My inspiration for writing this marketing tip has come from recent work I’ve been doing Bespoke Business Softwarewith Alastair Badman of Bespoke Business Software; which is creating a campaign using email marketing to connect with potential clients.

Crafting an impactful email

Having identified their target market (an exercise we did when re-writing the copy for their website) I crafted a short email that followed a three step format:

  1. Empathised with the recipients’ current business issue (too much time on administration, double entering data and collating reports)
  2. Painted a picture of how their life would be better once this problem had been resolved (control and visibility of data, one click reports)
  3. Then briefly explained how Bespoke Business Software could do this (creating a custom business application, managing specific business processes).

You might find this format useful too! It helps to cut out the waffle and set out your message in a clear and logical manner.

8 styles of email subject lines to improve your open rates

I then came up with some eye-catching email subject lines for Alastair to choose from and test.

Here are eight different ways you can use to craft a catchy email subject line:

1.  WIFM – What’s in it for me?

When you’re fighting for the attention in a crowded in-box there’s nothing like painting a brighter picture. These types of subject lines describe the benefits to the reader and gives a hint about the topic of the email.

  • Three steps to significantly improve your lead generation
  • A sure-fire guide to increasing your email open rates
  • How to…… (add the benefit you deliver)

2.  Curiosity

Curiosity is an effective way to gain attention, but only use this now and again as it can lose its impact.

  • Is this for real?
  • Shh, keep it quiet!
  • You’ll never believe this!

3. Make an offer

Everyone likes something for free or a special offer that they can get their hands on.

  • 10 steps to writing a marketing plan [download]
  • Early bird conference tickets available now
  • Grab your free copy of our new eBook; (your title here)

4. Urgency and scarcity

To get people to react now, add a time constraint.

  • Early bird conference tickets end at midnight
  • Only 10 VIP packages available. Grab yours now.
  • Register now to get pre-launch seminar invitation

5. News

If you’ve been working hard to build a strong relationship with your contacts they will be interested in you and your news, so share it.

  • Announcing our new XYZ
  • We’re over the moon! We won XYZ award!
  • We’re moving, do drop by!

6. Social proof

Gaining trust is an important part of building a relationship with your prospects. A powerful way to do this is by sharing your successes through the words of your customers and case studies of the work that you do.

  • How we created a brand for XYZ
  • The 500th copy of (title of your book) has just flown off the shelf
  • I received this testimonial. It made me blush!

7. Get personal

Personally, I’m not a fan of seeing my name in the subject line. I find it a bit ‘in your face’. It’s a matter of choice and you’ll see this approach used from time to time. There are other ways to make your subject lines personal.

  • Can we meet? The coffee’s on me!
  • It’s been a while, I wanted to catch up
  • Can you help me, please?

8. The facts

Just say it straight. By explaining exactly what is in the email you will get the attention of those that are interested.

  • Marketing planning workshop 9th January. Book now.
  • Your invitation: Dorking Rugby Club Networking 9th February.
  • Social media planning guide [Infographic]

You’ll notice there are some common themes that run through several of the subject lines. Using numbers works well as does introducing an element of emotion, this could be guilt or fear (again use sparingly) or excitement and satisfaction.

That’s just the start!

The subject line is all about getting the email opened. Next the challenge is to get the recipient to take action, which generally requires clicking on a link.

Now it’s the content that is really important. It needs to be consistently relevant, interesting and providing value to the reader. You have to work hard to keep your contacts loyal and remain on your emailing list. It’s an investment that needs to be made. It’s very easy to unsubscribe!

If you would like help with planning your email marketing campaigns send Nicola Macdonald an email or call on 07565 382803.