The Times, They are a Changin’ Part 1: Intro Interaction

Serious statement alert: despite numerous predictions to the contrary, email marketing continues to increase in relevance and value each and every year. Subscriber trends may shift or evolve, but the bottom line remains the same: an effective email marketing campaign is one of the cornerstones of a successful modern business. However, just because the medium remains important, that doesn’t mean that the same tried and true best practices will persist in the future.

With that in mind, we’re kicking off a short series of posts detailing changes you can make to help keep your email marketing campaign current with the shifting subscriber trends. For our first installment, we’ll be taking a look at the importance of the subject line and its relationship to the pre-header (the preview text that appears next to the subject line in the subscriber’s inbox).

First and foremost, it’s time to start tightening up those subject lines. Every subject line of every email newsletter you send should be brief, intriguing and honest. The great and powerful Kristin has already put together a fantastically informative piece on subject line repair, and I’d thoroughly recommend reading it before moving forward.

So, we’ve got a clear and concise subject line to help pique our readers’ interest, but we’re not done just yet. In nearly every email client available today, the Subject Line is followed by a brief bit of preview text. This section, called the Pre-Header, displays the first few words of your email newsletter’s copy, and it can be a major opportunity for creating added intrigue.

If your newsletters usually begin with something like, “Hello!”, “What Up Ya’ll?”, or “The Call is Coming from Inside the House,” you’re wasting valuable space. Those don’t make me, your devoted reader, want to open your email (although, now that I think about it, the one about the call might).

Instead, start your email newsletter with a title that interacts with the subject line without being redundant.

For example, if you’re subject line is:

“Save 10% off Flumpledumps”

Then try kicking off your newsletter with a title like:

“Flumpledumps will change the way you feel about pickles forever.”

So, when the email hits the reader’s inbox, it would appear as follows:

“Save 10% off Flumpledumps - Flumpledumps will change the way you feel about pickles forever.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued. I already love pickles, so I’ve got to see what’s going on here.

One last thing to keep in mind here: if you add any text to your email header (like our Safe Sender Message or a link to your website), that will appear first. So, consider adding it to your email newsletter in another section, like a footer or side article.

Check back next week for Part 2 of our Changin’ Times series, where we’ll discuss where to place your most important information.