Magic Words to Make Prospects Open Your Email Messages

It’s tough out there in email marketing land as millions (billions?) of marketers compete for the attention of already harassed and harried consumers. Finding those magic words to cut through the clutter is high on the wish lists of marketers everywhere. The problem is there are no magic words!

There is, though, one very important (and often overlooked) part of the email marketing message that can make a big difference: the subject line. If your email subject line is not compelling, nobody will ever read your message, regardless of how well crafted it may be.

The keys to effective subject lines, similar to the keys for effective headlines of any kind, are that they do the following:

  • Address a direct benefit to the target audience
  • Stand out from the other messages that are likely to clutter the recipient’s inbox
  • Clearly convey what the rest of the message will be about
  • Contain a clear call to action

However, there is one big don’t do: don’t attempt to “trick” the audience into clicking through some subterfuge or false promise that your actual message will not deliver on. They may open this message, but all of your future messages are destined for their junk mail folder.

I don’t think there is any real “magic” to this, any formulas that are certain to work, or any examples that could be “plugged and played” into others’ campaigns. Ultimately, what works is going to depend on a variety of things including, of course, your audience and the nature of their incoming email box. If your audience is on the high end of receiving emails on a daily basis, it’s going to be far more challenging to compel action from them than if they receive less email.

Here’s another blog post we wrote about this topic recently.  It’s a topic that deserves continued attention.

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