2013 brings the start of a new year and the ideal opportunity to write some new email subject lines. Freshening up your email subject lines will serve you well in your email marketing plight to continue to establish relationships of value and increase your subscribership. By spending just a little bit of brain power on how to revamp your headlines, you will see how the numbers in your email list will grow alongside the reputation of your company as a true contender among competition.
Giving your email subject lines a fresh coat of paint is pretty straightforward.

  • The changes should not be so drastic so that your brand is unrecognizable in inboxes, but just enough to slap out the boredom & awaken the interest they once had in you. The right subject line gets subscribers to want to open your email and keep reading. That’s key! Getting the header to convert… 
  • Focus on what a subscriber will get, not what they will need to do to get it. For example, try using the combination of words, “Click to receive..,” and describe exactly what it is they are to get by clicking on your directional link. This way, their attention is taken away from what they have to do, and redirected on what they can quickly get from a simple click. This works!
  • Play with the wording in your subject line. Sometimes, all you have to do is change up the order of words or add a little word in the front or back of the sentence to get that added effect. For example, maybe you can try to add a company identifier or brand adage before the sentence, to benefit from your established repertoire. Or you can try adding a specific topic line to your sentence to give some direction about your communication and what your subscriber can benefit from your email communication with them.
  • Don’t lose sight of urgency. Urgency tactics and email subject lines that use time to highlight a communication of true value are time tested, tried and true. Whenever it is appropriate, you should continue to employ words like “Almost gone” and “— days left” to entice readers to want to jump on the bandwagon of those already cashing in on the offer and getting their share of the current offer before it slips through their fingertips. For more tips on how to use time markers in your email campaigns, read our previous blog, Email Subject Lines from December 12, 2011. 

Grabbing someone’s attention is not enough, if you don’t understand the relationship between that subject line & sparking real interest. According to Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO of MECLABS, “the goal of the e-mail is to get a clickthrough to a landing page where you can actually do some, sort of, transaction or establish more relationship.” In a Web clinic transcript, Dr. Flint McGlaughlin discusses a four step checklist on how to create subject lines that convert attention into interest:
1) Is the subject line CLEAR? Effective subject lines are clear and simple, not misleading, as they are a first representation of your brand and what you wish for the subscriber to know about your offer or communication.
2) Is the subject line APPEALING? We’ve always said this, but it is worth repeating. Don’t just plug in the same old boring header that your subscriber has seen before and gets lost in an inbox. Think a bit harder to come up with headers that are actually appealing, relevant, in the now, offering something of true value and making your subscribers want to open your email and keep reading.
3) Is the subject line EXCLUSIVE? Exclusivity is super important because the most effective campaigns are the ones that achieve making subscribers feel as though they are being presented a custom, unique offer from you that is specific to them, targeted to their interests.
4) Is the subject line CREDIBLE? If it’s too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t craft headers that no one will believe in enough to even click on to open. Craft messages that are believable and enticing in tone.