Posted by Jeff Adelson-Yan (@jeffadelsonyan)
Email messaging is increasingly important as people continue to scan their flooded inboxes opening only the emails that peak their curiosity and deleting everything else without a second thought. In the world of “delete, delete, delete” your email marketing strategy is critical. You have only seconds (if that) to captivate the reader with your email subject lines and convince them to open your email. One article provided 14 tips for effective email messaging.
1. Non-sequiturs – this doesn’t fit together
The human brain is programmed to recognize differences. So ditch the familiar ho-hum subject lines for something that makes people furrow their brow and say, “huh.” Here are a few examples of the unexpected the article gave:
a.) Social + Location + Mobile = The Perfect Beer
b.) Being Considered Obsolete is Awesome
c.) How to Be Strategically Unlikeable Online
2. Lists of three
Who doesn’t love a good list? This subject line messaging works especially well when the third item doesn’t fit (per the non-sequitur strategy above) or is very specific.
a.) Drugs, Milk & Money: Social & Regulated Industries
b.) Credits Coins Cash: Social Currency & Finance 2.0
3. The element of surprise
Dilate your reader’s pupils with a little bit of shock and awe.
a.) How Mexico’s Drug Traffickers Harness Social Media
b.) Avoiding Bulls**t Personas: A Case Study
4. Rhyme time and alliteration
Mix alliteration and rhyming into your email messaging.
a.) Teaching Touch: Tapworthy Touchscreen Design
b.) Social Music Marketing: Bands, Brands & Fans
5. Take on the enemy
Creating a common enemy for you and your reader can help a subject line peak your reader’s interest.
a.) Screw the Job Market: Young + Passionate ≠ Broke
b.) Can Washington Make Your App Illegal?
6. Insult someone
Being politically correct can only get you so far. Sometimes you need to drop the PC-act and insult someone. Stepping on toes gets you noticed.
a.) Your Marketing Sucks: Why You Need to Think Local
b.) Big O’ Babies: Why Baby Boomers=Public Media FAIL
When you divulge a number upfront in the subject line, the reader knows what they see is what they get – and that it will most likely be formatted in an easy-to-digest way.
a.) 11 Reasons QR Codes Are Not Engaging Consumers
b.) 3 Secrets to a Killer Elevator Pitch
Making up new words can keep your email out of the deleted items folder by sparking your reader’s interest.
a.) Adprovising: Agile Marketing Made Easy
b.) Discover the New Frontier of the Glocal Internet
9. Reference pop culture
The trick with this subject line tip is to connect the reference to your target audience i.e. for millennials, try a “Harry Potter” reference or, for geeks, use a “Star Wars” reference.
a.) The Field of Dreams Manifesto
b.) Wall-E or Terminator: Predicting the Rise of AI
10. Similes and metaphors
Email messaging using similes and metaphors, or “transubstantiation,” uses characteristics of one thing to give meaning to another thing for the reader.
a.) Knitting a Long Tail in Niche Publishing
b.) Rev Up Your Product Design, the “Concept Car” Way
11. Call out your audience
When you call out a specific group of people in your subject line, you increase the relevance of the email to those you are calling out and to those who feel left out that you have not called them out.
a.) Greek to Geek: Classical Rhetoric & the Modern Web
b.) Digital Divas: How Girls Rule the Digital Universe
12. Sex (still) sells
Your reader may think sexy subject lines are perverse, so be sure to evaluate the risk/reward payoff before engaging in this dicey email messaging.
a.) Sex, Lies and Cookies: Web Privacy EXPOSED!
b.) Brands That Believe in Sex After Marriage
13. Promising big things
A big promise in the subject line makes the reader question how. Be sure you can deliver on your promise before using this tip.
a.) Change the Course of History with Greasemonkey
b.) Expanding Our Intelligence Without Limit
14. iThis, iThat
Add a little “i” to your subject line to give your email messaging a boost.
a.) iPlant: Advanced Computing to Feed the World
b.) iVision Africa: New Media’s Role in Reframing Africa
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