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Email Marketing Basics
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Writing effective subject lines


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Email Marketing Basics

with John Arnold

Video: Writing effective subject lines

Your subject line is the part of your email that prompts your recipients to hopefully open your email and start reading immediately. Subject lines get cut off after about 40 or 50 characters, so the best way to utilize the subject line in an email is to describe the immediate benefit of opening your email with the fewest words possible. Subject lines such as July newsletter or News from ABC Company may be too generic and they're not strong enough to prompt an immediate open. Instead of generic words, choose value words for your subject lines.

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Email Marketing Basics
56m 57s Appropriate for all Nov 15, 2011 Updated Nov 12, 2012

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Let John Arnold show you how to get the most out of email marketing campaigns. This course offers strategies for building a quality list of subscribers and maintaining a company's brand and reputation by complying with spam laws, creating valuable email content, and ensuring emails are branded consistently. It also covers crafting marketing emails—from format and design to content—and analyzing the effectiveness of email campaigns.

Topics include:
  • Building an email list
  • Collecting email addresses
  • Offering incentives to increase signups
  • Deciding on a format for emails
  • Including links
  • Sending valuable offers
  • Creating effective From address and subject lines
  • Combing email with social media and mobile devices
  • Managing bounced and blocked email
  • Evaluating email click-through data
  • Automating email marketing
Subjects:
Email Marketing Marketing Small Business Marketing
Author:
John Arnold

Writing effective subject lines

Your subject line is the part of your email that prompts your recipients to hopefully open your email and start reading immediately. Subject lines get cut off after about 40 or 50 characters, so the best way to utilize the subject line in an email is to describe the immediate benefit of opening your email with the fewest words possible. Subject lines such as July newsletter or News from ABC Company may be too generic and they're not strong enough to prompt an immediate open. Instead of generic words, choose value words for your subject lines.

Value words are words or phrases that describe the benefit your readers will receive by opening the email. Here are a few examples. If the benefit of your email is financial savings, you can use the word savings as the value word in your subject line, as in over $50 in savings in this email. If the benefit of your email is valuable information, you should use words in your subject line that describe the immediate benefit of reading your information. For example, if your information helps someone to compare the competition, your subject line may read "compare the competition in under two minutes." If the benefit of opening your emails is basically the same in a series of emails, you can work off of a theme by creating a brand for your emails and including that brand name as the subject line.

For example, instead of using the word newsletter in the subject line for every newsletter you send, you can create a name for your newsletter, such as Smart Shopper Weekly if you're a retail store or 5-Minute Sales Tips,if you offer sales consulting. Coming up with good subject lines consistently isn't easy. If you're unsure about whether a particular idea for a subject line will work, try testing one idea for a subject line against another idea using a small sample of your email list.

Remember also to avoid subject lines that look like spam. Using all capital letters, excessive punctuation, or extreme urgency can be off-putting and cause spam complaints. Take a few minutes to periodically check your own junk or spam folder to see what the spammers are using in their subject lines and then avoid copying their techniques. I hope this section of the course helps you to create a lot of profitable subject lines for many emails to come. And now it's time to move on to deepening your relationships with the people who open your emails by adding social media features to your emails.

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