Recently I saw an article with the title, “Two words to get people to open your emails.”
Either this would be an amazingly helpful hint, or I’d have a good example for a “what not to do.”
“The two words were, “I’m curious.”
My inbox currently holds at least a dozen emails with subject lines like, “Frankly, Cathy, I’m puzzled…”
And yes, some say, “I’m curious…” Or, “Where were you?”
The first time I saw those subject lines, I opened the messages.
And the second time…maybe the third.
But now I just hit delete. I know what’s coming.
Those 2 words create a backlash.
Most of us get emails from two kinds of senders.
(1) People who feel like friends can send us anything. They aren’t necessarily personal friends. But we’ve grown to know, like and trust them.
When a good friend texts you “Call me! I’ve got big news!” you hit the keypad. You want to know if she’s getting divorced, got a new job, or found a new color of nail polish.
(2) People we’re getting to know have no give us a reason to open their messages. A generic subject line that’s used by a lot of marketers – especially those of the Celebrity archetype – won’t be very motivating
Of course, they may have an agenda. The people they *really* want to reach are opening and clicking like crazy.
But generally, I’ve found it’s a good idea to make the subject line very specific. Get the curiosity Juices flowing. Run your subject line through a headline analyzer. Use a flexible format, such as “How to get X benefit without incurring Y cost.”
And whatever you do, avoid scolding, shaming, and attempting to make them feel guilty. We’re beyond that.
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