You've spent all that time building an email list, crafting the perfect email, creating great content, and sending it out using all the proper email deliverability hoo-ha and all that.
Your anticipation of a high email open and click through rate is there. That will mean you'll make more sales, right!? After launch, you wait. And then...... nothing. Your open/click through rate sucks and your sales are as stale as that box of Cheerios you left opened last Tuesday.
You spent all that time and for what? For a 2.5% open rate, about ten click throughs, and no sales? Your once-high inspiration wanes and you wonder why this whole business of yours just isn't working.
This isn't what you envisioned. This isn't how it's supposed to be.
Well, it doesn't have to be this way. So lean in, close out the rest of the distractions for a few minutes, and let me tell you what you're doing wrong and how to fix it.
The problem you're having is all too common for small business marketers. You are missing one key ingredient. That key ingredient is a killer email subject line.
Without the perfect email subject line, no one cares what's in your email.
Think about it. How many emails do you get per day? I get at least six, and sometimes even eight! I'm kidding. Try not to be so gullible. I subscribed to every single marketing email that comes to me. I wanted to receive those emails. And yet I don't have time to read them all. But, there's always one that grabs my attention. And as it turns out, it's always the same few marketers that nail the email subject line every time. And I keep on opening their emails. And sometimes, I even buy some crap from them.
The only way you are going to grab my attention in my inbox is if your subject line is killer
Your content might be great, but frankly, I'll never know it unless your subject line is anything but killer.
So why do your email subject lines suck so bad? "It's not you, it's me." Not really. Listen, if she breaks up with you saying "It's not you, it's me.", believe me, it's not her, it's you. Not that I have any personal experience with that. But anyway, your subject lines don't actually suck. It's just that your subject lines don't pop. They aren't killer. And again, without a killer subject line, no one is going to open your email.
What you need to do instead is schedule time devoted towards creating your subject line. In fact, if you had to skimp on some of your efforts creating the email body just to have time left over to craft a great subject line, then do it. Take the time. You will never be successful without it.
Some people say to write the email subject line first, then craft your email content around that. If that's what you like to do, great. Here in our office, Loraine is the person who works on our emails. Since she's in her early 20's, she's the kind of person that's not exactly dying to hang around here until the wee hours of the morning working on her email subject line. Instead she wants to get out of here, and go out into the world and do whatever it is people in their early 20's do. So, she crafts the body of the email, then crafts the subject line based off of that. She schedules time for the creation of the subject line as part of her overall email creation schedule. That way she's not going to have to hang around here late into the evening and thus miss out on going out with her cool friends to hear some cool new band playing songs where you can't understand the lyrics. But, at least that place they go to has it's own craft beer, so it can't be that bad.
Litmus put together a great infographic that will help you understand what works in email subject lines and what doesn't. Here's a recap:
Using all caps, using the word "sale", and even using an exclamation point in an email subject line will likely NOT trigger a spam filter. Spam filters rarely make a big deal of these items. It's more about your overall spam score instead of just the use of any one or two words that make any difference.
Still overwhelmed? Don't be. Justin Jordan, marketing director at Litmus states it well.
"...there’s really no such thing as the perfect subject line—or, if there is, it must be hiding with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster."
Wiser words have never been said. You just need to test and retest to see what subject lines resonate with your audience. So in conclusion, state exactly what's in the email. Don't try to sell what's inside the email. If the subject line looks like an ad, it will be treated like an ad.
The original Litmus article and infographic are here.
Enter your favorite subject line in the comments.