Your email does NOT begin with your subject line. It actually starts with the purpose of your email blast. Like anything else, you need to know your motivation—for the best performance.
So, first things first. Think about it: Why are you sending the email? Who is your audience? What do you want them to do?
Knowing the answers before you begin gives the best performance:
For instance, are you announcing a new product, sharing trend information with your customers or generating sales leads?
Is the audience your established clientele list, prospective customers, or both?
Do you want them to click through to your website, request a sample or respond to an invite?
Once you start defining your goals, your key message emerges, and now you are ready to begin to develop the email itself.
As you develop, remember these basics:
• Your email should be a quick read—the user should be able to see at a glance what you want them to see.
• Any supporting images or links need to reinforce that same key message.
• Add one clear call to action, and your message is apparent.
Now you can start to consider the subject line. We all know how important it is. If you spend hours and hours developing your email and no one bothers to open it because the subject line isn’t compelling or they can’t see the whole message, well, you get the picture. Before you begin, find out the recommendations regarding word and/or character count, and consider how the subject line will display in different browsers so you can make accommodations accordingly.
Explore several options, run them by your team before landing on one, and when possible, even do a comparison test for future reference (did more people open the email with Subject Line A or Subject Line B?).
After the email is sent, the important work isn’t over. In some ways, it’s just begun. Email blasting is a moving target. The best way to get the most out of it is to work it, study it and refine it. Track your stats (How many opens? How many click-throughs to your website? How many inquiries?). And most importantly: follow up. Make the call, send the sample or add them to your direct mail list. Whatever you’ve promised in the email needs to happen—on a timely basis—or that reader won’t click to open your next email.
For an email blast that performs and delivers the results you’re looking for:
Plan, develop, analyze. Repeat.