A year after writing "Man Bites Giraffe: Some Awful (and Awesome) Email Subject Lines," yours truly is back with another look at subject lines and some suggestions you can use, based on emails I've recently received.
Here's a quick refresher about why subject lines are important: Like the headline of a newspaper article or the teasers you see on a magazine cover, subject lines are designed to pull you in and get you to take some desired course of action.
A subject line is a door that invites others into your email-marketing open house. If you have something to sell or a message you want to get across, that subject line better be good—or else your prospects might head to a different neighborhood.
And the Golden Rule hasn't changed: Tell what's inside, don't sell what's inside.
From: Hawk Mail
Subject: Hasselbeck to Houshmandzadeh
An email from the Seattle Seahawks, with a subject line intended to fuel fan interest in their new quarterback-to-wide-receiver combo. I like how they inspired the reader to come up with a visual, almost making you hear the crowd as the two players team up for touchdowns. Never underestimate your reader's imagination and being able to inspire a sale because of it.
Subject: jnason, zero bids!
Like kabillions of other people, I have an eBay account and regularly check out and bid on select items I don't really need but want (Lite-Brites or View-Masters, anybody?). However, I'm not a fan of how the company uses email marketing, at least in this fashion. I don't like how informally my username was inserted into the subject line and the cavalier tone of "zero bids!".