E-mail header – where it all begins

We have been talking about headlines and hashtags on the blog recently and I have been thinking about how that works when we are creating and sending out newsletters/e-shots.

Good strong headlines compel people to read content – but if they don’t ever open the e-shot then it will all have been for nothing.

The e-mail header suddenly becomes even more important than the newsletter itself and the same goes for any kind of pitch, including press releases and blogger outreach. When you are calling on the phone you can charm the gatekeepers into putting you through or give them a compelling reason to do so, but with an e-mail e-shot you have only a handful of words to get the job done.

So it stands to reason that we really need to think about those words. I started by thinking long form – what is it that I wanted to say? Then bashing it down into as few words as possible. It is a great creative exercise!

But this wasn’t going to be enough to get the click. So then I thought about key words, as if I was working out the key triggers for optimising a piece of text. What gets me to open? Well I favour words like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn coupled with words like explained or common mistakes. Top twitter mistakes or new changes explained would probably get me every time!  So now I need to work out the triggers for my e-shot audience.

With the trigger words in mind I now move on to the final killer stage. I am going to list my e-shot content as a string of very short teasers. If I give them three then at least one will hit the spot! I won’t reveal all, but the words sales and secrets and top job may feature.

So how do you get people to open up? It would be great to share in your ideas.

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One response to “E-mail header – where it all begins

  1. exceptionalthinking

    Things that have worked for us are teaser headlines particularly ones where people want to know the answer or are curious to know what’s going on. Things like “Big News”, “Shhh! Don’t tell anyone” have worked well for us in the past.

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