It’s a curious thing that while online entrepreneurs will think nothing of spending $1,997 for the latest information product, most are absolutely unwilling to invest that kind of money in advertising.
I have a challenge to issue, and I hope you will take me up on it.
Before your email can be read, it must be open. The key to getting your email opened is the subject line.
Think of the subject line of your e-mail as being the equivalent of a headline in a sales letter. It’s that important. In fact, if you don’t write a good subject line, I can almost guarantee your e-mail will not be opened, not be read, and, in fact, end up in the trash.
So what makes up a good e-mail subject line? There are three essential components every subject line must contain. They are:
- Connect. The subject line must connect with the interest of the reader. Fail this test and they’ll hit the delete button.
- Attention. The subject line must rivet the attention of the prospect so that they are curious about what’s contained in the rest of the e-mail.
- Propel. The subject line must be active and propel the reader to read the rest of your e-mail, leading to your call to action.
Without these three elements, your subject line will not draw your reader into your e-mail, and your e-mail won’t be read.
Another way to think of this is to remember what your reader is always thinking: “what’s in this for me?”
If you don’t have a good answer to that question, you and your email are toast.
Despite the mythology that says email marketing is dead, it’s still the number one way stuff gets sold on the Internet.
Bottom line: if you want to succeed marketing online, you’re going to have to use email.
If it works so well, why does it seem so hard for many companies?
Here are five great ways to mess up your email marketing:
- Make it look like an ad. That’s a surefire way to to get your email deleted right away.
- Write using the “royal we”. After all, human beings write in the first person.
- Make your email all about you and your product. That way it won’t be interesting at all to the reader.
- Assume the reader was waiting to get your email. That way you can skip providing any real content or value and just get right to the selling.
- Forget the state your reader is in when they check email. Otherwise, it will occur to you that what they were looking for was communication from a friend, something inspiring, something entertaining, or even something profane.
Of course, I hope that you pick up on the fact if you want your email marketing to succeed you should do the exact opposite of these five things.
But I felt like it might be a good idea to point that out.
Just in case.
Success usually is not dependent upon your coming up with the most brilliant marketing idea ever conceived. Trying to win the battle that way is literally like running “against the wind”.
The classic Bob Seger song, Against the Wind, includes these lyrics:
Well those drifter’s days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out
This describes the dilemma of the modern marketer.
The real question is: what to leave in, what to leave out.
What belongs in your marketing message, and what doesn’t?
The answer is simple, but not always easy. You must leave out the parts your prospects are not interested in.
To quote great novelist Elmore Leonard: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
Of course, to do that, you have to know which parts people skip.
Every time I publish something I have strong feelings about, no matter how hard I try to word those feelings with civility, someone is provoked. It often starts a fight.
If no one ever objects to what you write, what you say, or what you do… it’s possible you’re not writing, saying, or doing anything of significance.
Strong ideas challenge people.
All powerful communication offends someone.
I think of this as Fight Club for the Brain.
I don’t want to fight for the sake of striking blows, but as the Great Storyteller writes, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
I’m not suggesting that you be provocative merely for sport.
But I am suggesting that if no one is provoked by what you say, it’s possible that no one is paying attention.