What’s In A Headline

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Email marketing has become synonymous with successful online marketing as a whole, but getting people to actually see, open, and read an email without immediately dumping it in the trash is a challenge all marketers must overcome.  When crafting a quality email, it’s important to start where the recipient will begin: with an eye catching headline.  

Email headlines are such a crucial part of email marketing that most marketers will frequently A/B test or side-by-side test the same email with different headline attributes to see which one performs the best.  If you’re already using an email software with analytics in place, this can be a great way to measure how effective your headlines really are.  There are, however, some tried and true methods to creating quality headlines which is what we’ll explore today.

Keep it Stupid Simple

Almost half of all email opens are from mobile devices, and even if they aren’t opened directly from a mobile device they’re likely being seen for the first time on mobile then opened in a desktop browser.  What this means is that you’ve got a limited number of characters to work with when drafting the best possible email headline.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to keep you email headlines within 50 characters.  This ensures that your readers will see the most important part of your headline and may even see the the entire headline if properly crafted.  Pay special attention to how effective you are with your words and characters and make a conscious effort to eliminate fluff words or combine terminology where you see fit.

Use Your Name

Most email marketing platforms allow you to select the “from” line in your email and input any email address you want.  Additionally, you can also change the “reply to” line which is often not seen by email recipients. 

What is seen is the sender, and no one likes to receive emails from robots which is why it’s super important to put a real person’s name in the “from” line with a real email address people can interact with.

Yes, we as consumers are conditioned at this point to see someone’s name associated with marketing messages, but it’s a major turn-off and almost an automatic delete when we see “no-reply@yourbusiness.com” sending us emails.  If you want to see this tip in action or if you’re not sure, then A/B test an email with the same headline and different sender addresses.  See who wins.

Personalize Your Emails

The way we actually see email notifications on our mobile devices and desktop versions as well has changed over the years.  Now, we can expect to see the first line or even a meta description of the email we’re receiving without ever opening it.  Email personalization helps immensely to get people to see that the email is at least intended to be marketed on a more individual basis.

Again, most email marketing platforms allow you to insert a personalization token and will simply pull a name from the information your subscriber submitted when they opted in to your list.  Even if you are sending a blanket email to a number of clients letting them know that you personally are available to help them, at least you can set up your emails to reflect that personal touch.

Add Some Urgency

At Easton Advertising, we can add urgency to your email headlines to get more opens and improve the efficiency of your email campaigns.  While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend the typical “Act fast!”, it doesn’t hurt to put your email subscribers on the clock especially when it comes to one-off sales or limited content offers.

The idea behind adding urgency to your email headlines is to persuade or compel your readers to open the email.  While this tactic is certainly effective for offers and sales that are truly limited in time and nature, be careful to not burden your readers by “crying wolf” with every email you send.  It will reduce the effectiveness and likely result in a higher number of “unsubscribes”.

Be Interesting

One thing that generally turns someone off from a particular email is the overall lack of interesting content within it.  Getting daily emails without any substance in them won’t exactly inspire email recipients to open your emails, so be interesting, engaging, and relevant to your readers.

Producing interesting emails can come in many different forms.  Be somewhat mysterious with your headlines or tell an interesting story within the body, but leave some intrigue from the headline to the opening of the email.  Build a little suspense, then deliver with some quality content within the email itself. This doesn’t always come easy, which is why Easton Advertising is here to help!