What Can you Say in 50 Characters?

Wow! With day light savings time over, the sun seems to rise...only to start it's fast fall out of the sky for the day. It kinda reminds me of how fast it takes your readers to decide whether they want to open your email or not! It's (snaps paws) that fast! And in the non-profit world, where our clients and friends are, this time of year is the most crucial...in people (and pets) needing our clients help...and our clients needing more money and donations.

Did you know the subject line of your email is probably the most important part? It's the first piece of that news that gets read...and the first piece to be judged by the recipient! (I know a thing or two about being judged...I used to enter contests for cutest puppy...and, well, I'm not going to braaaag, but I have a few trophies collecting dust up on my shelf...but I digress)

Anywho...subject lines! That's what I wanted to share with you today! Here are a few helpful hints from Convio on making that subject line the most furtastic it can be.
  1. Substance - Does the subject line make a good impression, establish what you have to say is relevant to your readers and paint an accurate picture of what is inside? Email can break (or continue to build) trust with your reader...Make sure the content lives up to the subject line.
  2. Length - most in boxes allow for 50-60 characters.  That's not a whole lot, really. And, to add another bone to the pile, the wide variety of platforms (Outlook, Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, etc...) may restrict the length even more. And, yet another bone...mobile devices are becoming a main way some recipients are receiving their mail...and some of them show as little as 10 characters! So, make them count.
  3. Subject and From lines should work together - Some readers (including this dog) look at the "from" line before the subject line. Support brand recognition by having the from line be the name of the organization...not a specific person. Stay with me now...if I see that the email is from Run Rover Run, I am more likely to open it...if it says it's from CEO Shepard Spaniel at Run Rover Run, I may not recognize the name and am less likely to open it...or worse, mark it as spam.
  4. Write to Deliver - Let's face it, your campaign can only be a success if it is delivered. If your subject line has wording that may trigger it as spam, for the success of your current email and your overall goals of email success, you must change it. Your email software (Constant Contact, Emma, Convio, etc.) have spam checkers...use it. Run your subject line and email through it and heed it's results.
  5. Be Proactive - Don't add your subject line in at the last second. Start thinking of it when you start designing your campaign...or even before.
So, get out there and say something...and be heard!

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