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Free Blue Ribbon Webinar: Subject Line Savvy

Free Blue Ribbon Webinar: Subject Line Savvy

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  • We’d like to start off the webinar by giving you three reasons that subject lines are so important. In fact, some people argue that they are the most important part of your email, because without a good subject line, people won’t open your email and will miss your message completely. Get through SPAM filters – If your email is flagged as spam because of a questionable word in the subject line, no one will receive your message. A clean subject line helps ensure that your email is delivered. We’ll talk about words to avoid later in the presentation. Recent reports say that 69% of readers mark email as spam. Compel your recipient to open it – People receive an average of 100 emails a day, so your message is competing with a lot of others to get your customer’s attention. You have an estimated three seconds of your customer’s attention during which they will decide to open or delete your email. Stand out and make sure that they open it. We will talk about ways to stand out in the inbox later on in this presentation, too. Set and keep expectations: Your subject line should be compelling, but not misleading. Be sure that what your subject line promises is actually delivered in the email content.
  • Here we have the three main components that work together to get your email opened: From Line Subject Line Pre-header text The first image you see is an example of what a subject line and it’s extended parts look like in the inbox The second image is an example of what these parts look like when an email is opened. This is important to keep in mind when designing your email and writing your subject lines. You want to know what your recipient is going to see, and consider how it will compel them to open your email. From Line: Automatically populated from your account profile. You can change this, but we don’t recommend you do so because of consistency and recognition. This is where you build credibility, and how your recipients recognize the sender (you or your company) and think to themselves, “this is something I signed up for” or “I know this company.” Subject line: Primary message, offer, CTA that makes the reader decide “This is something I am interested in” or “I would like to know more about this” or “this is cool!” Pre-header text: A supplementary message that gives more information, hopefully further compelling your recipient to open your email. The preheader and subject line should be different. Saying the same thing doesn’t add any additional value. Your from line has your company name, so there’s no reason to give your company name again in your subject line. This is repetitive and a waste of space.
  • Think about your own inbox and which messages you decide to open, delete, or report as spam (or messages that you find in your junk box). Follow these simple tactics for success…
  • Here is an inside look at the junk box. Can you see why these emails were delivered as spam? After this, we advise you to go look at your on junk box and see what ends up there. This is “no man’s land” for email.


  • 1. Subject Line Savvy Webinar Presented by Jill Bastian Training and Education Manager Twitter hashtag: #vrwebinar
  • 2. Agenda
    • The Importance of Subject Lines
    • The Components of a Subject Line
    • The Dos of Subject Lines
    • The Don’ts of Subject Lines
    • “ Dirty Words” to Avoid in your Subject Lines
    • An Inside Look at the Junk Box
    • Subject Line Trends
    • Subject Line Hall of Fame
    • Subject Line Hall of Shame
    • Resources
    • Questions
  • 3. The Importance of Subject Lines
    • Get through the SPAM filters and into the inbox
    • Compel your recipient to open your email
      • Stand out in the inbox
    • Set and keep expectations
  • 4. The Components of a Subject Line – Let’s Break It Down
    • From Line
    • Company name
    • Subject Line
    • Main CTA to get email opened
    • Pre-header text
    • Secondary copy to get
    • email opened; displays in
    • some preview panes
    Subject Line From Line Pre-header
  • 5. The Dos of SL Writing
    • Keep it short and sweet: Optimum SL length is 30-50 letters , or 5-8 words
      • Put the most valuable information up front
    • Make sure your SL won’t truncate or get cut off on an important word, such as a date or discount
    • Test often: There is no sure-fire SL formula
      • Offer a benefit
      • Mention offers and incentives
      • Be timely
      • Create a sense of urgency
      • Stand out
      • Get (positive) attention
      • Keep promises (The CAN SPAM ruling states that for any commercial email, you must have your subject line relate to the content of the email)
  • 6. The Don’ts of SL Writing
    • Avoid these common pitfalls:
    • Waiting until the last minute to write your SL
    • Using a SL place holder such as ‘TBD’ or “This is a test”
    • Including the words ‘spam’ or ‘unsubscribe’ in your subject line
    • Overusing or abusing punctuation!!!
      • Putting the word ‘free’ in ALL CAPS, or use it as the first word of your SL (a good substitute for “free” is complimentary or “on us”)
      • Being misleading
      • Repeating the same copy in your SL and preheader
      • Repeating your company name in the SL (if it’s already in the from label)
  • 7. “ Dirty Words” to Avoid In Your Subject Line
  • 8. An Inside Look at the Junk Box
  • 9. Subject Line Trends
    • The use of discount codes in the subject line
      • Use Code 32GIFT to Get Free Shipping!‏
    • The use of “first time ever” in the subject line
      • 30% off your entire order - first time ever!‏
    • Personalization
      • Personalization such as first name works for some SLs but can appear very “big brother”
    • Creating a countdown series:
      • Jingle your way to Savings! HOHOHO Coupon Enclosed!
      • 4 Days Left to Buy More Save More! HOHOHO Details Inside.
      • Hurry, Only 24 Hours Left to Save up to $24 with HOHOHO!
    • Asking a Question
      • Graduation Party? Get Gifted.
    • Top lists:
      • Top 10 Best Gifts Under $10
    • Email Exclusive Offers
    • Mystery Offers:
      • Mystery Offer - Save 15%, 20%, or 30%!
  • 10. Subject Line Hall of Fame
    • One Shrek of a Deal From HP (Hewlett Packard)
    • No Service Fee June - Ends Soon! (Ticket Master)
    • Your Free Rentals are About to Expire. (Netflix)
    • A New Mac for College. An iPod Touch for Free. (Apple)
    • Size Does Matter. The Longest Novels. (Bookstore)
    • Redeem Your Borders Bucks Today! (Borders)
    • Dig Up Some Great Earth Day Gifts.
    • Your Magical Mystery Offer Is… (Disney Store)
  • 11. Subject Line Hall of Shame . Do : Be timely and current, yet sensitive to what is going on in the world around you. Don’t : Try to capitalize on others’ suffering or current disasters ** Beware: This email created a lot of negative buzz on Twitter Example of a positive cultural and timely subject line sent by a bookstore: Join the Barack Obama Book Club
  • 12. Subject Line Resources
    • VR Marketing Blog
    • VR Marketing Lounge
      • Copywriting Group:
    • Follow Us: VR4SmallBiz on Twitter
    • Keep an eye out for the follow-up email:
      • New Guide, Subject Line Savvy for Success
        • Subject Line Check List
        • Subject Line Starters
      • Links to the presentation
  • 13. Q&A