If you are engaged in email marketing then, like us, you are always looking for ways to increase open and response rates. Having the right headline is a key part of unlocking the response rate you want. Of course it is not the only factor – data quality, email content, timing and other issues are all important – but having the right headline can make a real difference to whether a campaign becomes a success or a failure.
When it comes to writing headlines you need to strike a fine balance. Of course you want your headline to stand out and grab people’s attention, but it is important to avoid words that may be seen as Spam and see your email sent straight to the Trash bin. Being relevant is also important – there’s no point in getting people’s interest, only to fail to deliver on the content of your email. This might raise your open rates, but certainly not your response rates.
Testing is critical. Whilst there are generic things that generally work across a variety of industries, your business and your database are unique and what works for others may or may not work for you. Testing (including A/B testing, using different headlines for the same email) can ensure you refine your approach and get the highest response to your communication.
Here are our top five tips for creating engaging headlines:
- Keep it short and simple. It’s an age old saying but it remains true. Keep headlines short (under 50 characters ideally) to ensure recipients can easily read them on all devices, that they make sense and are a description of the content of the email you want them to open.
- Ask a question. If it’s a question your audience have been asking themselves recently, they may well open to find out the answer.
- Numbers can attract attention – ‘top 5’ ‘3 best’ ’10 steps to take’. They can stand out amongst a sea of words.
- Sometimes being negative can work. People don’t want to get things wrong or make mistakes so headlines like ‘What NOT to do’ or ’Don’t make this mistake’ can work well.
- Making it time bound can create a call to action – ‘5 things to improve your business today’ or ‘Winter is coming – are you prepared?’ These same principles can be applied to blog posts or even social media posts so think about how you could apply them and what might work well for your business.
Email headline writing is both an art and a science and these hints are just the tip of the iceberg.
Our team of highly experienced VAs can take on subject writing, email marketing and even your entire marketing programme to enable you to get back to what you do best – running your business.
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