Does Your Subject Line Do the Job?

It's proven that the FROM field of your emails is the MOST important factor in getting your messages opened. But after that, it's surely the subject line.

Many ezine (email newsletter) publishers seem to consider their subject lines as afterthoughts, which is a bad idea.

Example: Suppose you get an e-mail with the subject line, "Get Rid of Your Debt Today."

I don't know about you, but my right pinkie is already poised over the delete key!

However, this could be an e-zine I've subscribed to that just isn't announcing itself properly.

Now, what if the subject line instead read:

"[Frank's Financial Tips] Get Rid of Your Debt Today"

See the difference? By listing the title of your e-zine, it reinforces your brand, it allows your readers to filter your e-zine into a separate folder in their e-mail inbox, and most important, it lets your recipient knows your message is NOT spam.

Now I do see some e-zines that ONLY list the e-zine name. For the example above it could just say, "Frank's Financial Tips." That's okay, but it doesn't tell me what's in the issue or why I should open it. Remember you're competing with dozens of other e-mail subject lines in your readers' inboxes, so give them a reason to open yours.

Studies show that also using the reader's NAME in the subject line can dramatically increase open rates, but I reserve this tactic for special promotions I send out that are time-sensitive and I want great response to (such as announcing an upcoming teleseminar). Example: "Jennifer, join me next Tuesday?"

This helps get the reader's attention and builds curiosity so she opens it right away. If you want to use this tactic, you'll need a list service that supports "personalization."

No matter what subject line you write, keep it short and sweet, because many e-mail programs cut off long subject lines. Here are the maximum subject line lengths (including spaces) in some popular e-mail programs:

AOL: 52 characters
Hotmail: 45 characters
Outlook Express: 64 characters
Yahoo: 80 characters

Don't go crazy counting spaces, but just keep in mind that shorter is better. (This sentence here contains 60 characters, including spaces.)

[EDITOR'S NOTE: For my list of 87 proven subject lines that you're welcome to outright *STEAL* and use for yourself, see my program, "Email Promotions That Really Rack up Sales"!]

2004-2005 Alexandria K. Brown

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is creator of the award-winning 'Boost Business With Your Own E-zine' system. To learn more about this step-by-step program, and to sign up for her FREE how-to articles and FREE audio class, visit

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