7 Ways to Woo Customers Through E-mail Subject Lines
Frequently, marketers find the perfect formula that piques a consumer's interest and makes her open an e-mail. Still, many messages flail and spin their way into the spam or trash folders, never to be viewed again—let alone opened, read and acted upon.
So what's the magic e-mail subject line formula? There isn't just one, experts say. But they provide plenty of tips to help marketers find their own voices:
1. Consumers Really Care About the Marketer's Brand: The 'From' Line Needs to be a Sender They Know and Like
"From" lines are more important than subject lines, says Simms Jenkins, CEO of Atlanta's BrightWave Marketing and EmailStatCenter.com and author of "The Truth About Email Marketing." "From lines are generally going to be your brand or your product or your service," he says. "Whatever people opted in for should be your brand. ... I think the from line is kind of the subject line's big brother, if you will."
Agreeing, Donnie Kajikawa, senior marketing strategist for Little Rock, Ark.-based Acxiom, adds that recipients also have to recognize that sender's name.
Some of the worst examples Jenkins says he's seen in his inbox recently include known companies distributing messages via an unknown sender, who perhaps is the marketing manager using her individual e-mail account, and some that literally come from "nobody" or are inexplicably blank. "That's the kiss of death," Jenkins claims.
2. Run Tests First and Often
Aaron Smith, principal of Seattle e-mail marketing firm Smith-Harmon, says marketers can run tests the day before, or hours before, sending a message to a full list. He explains: "One of the most frequently used and effective tests is to run head-to-head tests of different subject lines against a small subset of the mailing list ... then checking to see which subject line is generating the most opens and using that winning subject line for the main mailing."