According to research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 51 percent of all U.S. online readers identified a compelling headline as the reason why they clicked on a given story. (7 Headline Elements You Need for Content Marketing Success)
We cover the full list on headline elements in our in depth in our previous post on email marketing, so we will touch on the 3 we feel are the most important
Since you only have 55-60 characters for the subject line, it is best to focus on those that have the potential to have the most impact.
Conciseness is almost forced on us because of the character limits. However, this can lead to broad generalizations or hyperbole. For example, “Best Ways to Make Toast”, while concise, is also bland and uninteresting. Conversely, “Read this Email or Your Hair Will Fall Out”, is also concise, but so over the top to be believed. This leads us to our next point.
In the example above, “read this…”, the headline creates urgency, but a false one. We live in a world of urgency. There is so much noise that everyone is screaming. Fear is the tactic most applied because it gets the best results. Studies have shown that people are 3 times more likely to click on something that scares them than makes them happy.
Prior to the 2020 Presidential Election, I would have said this is a short-term tactic, eventually people catch on, and become disillusioned and the brand suffers. I think this will ultimately be the case. I share this because it works, but I do not use it because I think it borders on unethical.
I prefer to use local events or news to spur urgency. I believe by building positive urgency in terms of promotions or activities is brand building.
I prefer utility as the driver. Utility is the value the person will receive by reading what you send. Local relevance is a major driver of utility. People care about where they live or work. If you can help to improve their lives in their community that is a major driver of utility.
Don’t overburden your message. We just spent all that time creating a great headline only to lose them on a poorly designed, text heavy body copy.
Email design follows the same principles of web design. Communication is messy, and design helps aid in getting our intended message across
An email is an intrusion. We need to recognize this fact. Therefore, we need to make that intrusion as brief and clear as possible by sticking with one clear message.
We cover email design in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. We will just touch on the high points here.
The simplest way to think of a layout is using a grid. Each block in the email is called an element. A spatial zone is a group of elements.
Since in our email we are trying to be single minded in our communication. The hierarchical design or golden ratio can be very useful.
The hierarchical pattern that is the most pleasing to the eye follows the golden ratio. It is a fixed number 1.618. It means every spatial zone is 1.618 times larger than the previous one.
This is a pattern that is widely used in nature. Therefore, our eye is naturally trained to follow it. Therefore, you want to make the key point the largest and size the remaining points accordingly.