me with information on taking a trip. Great message because it…

1. was personalized

2. was thoughtful

3. actually tied in with the content inside (and didn’t tease me then leave me disappointed by being totally irrelevant).

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