Email is the easiest communication vehicle to dismiss as being dead!
After all, we all get more email than we want. Email open rates are falling and will continue to fall.
It's getting harder and more expensive to persuade people to opt-in to your email list.
Why not chase a shiny new object like Messenger?
Because email works!
In fact, email has consistently proved to be the best communication vehicle for persuasion. So if you want someone to take an action like register for a webinar, read your blog, listen to your podcast, or buy your workshop... then you need to use email.
The other huge opportunity with email is to do it better than everyone else!
That's how you can stand out in a sea of irrelevant or irritating messages.
So, there's one important thing to know about email open rates and what affects them. One huge influencer is sender reputation.
So, do your emails deliver value? Or do they make false promises?
If your community knows that when they receive an email from you, that it's packed full of gold. Then it's a lot easier to persuade them to read your email.
Don't take your audiences attention for granted. We all have less time than we want and attention is a scarce resource that we will only give for selfish reasons. Which is why having a reputation for giving gold is so important.
The real secret to email success is NOT to make the reader take action. It's to make the reader want to read your next email. If you can do that then you win.
How do you do that? You deliver fantastic value in your emails.
But let's get back to subject lines. After all, it doesn't matter how good your email is if no one opens and reads it.
Email subject lines are the same as newspaper, blog post and sales page headlines. They help us make quick decisions.
The truth is that we all use headlines (and subject lines) to save time. We read them and decide if we want to know more. If the headline does not grab our focussed attention by making mouth watering promises. Then we move on to something else.
So how can you write a subject line that makes people want to read your email?
The good news is that there are 9 tools that I'm going to give you over the next 3 weeks. Today's blog will give you the first 3 tools to make your community open your emails.
Before we jump into the first 3 tools, we first need to talk about...
There's one critical difference between an email subject line and a newspaper or sales page headline.
The amount of space you have to sell your idea!
A sales page headline can be as long as you choose. If you want to write a 20 word, or 50 word headline, you can. There's nothing to stop you. Other than your ability to write something powerful, exciting and attention grabbing.
With an email subject line, anything that's over 6 or 7 words will not be read!
So you can write a subject line that's 50 words long. But the reader will only see the first 6 or 7 words before they open the email. This may change as email browsers evolve and phones get bigger and bigger.
But for right now. You need to try and limit your persuasion to 6 words!
I'm not going to lie. Not all my subject lines are 6 words or less. They will often creep to 8 or 10 words. Rarely if ever are they longer than that. And if they are longer than 8 words, then I make sure that the impact is front loaded.
So you could think of this as Twitter on steroids. You've got to limit your thinking to far fewer words.
Now that you know the limitations of the medium. Let's look at...
Here are 3 hard-won email subject line tools...
Let's look at each of these in turn.
Some of the highest email open rates start a story. Some simple examples that consistently perform are:
The worst day of my life...
The best day of my life...
You won't believe what happened to me yesterday...
A day I'll never forget
As you can see, these are all very personal. So you can only use them if you have told other stories before.
Some training companies are trying to position themselves as universities. They want to be faceless institutions.
Given the fact that the value of university education is being called into question more and more. This not a positioning strategy that I would recommend.
You want your community to know how and why you created your system. You want your community to know your vision and values. And...
They can ONLY do that if you tell stories that reveal your values.
So, if you tell your inspirational personal stories in your ebooks and blogs and webinars. Then your community will start to know you. They will want to work with you because they share your values and vision of success.
When you use storytelling and personalisation as a differentiating strategy. Then no one can copy you. Because no one else has your story. It also means that story subject lines will get really high open rates.
What other stories can you tell?
Customer success stories. So subject lines like...
[Name's] long walk to freedom
How [Name] made £X in only 4 months
We all love stories. Stories entertain us. Stories educate us. Stories inspire us to change our lives. Stories make us believe we can change our lives.
So telling stories in your emails is a good way to go. So look for ways to start a story in your subject lines and you'll watch your open rates soar.
You can't sell toothpaste by showing people pictures of cavities. You can't scare people into buying toothpaste. What we want is a beaming white smile.
So, show your community an advantage. Show them how they can get what they want.
The best example of show an advantage email subject lines are:
You can sack your boss with this
Give yourself a £10K pay rise
How to create a 7-figure liquidity event
Huge rewards with a tiny risk
Same effort. Vastly different result.
