We are told repeatedly that, in the field of internet marketing, “the money is in the list”. The list referred to is the “opt-in” list as it is usually called. This is your customer database made up of subscribers who have either purchased something from you in the past or have taken advantage of a free offer, exchanging their name and email address for a free e-book, free report or other free product. The value of having such a list is well documented.

Having joined your list, your subscribers have effectively agreed to receive information from you. However, just because someone has become a subscriber doesn’t mean that they will open all the emails and/or newsletters that you send. This is where subject line marketing is so important. Creating Newsletters to send out takes time and effort which will all be wasted if your subscribers don’t open them and read them.

How can we change that? How can we incentivise our subscribers to open the emails we send? This is not easy to do. If, as they say, the money is in the list then we need people to open the messages we send so they can see what offers we have available and make a purchase. This can only be achieved by the best subject lines in our emails.

When sending out a promotional email there are two “most wanted responses” we are looking for. These are:

1. To get the recipient to open the email

2. To get the recipient to click on the link within the email.

The first of these two must be achieved or the second becomes irrelevant. The first thing that our subscriber will see will be our Subject Line. These few words will decide whether the recipient opens the email, saves it for later or bins it. The first of these three options is the one that we want. The subject line on your email is, therefore, a mini sales letter. It must be treated in the same way as we treat a headline in our sales copy. It needs to be carefully thought out. There must be a real strategy to your subject line marketing. The subject line needs to catch the eye, make the recipient curious and incentivise them to open the email. In many respects it is one of the most crucial pieces of sales material you will produce.

As internet marketers we are almost invariable selling to what people want rather than what they need, so a good email subject lines will fan the desire within the recipient to know more about what is in the email. The subject line gives us just a few seconds to achieve the response we are looking for. The words we use must be emotive. As with all sales material the secret is to emphasise a main benefit within those few words. We need to instantly capture the reader’s interest if we want to create subject lines that work.

Ways to direct people’s thoughts to respond might include the promise of tips on a particular topic; “How to… ” is usually a very good hook to encourage people to take action. Use of a relevant and emotive question can be very effective too, but do make sure that it is on topic and, therefore, within the niche on which your list was established. “Act now to… ” is another approach which can be very effective. “Announcing… ” is yet another opening used by many. These are all much used tactics in the process of subject line marketing.

Think very hard about creating your very best email subject lines or your list building will all have been in vain.

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