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Subject Line Savvy . . . How to Hook Your Audience

Participating Solution Provider

Subject Line Savvy . . . How to Hook Your Audience

Hook-image-with-text.jpgIsn’t it daunting to sit down to an inbox that filled up overnight?  I know I’m not alone in the feeling that no matter how organized I am, it is an endless task to sift through the email rubble, and satisfying to delete the daily deluge of messages from online retailers, electronic media and charitable organizations.  But there’s nothing like a compelling subject line to make me want to pause, click and read more!


We are all guilty – of composing an eloquent email, designing a beautiful newsletter, creating a colorful flyer – and then stopping to consider the subject line of our email communication as a mere afterthought.


Remember to make your subject line a priority!  In “The Three Key Elements of Irresistible Subject Lines,” blogger Brian Clark (Copy Blogger) recommends using “The Four ‘U’ Approach to Headline Writing” checklist when composing your subject line.


Is your subject line:


  • Useful:  Is the promised message valuable to the reader?
  • Ultra-specific:  Does the reader know what’s being promised?
  • Unique:  Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?
  • Urgent:  Does the reader feel the need to read now?

Other tips for making your subject line sing:


  • Personalize and individualize your subject line to suggest to your audience that you are speaking directly to him or her.
  • Be descriptive so that you do not leave your reader guessing.
  • Be sincere so that your subject line accurately reflects the content of the email.
  • Consider doing a “split test,” using one subject line for half of your contacts and a variation for the other half.  This will be helpful in tracking which one is more effective.
  • Subject lines with “how to” advice encourage the reader to read further to learn something new.
  • Subject lines containing a quantity, i.e. “Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Subject Line,” help your readers know what to expect and offer concrete parameters for the content of the message.

Remember that the subject line of your email is the very first chance you have to achieve – and sustain – your reader’s attention.  Its contents are often the deciding factor of whether the recipient chooses to open your email or to simply and quickly hit delete.  Be Subject Line Savvy!  If you want too hook your audience and make your message stand out in the email crowd, give your subject line the time and consideration your business and your reader deserve.



Cathy Ann Drury