Ask a question. One of the best ways to get a reader’s attention is to ask a question. But like a trial lawyer questioning a witness on the stand, make sure it’ll get you the response you’re looking for. “What’s the best way to grow your business?” is a great subject line for business owners. After all, what business owner wouldn’t want to grow his or her business? Or let’s say you run a health club Email1and1. An e-mail with the subject line, “How can you lose 5 pounds in one month?” would certainly be compelling. It’s important your question be relevant to your audience.
Be a tease. A clever subject line can be enticing. When it’s done right, reader curiosity is piqued. They want to know more–and they’ll open your e-mail. Writing a teaser-style subject line requires some creativity, and your content needs to deliver. A company that sells high-definition TVs could use the subject line, “You’re not going to believe your eyes” as a teaser to introduce a new addition to their product line.
Tell it like it is. Often, what works best is to say exactly what you want your reader to know. Examples of this straightforward approach are, “Sale on all sweaters this weekend,” “Master jazz pianist plays live this Friday” and “The seven secrets of a profitable business.” This just-the-facts approach works especially well when you can appeal directly to your audience’s interests. It’s also the best approach to use when you send a newsletter.
Remember “WIIFM”. When a person gets your e-mail, the first thing they consider is “what’s in it for me?” They have a decision to make. Do they open your e-mail, leave it for later or delete it? If there isn’t something about the subject line that lets them know why it’s worth their precious time to see what’s inside, then the choice will be clear. Keep WIIFM in mind when creating every aspect of your e-mails, including the offer, content, images–and most definitely the subject line. It’s all about them. They know that; just make sure you know it, too.