Speak Customer! Email Expert Advice for Subject Lines and Headlines


Speak Customer! Email Expert Advice for Subject Lines and Headlines

Both your subject line and headline play critical roles in getting people to open your emails. Once you’ve mastered the From line and got their attention that way, next up is your subject line. If that peaks their interest, your Preview Pane and headline are next in line for keeping them moving right along into your email.

That makes the words in your subject line and headline critical. So why use words your customers don’t use?

It sounds silly, doesn’t it? To use words that not only don’t appeal to the target audience but confuse that audience? Companies do, however. They are used to their internal speak, so a cubicle becomes a panel system, or an enterprise software is known by some obscure verbiage meaningful to the development team but meaningless to the customer. It’s an easy mistake to make. We are only human, even when we are an email expert. Using the words most familiar to us is normal.

But not necessarily profitable.

Compare using the right words to using the right photo. If you’re selling weight loss pills yet you use an image of someone needing to lose weight—rather than someone who has lost weight—your image won’t appeal to your audience.

You don’t have to be an email expert to know the words that work. Just dig a little. If you’re not sure which words appeal most to your audience, ask your sales team. They usually have great insight into customer lingo and the words that most appeal. Consider surveying your customers, or read through the comments they write on your Facebook page or in their comments.

And of course, test, test and test again!


About Marco Marini

Marco Marini has been at the forefront of email marketing since its inception as a channel. Prior to co-founding ClickMail, Marco developed pioneering email campaigns for CyberSource, eHealthInsurance, DoveBid and IBM Canada while holding key marketing roles in those organizations. Through his experience on both sides of the email marketing table--client and agency--Marco has developed significant expertise in using email to its full potential to generate substantial return on investment for marketers, management and investors. As CEO at ClickMail, Marco’s main focus is defining the company’s strategy. However, he also spends time advising clients on how to leverage enterprise-level ESP technology as a primary engine for business growth. His expertise in every aspect of email enables Marco to guide clients and ClickMail’s internal teams to develop sophisticated campaigns that employ best-in-class strategies, overcome technical hurdles, and meet business objectives. Marco was born in Canada and grew up in Italy. He and his wife are the parents of four children. He is active in the Silicon Valley Italian Executives Council and is on the Northern California board of Stop Hunger Now.

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