The design of the ‘Subject’ line in direct email marketing will depend on the recipient to a great extent. If we take a subscriber who has been on your email marketing list for some time and is a regular, if intermittent, purchaser, then you will be aware what excites their interest. For those who have just subscribed you will need to experiment a bit.
There are five main types of ‘Subject’ line, although I accept that there are no strong boundaries. Remember that the only purpose of the ‘Subject’ line is to get the customer to open the email.
1. The Clear Statement:
I prefer the simple, direct approach where the offer is obvious. I know immediately whether it will be worth my while opening the email. I have noticed that one rather clever email marketing list I have subscribed to for some time and buy from regularly uses this style most often. It shows me my preferences.
2. The Occasion:
Occasionally I might open one where the offer is specific to an occasion, such as, as I note in my inbox this month, Valentine’s Day. Some display desperation there as I see little connection between 13 February and a new tablet. Hardly the most romantic present.
A rather popular one is the teaser, where the product or offer is not mentioned. “The best offer you will get this month” is typical of the type. It tends to cause doubt in my mind as to why, if the offer is so great, it was not specified.
I have been put off these as, in general, the revelation is a disappointment. That said, they must work for some given the frequency of their appearance.
4. Customer Specific:
Putting the name of the recipient in the ‘Subject’ line can make the receiver feel that there has been some degree of personalisation. This can be extrapolated into the belief, hopefully true given the information you have available in you email marketing lists, that the product is one that might well be of interest.
Another, and more practical way of personalising a direct marketing email, is to relate the product to something that the customer has previously bought. The obvious example of this type is printer ink refills a specific period after a customer bought a printer. I have to admit being a glutton for this kind of marketing. It shows thought, albeit motivated by profit.
5. How About A Question?
I do not like poorly thought out questions. Most seem to fall flat. ‘Would you like to win £200 worth of goodies?’ could just as well be replaced by ‘Win £200 worth of goodies’. However, how about: ‘Have you ever considered a luxury holiday on Lake Garda?’ I had, although a couple of years previous to the email. The question brought to mind the promise I had made to go there ‘sometime’.
Most Subject Lines fall into one, or probably more than one, of these kinds. Some of your customers will be put off by certain styles and you email marketing software will show you which.