First things first.

Subject lines aren’t magical. They can make a difference in open rates especially before you have a relationship with the reader.

But, beware.

Almost every bit of research written about subject lines is written from a marketing research viewpoint. Their goal – unlike when selling – is simply to get the email or message opened which we call sms marketing.

What every smart sales person wants is more than an open because opening, then deleting, does nothing for our numbers. We need the buyer to act on our message so messaging needs to be even more compelling than the subject line.

Nonetheless, here is the latest, greatest commentary on how to get a subject line to work for you:

Change it depending on what nationality is reading it. It appears subject lines are now dependent on nationality! Who knew?!

(I’m so sorry to all my Canadian friends because I’m not sure where you fit since you’re much more civil than your southern neighbor.)

Americans respond best to subject lines that stress achievement and flattery. British and Europeans respond (read: more likely to open) subject lines that create anxiety or guilt.

No I’m not kidding.

Persado studied 3,527 email subject lines from 142 global brands, including British Airways, Gap and Dell, in the U.S., UK and Europe and reported their results.

I’m just the messenger. Don’t stress out. You can do it!


Who will find these subject lines most appealing?
A. “Your exclusive offer here”
B. “Here is your reward”
C. “You deserve this”
D. “Thank you for your continued loyalty”
E. “Don’t miss out”
F. “This gift is on us”

A, B and C, according to Persado, will appeal more to this side of the pond whereas D, E and F are more likely to be opened by those on the other side.

Before getting too crazy, create a meaningful subject line: by
Keeping it genuine.
Avoiding sales-y.
Making it about the recipient.
Asking a question in the subject if the answer to the question can be found in the email.
Keeping it short.
Using the word “you”

For information on a customized email sales writing workshop for your group, please email or complete our quick Interest form to check Sue’s availability. Count on boosting productivity, professionalism and profits!

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