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Shovi Websites – Answering the question, “What’s the Subject Line?”

Shovi Websites – Answering the question, “What’s the Subject Line?”

Answering the question, "What's the Subject Line?"

By: Shovi Websites

“What’s the subject line?” is the #1 follow-up question I have for clients who send us content to format into an email campaign, especially when they’re new to email marketing. (The #2 question is usually “Who is going to be in the ‘From’ field?”). The topic of subject lines has been extensively covered, but I want to focus on that very first email campaign you’re sending out: the one that’s likely going to get the most unsubscribes, the most bounces, and will ultimately set the tone for how your remaining subscribers are going to react to future campaigns.

In short, this one’s gotta be good.

So I reached out to some seriously-smart email marketers for their take on how to approach this critical first campaign. This is the hypothetical scenario:

ABC Company is an established business (B2B) looking to send out its very first email marketing piece to its list of customers, prospects, and pretty much everyone that they’ve ever had contact with. We’ll forego the obvious reaction of whether their sending to this list of people violates any laws or regulations, and assume for the sake of this post that everything’s A-OK. They’re using an email marketing service (not Outlook), have a great design put together, and the content of the email is to introduce a new product. This isn’t a promotional offer or a newsletter, it’s simply a product announcement in the form of their first email campaign. What’s the subject line?

Here’s what expert email marketers had to say:

My example subject line: “Introducing [product name] from ABC Company”

Martin Lieberman:

The point of your first email is to welcome new subscribers to your list, and to show how much you appreciate them signing up. It’s very important to tone down the marketing language, and instead “warm up” the subscriber. There will be plenty of time for selling later on. For now, you have to make a good first impression, and that starts with the subject line.

A subject line that goes in for the sale too quickly, or is too dry or marketing-like (e.g., “Introducing [product name] by ABC Company”), will cause your email to be deleted or considered spam. I’d suggest something as simple as “Thank you for joining our mailing list.” Or maybe something more fun, like “The best thing you did all day was join our mailing list!”

Both have a human tone, both are engaging, and most importantly, they put the subscriber first, not the sender. It’s just a question of preference: The first has a warmer spin, and the other is more exciting.Just remember: It’s not just your first email that should have an engaging subject line…they all should.

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  • Profile:  Jeff Ginsberg has 17+ years’ experience and is an industry known authority on email marketing who gets in the trenches with clients and helps them fulfill their marketing objectives, increase revenue and brand engagement. Clients rely on him and his team at The eMail Company to provide them with expertise from strategy to technology and from campaign management to channel integration. Jeff has worked with clients across all spectrums in the financial, automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods space. His experience covers both B2B and B2C markets. He has a strong background in educating and training agencies and clients about email best practices and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing tools and vendor selection. While Jeff’s team may be small, they know how to solve BIG email marketing problems. Looking for help with your next campaign? Don’t be afraid to give him a call – Jeff and his team ready to help you today. Give me a call: Toll Free: 877-We-eMail (877-933-6245) Local: 416-225-7711 eMail: jeff@theemailcompany.com
  • Website:  http://www.theemailguide.com
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/theemailguide
  • LinkedIn:   http://ca.linkedin.com/in/chiefemailofficer
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