Social Media Magazine

Catching the Customer Click: Better CTAs and Subject Lines

Posted on the 05 February 2016 by Jureklepic @jkcallas

Arguably, the most important words in any email you send are your subject line. Those few precious words stand between your message and the trash bin…or worse, the spam folder.

Email use isn’t growing as steadily as it once was, but the average consumer still sends and receives roughly 88 emails per day. Who has time to open that many emails? No one. That’s why consumers have become increasingly selective about the emails they’re willing to read—and why sparking their interest with a strong subject line is critical.

How to Pique Their Interest

There are many approaches to crafting the perfect subject line, and many of the principles also work to earn CTA clicks. Let’s talk about some of the most effective approaches with some good examples from my inbox.

1. Add shock value. While I don’t advise hyperbolic language (or overuse of caps and exclamation points), a little excitement never hurt anyone.

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2. Detail a sale. But not just any sale. Make it dramatic.

Flash Sale Ends at Midnight! Save up to 75% off over 40 items, plus FREE Activo® cooler bag. (The sale will likely be over before this is published, so I’m linking to the website.)

Take off in 2016 with fares as low as $73 one-way* The asterisk means, “Not you, silly, you live in Orlando. You can’t go anywhere for $73.” But I opened and I clicked through (to crushing disappointment).

3. Personalize your offers. Super easy to do if you send your marketing emails directly from your CRM.

Megan, want to win a Microsoft Surface Book? Oh, Bing. How well you know me. Yes, I really do want to win a Microsoft Surface Book.

Megan, last-minute deals for you in Orlando.

4. Add a little mystery. People can’t resist intrigue.

Free Webinar: Unleash These 13 “Hidden” Features of the Rainmaker Platform – I’m not sure what the Rainmaker Platform is. Suddenly, I want to find out.

Shhh. It's a secret sale… starting NOW! The secret is that 20% off ridiculously expensive is still ridiculously expensive. But the berries are really tasty.

5. Add a sense of urgency. Time is running out! There are only a few left! Let’s face it, we are all hopelessly infected with FOMO.

One Day Only: Save up to 50%

[Only 36-hours Left] These 6 research reports can be yours today

6. Tap into self-interest. Tell your recipients what benefits await inside your email.

8 Psychological Principles That'll Double Your Sales – Double my sales? I’m IN!

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7. Ask a question. It’s hard to walk away from an unanswered question. We need closure.

New post: Is Your Writing Missing This Crucial Ingredient? – I don’t know…is it? Self-interest, mystery, and a question. It’s a trifecta.

Have you seen this yet? Not that I can resist an email from the ThinkGeek Overlords anyway.

8. Keep it short. Subject lines over 50 characters may be truncated. That’s about 5 to 7 words.

Get Your Pizza Fix for Under 6! Papa John’s even makes it rhyme.

5 blogs we ♥ Tumblr throws in an emoji to shorten their subject line even further.

9. Alliteration is catchy. That’s why they use it in song lyrics. It works for subject lines, too. Groupon really digs the alliteration thing:

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Groupon also likes rhymes:

Prime Time to Wine and Dine

New Gear for the New Year

10. Be funny. Humor isn’t easy, but it’s rare and stands out. Among the thousands of emails I looked at, only a few attempted humor. Here are a couple from Rakuten:

We're Feeling Shelf-ish | 6-Shelf Steel Rack with Wheels $65

A Galaxy Not-So-Far Away | Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB Unlocked $299.99

Better CTAs

Effective calls-to-action (CTAs) rely on the same principles, only with fewer words. The most important element you can use to earn CTA clickthroughs is a sense of urgency. To increase conversions, convince your readers they’ll miss out if they don’t act now.

If you’re working with a targeted email list, you have a better chance of email opens and CTA clicks regardless of your subject line. Keep your list updated and fresh, and provide the kind of quality content your readers will want to open every time. Consistent quality is the best way to catch the customer click.

Original article: Catching the Customer Click: Better CTAs and Subject Lines

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