Saturday, May 10, 2008

How to Write an Email

I post stuff from on my Collective Wisdom website each week, but this is good advice for anyone that uses email:

Subject Lines: Tell, Don't Sell

In an article at, Josh Nason uses actual subject lines to demonstrate what works—and, just as importantly, what doesn't—when you create email campaigns.

Be sure to check out his list of hits and misses. In the meantime, here's a roundup of the lessons we can draw from them:

  • NEVER WRITE LIKE THIS. A subject line written entirely in caps not only looks desperate and unprofessional, it's the equivalent of shouting at the recipient in an online context.
  • Be intriguing, but accurate. Your content should deliver what the subject line promises. "If you break the reader's trust early, you'll have to work twice as hard to get it back," says Nason. "Never forget the Golden Rule."
  • Have a little fun. A subject line doesn't have to be a somber affair—mix it up and show your company's personality.
  • Don't forget to choose the right From name. Nason recommends sticking to your company's name, not that of a team member, or a drawn-out term that doesn't mean anything to the reader. When you do so, there's an added bonus: you don't have to repeat the company name in the subject line, which frees up that valuable real estate.

The Po!nt: Follow a few simple rules to make your subject lines zing. "Think of [a] subject line…like a headline of a newspaper article," says Nason. "If it grabs you, you start to read. If the first few paragraphs keep you engaged (similar to an email 'sweet spot'), you keep on going. You're smart marketers…you get the idea."

Source: MarketingProfs. Click to read the article.

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