This past weekend my wife and I went looking for a new oven.
Our old one wasn’t exactly “adding value”
It was old, and rusty.
And probably built around the year I was born.
Perceived value: 💵
Apparently, every single manufacturer gives away huge discounts in January to make way for newer models.
We did our online research and immediately went to Best Buy.
3 Days Later…
All new appliances.
Increase in perceived value: 💵 💵 💵 💵 💵
Sure, you can look at the before and after again, go ahead.
Think people will pay more for this house, even if it didn’t add much real value? NO DOUBT.
Only 1 problem…
They need to be INSIDE to see the kitchen.
Same goes for Email.
People need to open your emails to read, and gain value from what’s inside.
Of the people I send emails to, only 75% actually read them.
The 3 reasons people aren’t reading your email:
- Reason 1: They don’t know, trust, or like you.
- Reason 2: Your subject line stinks.
- Reason 3: One or both of the above.
What if they don’t know who I am?
If they don’t know, like, or trust you, then you are effectively “cold” emailing them.
The only way to have a great cold email is to make the person on the other end either:
A.) Know you.
B.) Like you.
or C.) you guessed it…Trust you.
Oh yeah, and you’ll need a great subject line too.
That means learning about the person you’re cold emailing, following their content, and interacting with them.
So, how do I come up with a great subject line?
Whether it’s for a cold email, or for somebody you know personally…subject lines are the most important factor in getting people in the front door to see your awesome content.
For subject line ideas I start by looking at what other digital marketing experts have sent me.
Melyssa Griffin is a Pinterest expert.
Her subject lines have tons of personality and EMPHASIS (See below)
Using casual copywriting techniques and adding big bold words? Classic.
Takeaways: Add your own personality and use EMPHASIS!!! when necessary.
Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo, and SumoMe is an online marketing expert known the world over.
Let’s see how his subject lines stack up.
Almost all of Noah’s emails are 3-5 words.
he also uses a casual trick by making the first letter of the subject line lowercase.
He also asks tons of great questions. One of his subject lines is “can I call you tomorrow?”
Takeaways: Keep your subject lines short and sweet. 3-5 words,max. Also try going all lower-case, and maybe asking a short question to bring their guard down.
Neville Medhora, Creator of the Kopywriting Kourse is my favorite Indian. He’s also an expert copywriter. (So pay attention!)
Neville manages to use 1-2 word subject lines, and uses all lowercase almost exclusively.
However, Neville’s newsletter is extremely casual. content packed, but casual.
And again, he’s well known in the copywriting space.
Takeaways: Less is more. Casual is king.
Bryan Harris, Creator of Get 10,000 Subscribers is an email list building expert. He likes to use lots of numbers in his subject lines (See below)
Sentence length here tends to be in the 4-6 word range.
Also, numbers in headlines and subject lines are proven to generate much higher open rates.
Seems like Bryan is taking advantage of this.
Takeaways: Add as many relevant numbers, years, and dollar amounts as you can.
The very best subject lines that I’ve used have been short (2-3 words) and have had open loops.
I use this technique for personal emails, work emails, and marketing emails.
What’s an open loop?
Let’s use BlueBuffalo as an example, and pretend we’re making an email around 3 new categories or brands…
Subject Line (GOOD): 3 new ways your dog can enjoy BlueBuffalo
Subject Line (BAD): BlueBuffalo launches 3 new brands of dog food
In the first example we left a subtle question in the readers mind: “What are the 3 new ways?”
Think they’re curious how their dog can get more enjoyment? You bet.
We also added in some numbers and kept it casual.
In the second example, we’ve already told the reader everything they need to know.
And it’s boring and “PR” sounding…
Think they’ll open email number 2? Nope.
Recap of everything we learned:
- Keep subject lines short (2-4 words)
- Use EMPHASIS when needed
- Add some personality
- use all lower case occasionally to make it look fast
- Ask a quick question.
- Add relevant numbers when you can.
- Less is more.
- Keep it casual.
I’m sure there are tons of other techniques out there that I wasn’t able to cover. But this should give you a great start if you’ve never considered the importance of subject lines in your emails.
What subject lines work best for you?