A good subject is an object of beauty (and a MUST)

Feb 1, 2017

We are a species of communicators. We live in the age of information. The combination of the two can sometimes result in a flood of knowledge that would make Noah quake in his sandals! Add to that the passion you have for your business, brand or product and who could possibly have the nerve to expect you to sum up what needs to be said in 10 words or less!

We do. But we’ll say “please” while doing it.

Every newsletter, email campaign or mail run has so many aspects to consider. You start with an idea, grow it into a body of images, text and concepts. You distill the ingredients into a beautiful digital elixir that perfectly represents the very essence of what you wanted to convey… but then you have to think of a subject line, the first bit of text that people will see when your work of modern art graces their inbox. You’re spent! Your well of genius and creativity has run dry! Your muse has left the building!

Your company’s name is Cowsitters™. You sell couture cow motif car seat covers. Your recipients know who you are, love you so dearly, named their firstborn after you and dubbed you god parent to the next three generations of homosapiens. Surely a subject line like “Cowsitters – car seat covers” will do.

Wrong answer.

They knew it was from you, it stated your name in the “From” field, after all. They know what you sell. It’s the same subject line as last month. The utter mediocrity of repeating such redundancy sends your recipients into a boredom induced coma. A spate of angry unsubscribes follow. Your next board meeting includes a sales figure chart that resembles the side of the mountain base jumpers prefer. No more babies called Gertruida. No more god children. You contemplate taking a leap off your sales chart, sans parachute…

All because you couldn’t be bothered to think of a decent subject line.

How could such a tragedy have been prevented? How do you formulate a subject line that would bring a tear to a thespian’s eye?

Ask yourself:

  • What makes this email different? (What jumps out at you?)
  • Would I open this email based purely on the subject line? (Or would you delete it?)
  • Can the kind and vigilant C.A.’s at OUTBOXED help with ideas, trends and guidelines? (The answer is YES by the way)
  • Can the email deliver on the subject line’s promise (No “world hunger solved” subject lines!)
  • Don’t stumble at the finish line. If you treat the subject line with the same amount of care that you put into the rest of your mailer, you’ll see results!

Long live couture cow motif seat covers!