There are plenty of moments in one day where you delete an email from a company without bothering to open it.
It’s for this reason that the subject heading in an email need not be utterly boring and predictable. Something like “scoffing seaweed” is really quite likely to compel you to open it. That one-liner worked on me anyway, guilty.
While that turn of phrase specifically might not be on-brand or appropriate for your business, it’s an example of how being crafty and open to fun can really work for your email marketing.
So today, I come with some insights for emerging and established businesses on better ways to approach email marketing, in particular subject headings.
No one uses email to coordinate café catch-ups these days, so bringing joy through email is most certainly up to the businesses of the world until it becomes completely defunct. For the time being however, it’s still an incredibly powerful marketing and PR tool.
Email marketing done well definitely puts me in a good mood.
When a direct marketing email comes through ferrying a company newsletter or promo there’s nothing more that makes team rara shout words of encouragement through our screens when the subject heading is all kinds of Gene Kelly.
When businesses speak like humans, and are brave enough to write with emotion, entertainment, vulnerability, enlightenment, encouragement, good humour and above all talk to value and not sales; their content is more likely to elicit the behaviour they hope for.
When email subject headings, newsletter copy and design is same, same, corporate, generic, sales driven, and proofed to the point of disconnect via several levels of management and suiting…(deep breath)….the outcome is always underwhelming. And far from effective.
One of the biggest mistakes large organisations make in particular fashion apparel retailers is getting email content oh so wrong. No one wants to receive three emails a week with variations of the same subject heading, selling a reduced priced knit.
The whole point of email marketing is to compel someone to open the email. While big business is often getting this strategy wrong; small business is reigning supreme in spades and its beautiful to see.
Here are just a few examples of the good and the bad so that you can review your own email marketing strategy and lean into our decades of experience with a teaspoon of good measure.
It might rain
Psst…25% off ends tomorrow, just sayin’
New colours, wanna see?
Our pick of the bunch
This is exactly what we mean
The sunshine blanket
A little reflection
Between a sock and a hard place
Picked for you in your size
This is going to be so much fun
You belong in Pima Cotton
Creative minds need something useful
Listen up Clever Clogs
Made You Something
Stunning reduced price knit
Take a further 30% off
Your exclusive offer awaits
Shop the new top available in-store now
Our silk, bell-sleeve top just for you
Limited edition floral coat
The beauty of linen
The perfect summer slip
Summer and soft tailoring
Essentials for your weekend
Weekend Escape | Woven Perfection
Last minute effortless style
Some of the subject headings I’ve received during Covid
These are unprecedented times, we know
In these uncertain times…
Stay home, stay safe
We’ve got your back, don’t worry
4 experts share their advice on navigating recession
Buy two, get three
We’ve missed you
Don’t worry, we’re here to help
In these times, we’re with you
How to reclaim your mind
Stop making huge demands of yourself
A not-so scary investment
Hmm, I’m not sure I like or feel compelled to click on any of those Covid headings. What do you think?
On the topic of subject heading and email marketing; inspired by Covid here is a poem that went viral by English teacher and writer in West Virginia, Jessica Salfia. It’s a poem called “First lines of emails I’ve received while quarantining”.
Depending on your target audience and industry, the ‘suggested’ examples wont apply to every business, but you get the concept of sounding much more like a friend who is sharing an idea or bringing value (most likely to listen to), compared with over-corporatised, sales-driven, generic copywriting.
Whatever your business; there’s nothing more ineffective than syndicating copy via e-newsletters or on social media that is repetitive, lacking in emotion, stripped of any point-of-difference and all sorts of vanilla.
Let’s hear it for the businesses keeping it real when it comes to good one-liners and conversation starters.
Words by Jade Roberts
raraPR Founder and Director
raraPR is above all the sum of people who together help build brands and share stories. We are present in our determination to make a positive difference to the world by representing individuals and businesses that are doing good. We are an extension of the personal stories within us, those that we exist for and those within you that need to be heard.