Email Subject Lines The Content Consultancy

8 Email subject lines that work

I don’t often blow my own trumpet but I have been focussing on some new approaches to the newsletters and emails I send out for my clients via Mailchimp and I’ve become a little obsessed with seeing an improvement in the open rate!

I have spent quite a bit of time simply looking at the times the emails are sent…and I struggled to find much conclusive evidence to be honest, so I got to thinking about the subject line of the email. I wondered if I was just trying to be too clever and that ‘quips’ or even ‘clickbait’ style was having the opposite effect to what I wanted to achieve.

With all of this in mind I started to think about emails that I open regularly and what it is about them that makes me do so. I made a connection with two simple things: ‘sales techniques that appeal to me’ and ‘how I email my friends’.

Which subject lines make you open your email?

I was listening to a TEDx talk the other night about sales and the speaker, Steve Harrison, had this brilliant acronym for approaching sales which was Sincerely Encourage by Listening and Loving. He spoke about how the best sales people listen, they don’t tell. How good sales people love what they do and what they can do for others. And how being sincere and encouraging (rather than pushy and salesy!) will make a lot of difference.

It got me thinking – why is it with email subject lines so many businesses try to ‘trick us’ in to opening their emails? It also made me realise, do you know whose emails I always open? One from friends and clients and do you know what their subject lines are? Simple! They often directly related to the content of the email or are just friendly, i.e. ‘Latest blog for you to check’ or ‘How are you?’

And so my advice about subject lines is stop overthinking it and, like with most things in my ‘content creation philosophy’, go plain and simple. Be friendly but appropriate. And importantly, be transparent.

With all of this in mind, I have come up with 8 things that you may want to email your mailing about and some simple, transparent subject lines to accompany them.

They are not perfect, but I hope they illustrate that perhaps you don’t have to get all wordy and clever. Be open and honest instead and my advice, consider what subject line you would use if you were sending the same email to a friend.

8 friendly subject lines for content you may want to share with your mailing list

  • Your latest blog post – “I’ve got something new to share” / “Check out my latest blog” – include an excerpt or introduction and link to your latest blog
  • Run a competition – “Win XYZ” / “Take part in my competition” / “Have you entered my competition yet?” – give details of a competition and how to enter. This last sample subject line will work well if you are running the competition via social media, for example, rather than direct through email entry
  • Entertaining content –Rough day? Take a peek at X” / “Take a look at this” – we all love to procrastinate a little so why not put something in your client’s inbox that might provide a little light relief! Have you got a fun video or a bit of news or a funny story to share? Think how can you brighten your customers’/clients’ day?
  • Exclusive content – “I wanted you to be the first to see this/ “Exclusive – New Autumn Brochure” – when you subscribe to a mailing list, it is nice to feel that you are getting something exclusive in return. Share your new product, latest brochure, website design, or even office with your mailing list first, before you put it on social media. It only needs to be 24-hours in advance but it makes your mailing list feel they are getting something unique.
  • Special offer “Limited time only offer on x” / “Special offer just for my subscribers” – As above, it is great to thank your subscribers for their support and offer unique offers just for them. Include something like “quote code ‘xxx'” or something that means you can track the success of the offer.
  • Advertise where you are – “Are you free?” / “Be great to see you” – If you attend share events, festivals or fairs , share where you are going to be in the next couple of months and invite your subscribers along. If you are running workshops or trainings, then do the same. It’s nice to be ‘personally’ invited.
  • Share key details about your business “Important update/Reminder from Company Name” / “We are changing our xx” – We often forget to share items that seem so normal and everyday to us…perhaps it is a slight change in your working hours or contact details, or you simply want to remind people of where you are and what you do.
  • Seasonal information – “Can I help you out this autumn?” / “What are you up to this Christmas” – It is very tempting to send out ‘newsletters’ but consider offering a ‘seasonal round up’ instead. It is a great quarterly tool. What can you group together? How can you genuinely help your clients at this time of year?

So before you get bogged down in clever subject lines try the ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach. I hate click bait so much. I hate being misled. And probably, many of your email subscribers do too.

Keep it simple. Keep it engaging. Keep it friendly. Keep it clear.

If you want help with your newsletter or email marketing content, please get in touch.

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