• Subject Lines
  • Give me your huddled emails yearning to breathe free

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    It’s Subject Line Sunday, a new service I will occasionally offer in my Sunday emails.

    Today I did some spring cleaning. The one advantage to not diligently removing clutter from the house on a regular basis is that it develops archaeology skills as we unearth old toys and drawings and such from years past. It’s fun to uncover those.

    It also got me to thinking about how rearranging furniture we already own makes a difference in how the room looks.

    If you ever look around a room and are bored with it and think you need to buy new furniture, just rearrange things.

    It makes all the difference.

    It’s like that with email too.

    You don’t always have to create new emails from scratch if the ones in your autoresponder aren’t getting the open rates and sales that you want.

    A new subject line will often do the trick.

    A new opening sentence, which is often visible in the inbox before the reader opens it, is helpful too.

    A little tip: it’s best not to clutter that opening sentence with a greeting, because that opening sentence is like a second subject line.

    Anyway, I could go on about subject line tips, but you could just grab up to 10 emails from your autoresponder, and hand them over to me.

    I’ll create a new subject line for each one.

    If you want, I can create a new opening sentence for each one too in addition to the subject lines, for double the awesomeness.

    Click here and let’s get started.

    So there you go. This will help you get started on your email spring cleaning. I’m in a good mood after my own spring cleaning, so this offer is ridiculously generous for now. Hope you take advantage of it.

     

     

     

    Photo: storebukkebruse

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  • Sales Letters
  • Headlines from the headlines

    One of my favorite ways to get inspiration for copywriting headlines and email subject lines is to look at the daily news headlines.

    Whenever you come across a news headline that interests you, especially if it’s about a topic in a market you sometimes write copy for, make a note of it (if you don’t already have a headlines document in your Google Docs or on your computer, start one).

    Each day take a glance at the headlines in Google News, New York Times (especially their most popular articles), Huffington Post (check out this article about their headlines and how they test them) and a news site in your local area.

    Obviously you won’t be able to swipe these headlines word for word to use as a copywriting headline. The purpose is to give you inspiration and raw material to work with to tweak into a headline you can use.

    It’s common for copywriters to study and swipe successful copywriting headlines but I find it adds freshness to your copywriting to also study the news headlines. Because news headlines tend to be pithy they also can provide inspiration as email subject lines.

    I’ll share a few I came across this past week:

    “What’s the biggest money mistake you can make?”

    This is a curiosity headline from a news site in my local area. With a little tweaking you could turn this into a copywriting headline for copy in the financial/debt management niches. You could use it word for word in an email subject line.

    A headline like this also meets the “3 a.m. test”  that Gary Bencivenga talks about: if you woke up a person in your market at 3 a.m. and read them your headline, would it create such a sense of urgency that they would want to hear more or would they roll over and go back to sleep?

    “If you had more money than you knew what to do with, would you want more?

    A good example of a question headline from the New York Times. If you write copy for financial services or products this would also make for a good email subject line and topic.

    “Raising pigs and this baseball thing really go together.”

    Another example from the New York Times. I like the use of contrast here. One doesn’t normally associate pig farming with baseball. Making note of a headline like this will remind you to use contrast in your copywriting headlines whenever possible because it’s one of the best ways to provoke curiosity.

    “$5 debit card fee got you mad? Time for deposit-only banks.”

    This is from Google News and an example of an emotion headline that targets a very specific frustration of the people in your market. It would be very easy to adapt this to a copywriting headline.

    Another benefit to this daily exercise is it will help you stay informed as to what’s going on in the world. There have been countless times I’ve come across a factoid or statistic in a news story and used it in email and sales page copy.

  • Email Copywriting
  • An email copywriting lesson from Netflix

    Copywriters put a lot of effort into subject lines, but there’s a field that’s even more important… the from field.

    Get that wrong and your subject line and email won’t get read at all.

    Let’s take this email I got from the Netflix CEO today as an example:

    Like most people, I quickly glance at the from column in my inbox first.

    I noticed “Reed Hastings, Co-Founder” and didn’t know who the heck that was. I almost trashed it but gave it a second chance because of the subject line.

    It turns out Reed Hastings is the CEO of Netflix. Who knew? I didn’t, even though I’ve been a customer for several years. I probably don’t know the names of the CEOs of any of the companies I pay bills to every month.

    The from field should have read, “Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO & Co-Founder.” Then “Reed Hastings, Netflix” would have appeared in the from field of my inbox and I would have opened it without almost accidentally deleting it.

    If you’re a copywriter, always ask a client what they intend to put in the from field and advise them accordingly. It might seem like a trivial detail but it’s not.

    By the way, I like the rest of the Netflix email. I always admire it when someone has the courage to open an email with “I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.” Plus, I’m a happy instant streaming customer, and hate messing with DVDs, so I’m not in a snit over their new biz model.

  • Email Copywriting
  • 14 emails that will help you burn fat AND make you some money

    Yesterday Mike Geary of Truth About Abs sent an email with the subject line “How to burn a pound of pure fat in a day.”

    I opened the email right away.

    Not because I’m in a hurry to burn a pound of fat, but because it’s an intriguing concept and I knew if I opened the email I would actually find out the answer.

    You see, many marketers use subject lines like this but it’s a bait and switch.

    Instead of giving you an answer to the question raised in the tantalizing subject line, they promote some product instead.

    It’s a trust thing. If your subject lines constantly tease and the email content is always a lame pitch, then the trust is blown.

    For some reason, many marketers in the fitness niche consistently send out quality emails and are good at building trust. As much as I like stories, I don’t mind reading an email that’s all content, like the “How to burn a pound of pure fat in a day” email.

    If you send out emails regularly, a mix of how-to and stories works well.

    And speaking of Mike Geary, I’ve written a series of pre-written emails to promote his Truth About Abs as an affiliate.

    You can get these AND a series of pre-written emails I wrote for Fat Burning Furnace for only $7 if you click here.

    Yep, that’s 14 pre-written emails for only $7.

    Even if you don’t promote any fitness or weight loss products (these emails will work for any products in those niches, by the way), just get them to read the tips and stories.

    I think you’ll learn a thing or two about weight loss you didn’t know before (especially my weird tip about a grocery store item that you would NEVER associate with weight loss).

    In other words, these emails will help you burn fat and make you some money if you use them to promote fitness or weight loss products.

    So go check them out.

    P. S.  If you’re wondering about how to burn a pound of pure fat in a day, I don’t want to leave you hanging. There isn’t a link to his email so I’ll just quickly summarize and say it’s about cheat days and strategic fast days.

    If you have the occasional cheat day and eat what you want and follow it with a day where you eat very little, your metabolism on that fast day will be primed to burn more fat.

    If tips like these interest you, check out my fat burning emails.