Consumers suck, don’t they? They need to be rewarded for everything…liking things, sharing things, buying things, answering things. It’s maddening.
Well marketers, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We’ve conditioned people to chase carrots and respond to hoopla…which means we’ve ALSO conditioned them to ignore stuff that’s boring, predictable, trite, and unrewarding.
Where does this leave email subject lines? At the top of your “spend brainpower here” list.
Think about it…all the time and energy you spend creating the perfect email content is 100% for naught if people don’t open it. And when sifting through the barrage of daily incoming emails, consumers use three main criteria to determine which ones will get their attention:
- How much they care about you vs. how much they care about the rest of the senders sitting in their inbox.
- How much time they have available when your email arrives.
- Is the content going to be worth their time?
And #3 is why subject lines should get your brainpower. If your marketing email subject lines are things like “August Newsletter” or “News from (company name)” or even something a little more specific like “Winter Packages at (company name)”… you are relying on the first two criteria – which are beyond your control – to supply the magic open sesame of consumer response.
But if your subject line is something like…
We don’t make linen. (Chilewich, a textile company)
I hate purple. (Also from Chilewich)
The ecosystem of your belly button. (American Museum of Natural History)
Have you ever wanted to create a chocolate sculpture? (South End Kitchen, VT)
Get serenaded by Harry Connick, Jr. (Hotel on North, MA)
…you’re using the subject line as a lure to snap desensitized recipients to attention. It’s likely that 80% or more of the emails they receive each day have boring subject lines. Make yours interesting and you’re one notch closer to seducing them into hearing your message.
Here’s the best part. If you pay heed to #3 (teasing interesting content)…and then you actually ensure that the content IS interesting…over time, it’s going to positively impact #1 and #2. Remember: marketers train consumers. And the more you train them that your emails are interesting, the more that #1- they will care about you and your messages, and #2- no matter when your email arrives, they will make the time to read it.
It’s a delicious cycle of persuasive marketing goodness. And soon you will find that consumers – those picky, aloof, what’s-in-it-for-me monsters we marketers have created – will suck just a little bit less.