Congratulations, Rosebud Restaurants. You may have written one of the best email subject lines of all time. You have my attention.
What makes a good email subject line? Out of curiosity, I tried to find an email subject line “hall of fame”. I was unsuccessful, so if you can find one, please let me know. In the example above, it is a perfect subject line for me because:
- It is short – I got the point in one glance at my phone
- It made me chuckle – because I agree, not because it was stupid
- It is topical – it has been a terrible winter
- It is targeted – I love wine and believe wine dinners do help
- It does not have an exclamation point – seriously, can we prove that an exclamation point results in more click-through? Because if not, let’s all calm down
There seems to be a million different formulas for drafting a good email subject line. Here are some resources to get you started:
HubSpot: Best Email Subject Lines: HubSpot gets it done again. They tend to create HUGE volumes of marketing content, so while a lot of it is worth reading, some of it isn’t. They are also masters of repurposing content (as they did with this list, if you read all the way to the end). But keeping that in mind, I agree with most of their Best Email Subject Lines List. The two I would remove: #5 and #17.
15 Email Subject Line Formulas That Work: I love how straightforward and not gimmick-y these are. In many industries, it is critical to develop a trusting relationship with your customers. Tricking a potential customer into opening an email from you does not build trust. Using a well crafted subject line does. Note: If you read the full article you’ll see that they believe in company newsletters. I am not sold, but we’ll save that for another blog post.
Recycled Phrases: Above all else, Rosebud’s subject line made me open the email because it was relevant to me – on a crappy winter day, wine makes me happy. If I did not enjoy wine, or if it was not winter, I would not have opened the email. The next time you are tempted to write a “cute” subject line without regard to your target audience, please read Recycled Phrases and ask yourself what Linzie Hunter would do with it. Marketing should never been spam. But at least Linzie figured out a way to turn spam into art.