Here is a slightly paraphrased version of an email I sent to a client, Chronic Illness Coach Sylvia Lippman, reprinted here with her permission:
While we’re on the subject on subject lines, I wanted to mention that I very nearly deleted your last email without opening it. There were two reasons for that.
1. The From line: Counseling and Wellness Innovations
The email was from Counseling and Wellness Innovations, who I didn’t recognize – and all I could see on my Outlook screen was actually “Counsel,” so I thought it was some legal thing and probably spam.
When you’re building a brand (and what they call “brand recognition”) it’s really important to reinforce the same key names and phrases in all of your marketing materials and messages.
I’d suggest your “From” line either read Dan & Sylvia Lippman, or Feel Better Now-CI.
[Sylvia explained later that they used that return address because so many of the people on their list were familiar with Dan’s former business name]
2. The Subject line: Your very personal opinions (read ’em here)
This didn’t tell me enough about what was inside or who it related to. For that reason, I like to include the name of the ezine and/or business in every subject line, e.g., [Idea Generator] This week’s writing prompts and updates.
Also, I think it’s wonderful to be conversational with your readers, and yet you have to remember that since you last “spoke” to them, they’ve gone in and out of hundreds of other conversations, and they may need some help getting back into yours.
In this case, a more effective subject line may have been: Thanks for your feedback on our Feel Better Now-CI website.
Here is some more reading you can do about good subject lines.
I have three subject line suggestions for your first ezine that we recently worked on together:
- [Feel Better Now-CI] 3 self-care tools that do the trick (this option highlights the solution)
- [Feel Better Now-CI] Firstname, are your challenges piling up? (this option highlights the problem)
- [Feel Better Now-CI] Firstname, are you taking time for joy? (this option highlights a key emotional benefit)
Where it says “Firstname,” you’ll use your email service provider’s personalization feature.
Thank you Sylvia, for sharing your learning process with the rest of us!