For must professionals, email is an invaluable tool. However, to some extent email is a victim of its own success: it’s so popular that everyone uses it and getting your email noticed — much less getting a response — keeps getting harder.There are two keys to boosting your email effectiveness. One is managing your inbox and the other is writing messages that your readers notice. The best way to get your email noticed is by writing a good subject line.
Whether you’re sending a marketing email or just want a busy client or colleague to respond, the subject line is the first impression; you never get a chance to make a second one. Good impressions result in action, bad impressions drift below the fold of your recipient’s inbox or head straight for the trash bin.
Renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former Macintosh evangelist Guy Kawasaki believes the subject line is so important that it’s number one on his list of guidelines for effective emailing:
Your subject line is a window into your soul, so make it a good one. First, it has to get your message past the spam filters, so take out anything about sex and money-saving special offers. Then, it must communicate that your message is highly personalized. For example, “Love your blog,” “Love your book,” and “You skate well for an old man,” always work on me. 🙂 While you’re at it, craft your “From:” line too because when people see the From is from a company, they usually assume the message is spam.
Writing subject line for emails to individuals is easier than large groups because your audience is so specific that you can make it personal. Subject lines for marketing emails are another beast, but the same principles apply.
According to EmailLabs, there are six principles that determine the likelihood that a recipient will notice, read, and then act on your email (be sure to scroll down for the 15 tips). To get your email noticed, the subject line should:
* Call for action
* Project empathy
* Collaborate with your “from” line
Because spam filters are always changing, the tactics for subject lines change all the time, but the strategic principles are constant. Once you absorb them, you’ll be able to adapt your game plan more quickly.
Check out Constant Contact’s “Fabulous or Filtered Subject Lines” and you won’t want to miss MailChimp’s comparison of open rates between different subject lines.