Composing an effective marketing email… easy.
Composing a subject line that gets an effective marketing email opened… hard!
According to research from email marketing firm OptInMonster, 69% of email recipients report emails based solely on the subject line.
In other words, two thirds of the emails you send are getting judged before the recipient ever makes it to the content. You know the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Well, that’s what we’re talking about here. Your subject line is your first impression and if you don’t make it a good one, your email isn’t getting read. Plain and simple.
So what makes an effective subject line? Don’t we wish we knew!
Writing Effective Subject Lines
There are a few different strategies you can take. It’s something I’m personally experimenting with on a daily basis. No matter what strategy you deploy when it comes to subject lines, track your results. Split test. Pay attention to the data. Some are going to work better than others.
Here are few suggestions to consider based on current research.
Curiosity: The idea of using this approach is to intrigue your recipient into wanting to see more. Humans want to know the whole story. If you give them part of it in subject line, people may be more inclined to get the rest by opening your email. An example of this approach is asking a question in the subject line and providing the answer in the message. Other strategies would be to promise something interesting or lead with something unusual.
Bottom Line: Say something that makes them want to know more.
Funny: We all love to laugh When it comes to marketing emails, funny subject lines may be harder to come up with, or may not always be appropriate. Keep yourself open to the opportunties. That said, if you’re not naturally funny, DO NOT try and be funny. It’ll backfire every time! Look for triggers to humor. Something the lead shared on their website or social media that made you smile or laugh could open the door to an idea for a funny subject line.
Bottom Line: If you can genuinely make them laugh, they’re going to keep reading.
Vanity: This might sound awful, but it works. Play to their own sense of vanity and pride. Use an accomplishment they’ve shared and you’ve learned about as a subject line. For example, is the production studio award-winning? That’s your vanity subject line. Mention the award. They’re going to want to see what the email is about because they’re going to want to read what you’re saying about them.
Bottom Line: Ego strokes makes us all feel good!
Pain Points: If you’ve paid attention to anything I’ve shared in this blog over the years or anything I’ve ever posted on social media when it comes to marketing you know that marketing is about providing solutions to problems. Problems are pain points. That is to say, if you can identify what is causing your lead pain and speak directly to that pain point, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Bottom Line: Hit the pain point in the subject. Provide your solution in the message.
Personalize: You can never go wrong with personalized subject lines because it proves to the reader you aren’t just sending yet another generic marketing form letter to them. Look for idea triggers on their website and social media. Could be their tag line. A service they offer. Something from their About page. It could be a quote they used. Dig in a little and you’re bound to find something that will work.
Bottom Line: Prove to them you did a little research and this isn’t a generic letter.
There’s No Secret Strategy
People ask me about subject lines on a near daily basis and I wish I had one magical line that worked every single time with every single email.
Or, at least, if there is, I haven’t discovered it yet!
As a Voice Actor, you’re a naturally creative individual. Put that creativity to use. With the strategies mentioned above, a little bit of info collected from your leads website or social media and a creative thinking on your part, you’ll come up with some winners. There’ll be done duds too, to be clear. Don’t sweat them.
As I mentioned earlier, pay attention to data. Bank the winners. Toss the duds. Keep experimenting,
When all else fails, try “Professional Voice Actor 🎙️”.
Whatever you do, don’t let the subject line paralyze you. An email sent, even with a dud subject line, still has a better chance of being opened and read than the email that never makes it into your Sent folder!