So, how do you write your own Show An Advantage email subject line?
Start by writing down all the benefits of your product or webinar or blog or podcast. In other words, you answer the question, What's in it for your reader if they attend your webinar?
If you're clear on how your product or webinar or blog will help your reader. Then you should be able to write Show An Advantage email subject lines easily.
I have to confess that this is my go-to strategy. When I'm struggling or running short on ideas. I always come back to Show An Advantage or give your reader a front row seat to a better life.
The challenge as always is to say what you want to in 6 words!
How do I fit my ideas in this straightjacket?
I write a sentence or paragraph. Then I take out my sword and start hacking off limbs. It can be a brutal process. The most brutal is when I write a subject line out by hand. I always edit with a red pen so there is blood splattered across the page when I'm finished.
But... what have you killed?
You've killed your own bad ideas! You've bruised your ego. And you've created a better experience for your reader. Isn't that what we are trying to do?
Now let's look at the last email writing tool.
Urgency email subject lines pull on our fear of loss or missing out.
I have to confess that these always get my attention. Here are some examples...
[4 Hour Warning] Don't miss this…
Warning: Private invitation expires tonight
Don't miss out…
Final words and final call - save 90% today only
What do these subject lines NOT mention?
They don't mention anything about the product! So you can use them to sell a workshop or a product... in any training niche.
You must have a deadline.
If you don't have a deadline then you can't use these time scarcity subject lines.
Another way to create urgency is...
Only 7 places left...
There's only a few copies left!
Act now before it's gone forever!
My wife chased me for weeks to register for a networking event that she saw on Facebook because they put 'only 7 places left' in the copy.
I tried to explain to her that there aren't only 7 places left and with 3 weeks to go until the event there is no urgency. I can say that because I've peeked behind the persuasion curtain.
It's good to see that someone that should know these secrets (because I talk about this all day) is forced to make a quick decision by urgent language.
Urgency email subject lines are a great way to pull in your fringe readers. You've got some people that read every single email you write. Then others only read the ones that are relevant to them. These are the people that will love the Show An Advantage subject line.
Then there are people like me. I want to read more emails. I want to see how I can learn and grow. And somehow, there's always something else that steals my time.
Urgency email cuts through the clutter. It forces me to read the email right now.
You can't use this type of copy every day. And if you use it rarely it will have a lot of firepower.
Now you've got 3 types of email subject line to double your open rates.
Your challenge is to use them.
Here's the good news: you don't need to do anything other than copy and paste the Urgency subject lines. They will work like magic. So save them somewhere you can find them easily.
As I've already said, my go-to strategy is Show An Advantage. So think about the next email you are going to send. List 5 (or more) reasons why your reader should take action.
Get crystal clear on what's in it for them if they take action.
Then find the biggest benefit. Write it out as a sentence or paragraph. Then start cutting off limbs. What words can you remove without sacrificing meaning or impact?
Try and distill the benefit down to 5 or 6 words. Once you've done that, let me know how it performs.
If you've found this useful then please leave a comment below.
If this can help someone you now then please forward this to them.
Until next time...
P.S. if you'd like a proven strategy to give your training and mentorship company a giant leap in sales then you should check out my book How To Turn Expertise Into Cash.
This book outlines the system that I used to make £672,989 in 9 days.
I know that sounds too good to be true and believe me I couldn't believe it when I achieved it. In the book I'll tell you the full story. As you'll learn this was the spectacular end to a 7 year journey of discovery.
I took that amazing result and transformed it into a simple system. A system that I've used to sell products and services ranging in price from £5 to £12,000. A system that I've used in industries as diverse as property investment, finance, business opportunity, entrepreneurship, weight loss, alternative health and technology.
To download your free copy. Click the link below.
To download your free copy. Click the link below.
I'm a copywriter and business growth consultant, trainer and mentor that turns expertise into cash. I achieve that by telling true stories that inspire people to change their life. That’s what makes people feel good about buying.
For the last 5 years, I've helped business owners to sell products and services in many industries. The products and services have ranged in price from £5 to £12,000.
My most successful campaign made £672,989 in 9 days.
I took that result and transformed it into a simple repeatable system. A system that I use as a consultant to create a giant leap in sales.
A system that I teach to ambitious entrepreneurs that want to make money on demand without a sales team.