BY RYAN SPENCER
We send emails every day, and a lot of them (email traffic will approach 200 billion messages per day in 2015, according to The Radicati Group), but no part of an email is so important, perplexing, and even overlooked as the subject line. Back in 2012,
the Obama Campaign pulled off a textbook execution of a killer email blitz for fundraising,
and afterward disclosed their famously brief, yet best-performing subject line, “hey.” Of course
we all can’t simply emulate one instance of success, as an inbox of identical subject lines would
be utterly maddening. However, we can look at some principles as to why certain subject lines
are more effective than others. Indeed, whether you’re sending out a weekly newsletter or a new
product announcement, it’s prudent to take a moment to appreciate the part-art, part-science
that goes into creating an effective subject line.
Are you getting the most from your subject lines? hey
DO IT, AND DO IT FIRST
The body of an email typically gets the most
attention, and often to the detriment of
the subject line. In fact, it’s not uncommon
to leave it to the end of the email writing
process (don’t worry, we’re all guilty of this).
The subject line shouldn’t be an afterthought,
as it’s the first thing a recipient sees, thereby
setting the tone for the rest of the email.
Furthermore, it can be more effective to
write the subject line first to focus the
message of the body content.