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How to Create Irresistible Subject Lines - Get More Emails Opened

In order for your email to be effective it must have a certain 'bite'. This bite is determined by the 'taste' of the email, which is usually determined by something called the 'Hemingway test': a subject line that arouses curiosity, a headline that is clear and concise, and a body text that is interesting but not so lengthy that it requires multiple rereads before you finally understand it. If it meets these requirements, it has a high 'bite.'


Unfortunately, all of these characteristics can be negatively influenced by your subject line, headline and body text. The worst case scenario is that a reader will open your email only to realize that no matter what they do - they will never understand what it's actually about. Worse, if it doesn't meet these criteria your email won't even be opened. I can show you with my 'stories' of clients and customers who have had their effectiveness negatively affected by failing to meet these criteria. 

Here are the three criteria for your test:
  1. Credibility - what does your email say about your brand that makes people eager to read it? 
  2. Understanding - what does your email make them curious about that will increase their interest in what you have to say? 
  3. Irresistibility - what does your email make them curious about that will increase the probability that they open it to read what you have to say? 

There are many ways to create a subject line and headline that has a high 'bite,' I will give you three ways and explain why they are effective. 

  1. Make your subject line short and to the point. Your subject line should be less than 30 characters; if it is more than 40 characters, it won't be read. You don't always need to tell people what you have to say in your subject line... but you must tell them. It should be interesting and useful... but not verbose. 
  2. Make your headline to the point and make it surprising. Your headline should be to the point but it shouldn't be a sentence. Don't make your headline so long that it becomes a chapter. Use big words and big points but make sure they fit together logically and grammatically. 
  3. Use big words... but don't make words too big. Use words that fit together but don't make them large. You want your words to be relevant, but not be huge. 

The worst case scenario of all is that your subject line fails, your headline is boring and your headline is too long. If that happens, the people who do read your email will delete it and your email will still be deleted - making it unread. When it's deleted, it will be sent to the trash, where it will be lost. When it is lost, then the sender will never know how much they had an email in their Inbox. If you have a long subject line and your email gets lost and never opened, then the sender will not realize they had a message in the Inbox. And that is the last thing that that you want to happen. That is how you lose their trust. You lose their trust by sending emails to them that they don't want.


To help with your email efforts, we are happy to review and improve your communications. Visit our website or give us a call.


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