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Subject Line Swipe File, Tips & Ideas
Worldwide, billions of emails are being sent every day. If your email account looks anything like mine, it probably seems like every one of them lands in your inbox. We all know what it’s like to open our inbox to find a barrage of email messages – all asking for our undivided attention.
Your job is to craft subject lines that cut through the clutter and entice recipients to open your message. If your subject line doesn’t capture interest or curiosity, your email doesn’t get opened. And if nobody opens your email, there’s no point in writing the email.
Tips & Ideas:
The purpose of the subject is to get them to open the email, not to sell them the product or give deep insight.
Keep your subject brief, about 50 characters, including spaces. A short, snappy subject line is more likely to capture their attention.
Don’t waste valuable real estate by inserting unnecessary words like hello or their full name. Every word counts so make sure it adds value.
Watch messages you receive and take note of subject lines that capture your attention. Then add them to this swipe file.
Be specific and cut to the chase. People are too busy for vague or mysterious messages.
Scan magazine and newspaper headlines to see what gets your attention.
Split-test your subject lines. Check with your mailing list service provider to see what tools they offer to help you test the effectiveness of your email marketing.
Make it searchable. Many readers may not have time to read your message immediately but if you include a keyword, it will be easier for them to return to it later. For example, ‘newly released cookbook’ doesn’t give you many words to search for especially if you receive a lot of emails about cooking but ‘Dairy-Free cookbook” is memorable and gives you enough keywords to search for.
Personalize it. Create a subject line with your subscriber’s first name and then test the same subject line without it.
Add your company name or personal name to the subject line in brackets. “[Your Company] Frustrated with fat laden meals? 8 fat free recipes for you” If your readers look forward to your emails, this may catch their attention.
Create a sense of urgency. “Weekend only special”, “Sale ends tonight” or “Only ___ more hours”.
Match the tone to your personality. If your writing is typically informal, then your subject lines should be too. “Hey [Name], I just saw this…” If you’re a more formal person, be formal in your subject lines.
While some people insist on capitalizing every word in the subject, creating a more natural subject line can work wonders on open rates, especially subjects where your goal is to create curiosity.
You can use the following in your own emails. Just fill in the ___________ with your topic, etc.
NAME], did you see this?
___ [NUMBER] ____ [OBJECT] you cannot live without
___ reasons ___ is not working (Ex. 5 reasons you’re not losing weight)
______ ends tonight
10 great ideas for ____ (or gift ideas)
5 important ways to __________
A complete and unbiased review
A sneak peek at __________
Are you ready for ___________?
Are you still struggling with…?
As a valued subscriber, I would like to…
Become ___ with ___
Before it’s gone forever….
Can I ask you a quick favor?
Can you attend (WEBINAR, SEMINAR, MEETING)
Can you believe this?
Can’t keep up [OR STAY FOCUSED] ___ ways to ____ [SIMPLIFY, GET ORGANIZED, ETC]
Dear [NAME], do you know that you can…
Do you have a few minutes?
Does this bother you too?
End of the week wrap up (Good stuff inside)
Extended for one day! Get _____
Extra Bonus! Order now and get____
For ________ only [SPECIFIC AUDIENCE: “women”, “those who want to improve their backhand”]
Frustrated by _________? Here’s an idea
Here’s the __________ we promised
How safe is your [PERSON/OBJECT] from [THREAT]
How to get more [BENEFIT]
How to squeeze ___ out of ____ (how to squeeze 12 hours out of an 8 hour day)
I found it…finally!
I’ve had enough!
Introducing our latest ___ [PRODUCT,STAFF MEMBER, ETC]
It’s just about that time
Just ____ more hours
LAST chance to get ____[NUMBER OF] ____ (REPORTS, PRODUCTS, ETC) for [PRICE]
Last chance to save [AMOUNT] on the [PRODUCT]
Download this must-have freebie
My___ [NUMBER] ___[ITEM] for only $10 bucks (My 10 hottest selling reports for just $10 bucks)
Not many people know this, but….
Pictures from [COMPANY, EVENT, YOUR NAME]
Subscriber exclusive: Save ____ on ____
Take your pick
The last time this was released, it was…
The results are in! See the results of our ____case study
The secret behind___
There’s still time (but only if you do it now)
Think about [BUYING A CERTAIN PRODUCT, TAKING A CERTAIN COURSE OF ACTION], check this out
This is the reason why…
This is what I’ve been talking about…
We owe a big thanks to you for___
What ________doesn’t tell you about ________
What if I told you __________
Which option do you prefer
Why some people never ___________
Why they’re wrong about ____________
Yesterday I gave you______,
You get to see this first [A SPECIAL OFFER YOU GIVE TO YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS OR SUBSCRIBERS BEFORE IT IS RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC]
You have till midnight Eastern time to get [PRODUCT] for [PRICE]
You’ll like this one…
Overall, the key is to test things out. In addition to testing open rates, test the overall success of a campaign. While high open rates are good, if people aren’t taking action on the offers, you may need to do more tweaking.
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