In yesterday's Email Copy Boss Daily email, we discussed personal-sounding subject lines. More to the point, we talked about the appropriate way to use them.
If you missed it, here's the super-short version: personal-sounding subject lines certainly can bump open rates higher vs. "marketing"-style subject lines (at least in the short term). But people are often upset about being tricked...and the sender undermines the readers' trust.
That includes using FW: and Re: in an attempt to fool people into thinking the email is part of a conversation..
People are getting wise to this tactic, so it's going to be less and less effective.
The remedy: share personal stories in your emails on a regular basis. Build an actual relationship with the people on your list. Then you can send semi-personal emails without being deceptive...or cheesy.
That being said, there are a few tried and true subject line formats that consistently work well.
"How to" is a prime example. "How to write better subject lines." "How to get six-pack abs."
It's pretty straightforward. You're telling the reader exactly what benefit he'll get by reading your email.
"How to" is even stronger when you add an intriguing qualifier: "How to get six-pack abs without situps or leg lifts."
A while back, Conrad posed a question: Is "what if" more persuasive than "how to"? Is "what if" a magical phrase you can use to fire up the imagination of your readers and move them into action?
In the interest of full disclosure, we haven't tested this in earnest, but I (Donnie) share a number of reasons I believe "what if" may be more compelling and emotionally engaging than the matter-of-fact "how to."
The video was originally a Facebook Live broadcast, so please forgive the...liveness.
By the way, you don't have to be a magician to send great emails to your list on a consistent basis. Emails That Make Sales makes sure you're never at a loss for ideas.