#fastlain feature: “Flop or Fly.”
I get a lot of email. (100+ a day!)
I delete most of it, but a few grab me. Every week I will be announcing 5 winning and losing email subject lines, and why they worked or flopped. Stay tuned to soon start to seeing a pattern — and to review your own subject lines with a more critical eye.
#1: “Learn How to Drive Conversions Using Sniply”
Why it works: Simple. Direct. Value-driven. What’s not to love?
How you can use this: Start with a clear value statement. Sometimes that’s all you need for a great subject line.
#2: “This is why I got sent to the principal’s office every week”
From: Nagina at MasalaBody.com
Why it works: Why WOULDN’T you open this? Personal story + intrigue = CLICK.
How you can use this: Got a great story to share? Give a hint and then DELIVER. (Remember, though, that it should tie into your overall message and provide value to your reader.)
#3: “Fail Your Way To The Top!”
From: Buck Books
Why it works: I love the counter-intuitive value provided here.
How you can use this: Turn common advice on its head.
#4: “Your audience is not your ATM”
From: Melanie Duncan
Why it works: Melanie’s bold statement also ties into a common annoyance — treating your email list or your market as your “money tree.” So I was glad to see her address this!
How can you use this: Take a position! Be bold! And protect your people. 🙂
#5: “This 26-Year Old Spends Her Days Inventing New Candy Flavors”
From: Fast Company
Why it works: So many good things going on. “This 26-year-old is compelling;” we want to know WHICH one. This works so much better than simply using her name. And inventing candy flavors? Fun, entertaining, and unusual.
How you can use this: Think about leaving out key pieces of info to up the curiosity quotient.
Now, the flops:
#1: “Baratunde Thurston published in Noteworthy by Medium Staff”
Why it flops: It has no interest and makes no sense to me.
How you can avoid this: Give people a reason to care.
My rewrite: “He’s got something to say — and you should listen”
#2: “Announcement: You’re eligible for a chance to earn ink rewards”
Why it flops: Duh, of course it’s an announcement. And making a big deal about a program I’ve participated in for years is just silly. It’s not news.
How you can avoid this: Don’t email unless you have something interesting, new, or different to share. Otherwise, why bother?
My rewrite: “Earn 2x Points on Ink This Week ONLY”
#3: “5 Things No One Tells You About IVF”
From: a parenting site
Why it flops: This is like a negative-10 on the relevance scale.
How you can avoid this: Again, make me care! Give a hint as to what the “secret” is so even someone who’s not in the IVF market would be interested.
My rewrite: “IVF made me a blonde”
#4: “Do you use [insert specific software program]?”
From: online marketer
Why it flops: I don’t use that specific software, so I deleted.
How you can avoid this: Don’t ask a question people can answer with a “no.”
My rewrite: “[Software Program] Can Save You 10 Hours a Week — Why Aren’t You Using It?”
#5: “The Millionaire Mindset”
From: an Internet Marketer
Why it flops: Trite. Vague. Could come from ANYONE.
How you can avoid this: Write a subject line only YOU can write.
My rewrite: “How One Simple Change in Thinking Generated Seven Figures in One Year”
The upshot: If you don’t have something interesting to say, don’t email!
Got your own submissions? List them in the comments below!