1. Focus on the subject line.
The subject line may be the shortest piece of content to write, but it’s one your campaign’s most critical elements. The challenge is to create excitement for a special offer, provide enough information to be clear about purpose and convey a brand’s essence – all in 50 characters or less.
When writing your subject lines:
- Create a sense of urgency. Include timely information to encourage subscribers to open the email.
- Include the most important information first. It’s essential that subject lines don’t exceed the character limits of email servers. But prioritizing the vital information first will ensure that, in case the subject line does run over, the primary message will be conveyed.
- Look to others for inspiration. Read newspaper and magazine headlines for ideas. Consider the email campaigns that you receive. Which ones were you intrigued enough to open and what can you deduce from those subject lines?
- Go with what works. Look to your own past successful email campaigns and replicate the subject lines that produced the highest open rates. Also, test out different subject lines within the same campaign to discover what generates the best response.
Even if the goal of a campaign is to promote a new product, announce company news or introduce a special offer, complement that information with non-corporate information. For example:
- Supplement a new product announcement with a thought leader interview from a supporting industry.
- If a seasonal offer is being promoted, include tips or a checklist pertaining to that particular season.
- Reader polls
- Reader case studies
- Q&As with customers
- User-generated content
With too many calls to action, email marketers run the risk of confusing or overwhelming subscribers. When customers are presented too many options, they may be less likely to purchase. Instead, focus your calls to action and limit the effort it takes to act. Consider these quick tips:
- Rely on size and placement position to emphasize the call to action.
- Write call to action copy that tells subscribers exactly what they can expect.
- Use copy that reinforces to subscribers that taking action will be quick and easy.
When it all boils down, an email campaign will only be successful if it addresses subscribers’ needs. Email marketers should look at their campaigns from subscribers’ perspectives. What’s important to them? In a ClickZ blog post on email copywriting, Pat Friesen talks about the importance of understanding an audience:
- Visualize subscribers, whether they are mothers of young children or a corporate executive.
- Picture where subscribers are reading the email copy, whether it’s on a computer at work, on a laptop at home or on-the-go from a mobile device.
- Imagine the distractions subscribers face when reading email copy.
Source: Online Marketing Blog.