I’m going to open today’s post with a harsh truth: Most marketing emails I receive are BORING, from beginning to end. I routinely see subject lines with“[Companyname] daily digest.” “Check out today’s deals from [Company]” “This email subject line is a total snooze and you’ve seen it from every company” , “Log in and spend money to upgrade your account”, pre-header text that’s either just part of the email itself or is blank, and completely uninspired email copy. If you aren’t sending an email that’s truly awesome, an email you’d want yourself, you probably shouldn’t bother sending an email.
The Subject line
Your subject line is your first impression. Is there really nothing more enticing from those emails that can be pulled into a subject line? Subject lines are extremely important. How important? Well, think about this: say you have a very promising date with someone, but you’re only allowed to answer using corporate buzzwords. “Where did you go to school?” “In order to promote maximum synergy and leverage my assets, I briefly attended Generic High from 2010-2014”. You show no heart, no soul, and you’re likely not going to get a second date (unless you’re dating a robot or someone really weirdly into corporate buzzwords). A subject line is your first chance to make a good first impression, why spoil it by not giving it any real personality?
Your Pre-header Text
If an email subject line is your very first impression, your pre-header text is what you choose to wear on your first date. It adds color to your personality and provides you with another chance to showcase who you are and what you’re offering. Too many marketers neglect their pre-header text or copy it to show the same information as the subject line. Use that pre-header text to add extra information to entice me to engage with your email! Ask yourself: is the pre-header providing additional value or information that the subject line just doesn’t have the space for? If you had no subject line, would the pre-header still make me want to click and open your mail?
The Main Event: Body Copy
Finally, your email copy is the main event, the thing you’ve been trying so hard to get people to engage with. If you want people to click and engage, your copy can’t be boring. If you want me to open your email, you’ve got to have a plan. What’s your ultimate goal? A particularly good test here is to send your email to an acquaintance (either outside the company or not in the marketing department) and ask if they cared about the email they opened. Did it brighten their day somehow, and are they actively interested in getting another email? If the answer’s no, go back to the drawing board and look for ways to make your email more interesting or useful.
Recently, I ordered some crochet hooks from Furls Crochet, and I’ve got to say, their email marketing is spot-on. From beginning to end, their subject line, preheader text, and email copy were terrific in that they were creative, personal, and engaging. I expected the usual transactional email telling me my order was on its way, but was pleasantly surprised by a different email with the subject line “Hugs from Furls”. I’ve got to say, I was intrigued. Their subject line had such a personal, simple human touch that I simply HAD to click to read the whole email. Inside, I was even more surprised by the copy, telling me how wonderful I was for ordering from them, thanking me for giving them the privilege of providing me with amazing hooks, and sending virtual hugs as a welcome to the Furls family. Their email was delightful, personal, and drove me to sign up for their mailing list (a compliment indeed, as I rarely ever sign up for anything). Since then, they’ve always send thoughtful, well-crafted emails, and never send an email if they don’t have something really important and interesting to say. Their emails are a guaranteed open for me, every time. You can guarantee opens in the same way, just by working to amp up the creativity and make your emails truly awesome and wanted.
How do you work to make your email sends truly awesome and worthwhile? Tweet to me at @holobachgirl with your thoughts!