Email Headline

The power of a killer email headline

There’s a reason that email marketing is still the foremost form of digital marketing; getting access to someone’s email address and their inbox is akin these days to them inviting you home for a coffee and a chance to talk to them directly about what your brand has to offer. This trust needs to be respected and to make it really work for your brand one of the most important aspect to get spot on is the first thing they’ll see – the email headline / subject line.

Personalisation of an email headline alone can improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 11%, according to the Aberdeen Group. But you can go further in an effort to reach the click-through and conversion gold.

1. Use familiarity and humour

Where possible address readers by their name and use humour to engage them. Customers are craving personalised service from brands and an email headline can immediately begin to build your relationship. Using humour? Well everyone wants a break from the mundane. If you make them laugh you’re more than half way to getting that click-through.

An from Bonds, advertising their new men’s underwear range: 
“Keep your boys comfy. Give them a good home.”

2. Be surprising

Don’t use the same format of email headlines over and over again – that’s boring and bound to lose subscribers and readers after a while. Mix it up, be surprising, be different and don’t be afraid to push the envelope a little.

A recent example from Typo in the lead up to Mother’s Day:
“Don’t be a Mother F…orgetter! Get her a gift!”

3. Use interesting twists

Create some intrigue about your brand’s communications by using interesting and unique word combinations. Also consider the usage of puns, alliteration and/or non-sequiturs (where a conclusion or reply that doesn’t follow logically from the previous statement eg. He drives a BMW. He must be rich. Or, she’s wearing red shoes. She must love the colour red. See, no logic here).

4. Smash the first four words

If you don’t grab the reader’s attention within the first few words of the subject line then all is often lost. Make those first four words really count (and only use eight words in total if you can).

5. Name drop

Has a big name used your product, given a great review? Dropping their name into your email headline can pique interest and increase click-through rates. Just make sure that the names you drop will resonate with your target audience.

6. Carefully use superlatives

Essentially, don’t claim you are the best, the cheapest, the highest quality or anything along those lines unless you are absolutely sure that’s true (and you can back it up). Superlatives are often overused these days, and while they work really well in email headlines, if they aren’t true they can do some serious damage to your brand reputation.

Conduct A/B testing to ensure you have got the email headline just right.

For more information or help with your email campaigns just contact us at Liquid Creativity.


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