I just received a report from my email provider that I sent 1,352 emails from August thru December 2014. In that same time-frame
I received in excess of 10,100 messages!
That’s just the last 5 months of 2014! Needless to say a substantial number of those were unsolicited.
My inbox can take NO more!
But that’s not unique – I’m sure you and everyone you know professionally has a similar story. Granted a large portion of my incoming messages are subscription blogs and newsletters, but that still leaves literally THOUSANDS that I have little to no interest in – AND, that I NEVER asked for.
It’s no wonder so many messages go unread. We’ve all had our fair share of messages that got lost in the clutter of someone’s inbox. But I’ll let you in on the secret to having your next message read and not lost in the inbox black hole.
Write a Compelling Subject Line
That’s the secret. Pretty simple. Or so you’d think but how often have you received a message with absolutely nothing in the subject line? NEVER send a message with absolutely nothing in the subject line!
Or, how about those messages with the subject that’s simply: Following Up
I don’t know about you but with 2,000+ messages a month I’m not wasting my time opening a message that doesn’t tell me what it’s about. Following up to what? I talk to a lot of people so you can’t assume I remember what the heck you’re talking about when you say Following Up. I’m sorry, but that’s the height of laziness. Give something that tells me what the message is about or I won’t take the time to read it.
Your email subject line is the headline to the story about to be told in your message
In most cases the subject can be re-purposed for a blog or newsletter title not to mention Tweets, Facebook posts or LinkedIn headlines. So put some thought into the subject and make sure it’s germane to what the email’s all about. Nothing’s more frustrating than false enticement. I’ve had plenty of emails that’s subject line had nothing to do with the email contents. Not only did I delete it but I’ve flagged you as a waste of my time for any future messages.
The subject line is usually the first noticed with the sender’s name viewed second. Write something compelling that makes the recipient want to open the message and actually read it before they even bother looking at who it came from. Especially if you’re sending to someone who doesn’t know you yet.
Take a look at what’s in your own inbox today. There you’ll find some of the best and worst subject lines. The ones that draw you in to open the message – STEAL from those. What did the subject say that compelled you to ordain the message worth opening? Take that formula and run with it and use it again and again on the messages you send for as long as it works.
Likewise – look at the messages which prompt you to delete before reading. Make sure you DON’T follow what those subject lines are saying.
What about those messages that didn’t capture your attention enough to read it on receipt but you were interested enough that you didn’t delete it either. There must have been something in the subject line that saved it from immediate deletion (other than maybe it came from your boss).
A subject line that I stole and have used often with great effect is“Did I get lost in your inbox?” Because let’s face it, even if we write the best subject line on the planet there’s still that chance we’ll get lost so don’t be afraid to send a follow up (as long as you don’t say“Following Up” in the subject line!)
10 formulas with examples on how to format your next subject line
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Get your emails opened!
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If your emails don’t get opened – it’s only a matter of time before you’re fired
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9. HOW TO
How to get your emails read
Achieve business success – send emails that get opened
I’ll let you in on a 2ND SECRET –
Pay attention to what appears in the reader’s preview pane. Scrutinize your first 2 sentences of the message and ask yourself “Would I bother opening this email based on the opening statement or delete it because it’s a waste of time?”
The remainder of the message might be extraordinarily compelling, useful information but if you don’t set the stage with your opening line you won’t have an audience to see it.
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