Using personalized subject lines effectively.
The one-on-one nature of email marketing is one of its most powerful assets. Yet few marketers/brands take advantage of the power of personalizing their subject lines. And the fact is, studies have proven that emails using a personalized subject line can substantially increase open rates. Here are a few best practices you should know in order to artfully mine the benefits of subject-line personalization.
Design response forms to be succinct yet complete.
It’s certainly good practice to keep your opt-in forms from being too long. You don’t want a response form to look like an “assignment” for an inquiring prospect. The goal is to get prospects to fill out the form on the spot, while they’re already engaged in a followthrough mindset.
At the minimum, however, you need to ask for a first and last name to go with the email address. It’s also especially valuable to find out what you can about each prospect’s particular pain points. So you can’t be bashful about asking for this key information.
Make it easy for the prospect to check off pain points.
Before you develop content and your response forms, have a solid idea of what the typical customer personas and typical pain points are for the prospects you’re targeting. Design your response forms to make it easy for customers to indicate their pain points. This can be done, for instance, with a simple “click all that apply” set of checkboxes.
Avoid a gratuitous “insert name here” subject-line approach.
Like many other facets of email marketing, spammers have somewhat compromised the effectiveness of personalized subject lines — with their shallow attempts to simply get attention.
Personalized subject lines work best when the product or service being offered has a strong connection to the prospect’s specific pain points, personal interests and/or business-related aspirations. Make sure the message of the subject line gives the recipient a real sense that you know what he/she is looking for. Here’s one example:
Jenn: We’ll improve your mail processing rates by 40% or more.
Start the body of the email with a strong followup.
The subsequent content in the body of the email then needs to pay off the subject line, quickly and convincingly. This way, within about 10 to 15 seconds, the recipient knows your email isn’t a piece of spam. It’s actually an intro to a valuable business solution. One that is tailored to the recipient’s real-world needs.