Writing a Compelling Subject Line: Will Your Reader Open the E-mail

------ www.e-shops-list.com ----- Easy and quick link dozens online store ----- online store list Many marketers choose to measure the success of an e-mail marketing campaign by the open rate—or the percentage of people who choose to look at the e-mail, says Dave A. Young. By looking at this statistic, you'll get a sense if your subject line is working, or if it needs work.

One study by MailChimp took a look at 273 million e-mails that were sent out. Depending on the industry, 20 to 40 percent of the e-mails were opened—the rest were not. A higher open rate will lead to more conversions, which is the idea of sending the e-mail in the first place. And to have a compelling subject line, you need to be on good terms with the potential customer.
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"One thing I really believe in is that the subject line by itself is only half of the equation," says Tarr. "The other half is who it comes from."

Writing a Compelling Subject Line: Inform the Reader—Don't Trick Them

If a subject line reads "THIS IS NOT SPAM," it probably is.
"You have to treat the subject line like a newspaper headline in that it needs to inform and it can't trick," says Wallace. Just because your customer may recognize your e-mail address, it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to want to open the e-mail, especially if you send them e-mails often.

Wallace sees the subject line on three levels:
1. It has to be seen and understood—keep it between four to five words, or under 45 characters.
2. It has to inform. Just like a newspaper headline, a reader has to go in to the body of the e-mail knowing what they're about to learn.
3. It has to be persuasive without 'crossing the line.'

Crossing the line is one of the worst things you can do, Wallace explains. "It's a double-edged sword," he says. You want the subject line to be provocative, but you don't want to give misinformation. For example, "'Win a free trip to Hawaii' in a subject line is fine," he says, "but if in the details you have to do this and do that, what you've done is left a lot of people feeling tricked, and I think you've closed the door on people." Once the door is closed, he says, people may never read your e-mail again, or they may mark you as spam. "Don't be clever," he warns. "As marketers, we get our kick on this, but the subject line is not a place to be clever. I think marketers are foolish to do that."
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Another tactic that's often misinterpreted is asking a question in a subject line, like "Want to save money?" Such approaches are often labeled as spam, and useless for a marketer. "You're screaming, I am going to sell you now," says Wallace. "We don't want that. I think the Internet and e-mail is moving us in the direction of not wanting to be sold to."

Some e-mail providers are also very strict about what types of e-mails get labeled as spam, says Dave A. Young. In addition to blast e-mails, you need to be careful with certain words like 'free 'or 'sells.' "Don't use words that will get caught," he says.

Writing a Compelling Subject Line: Understand Your Customer

All good marketing starts with an understanding of your target audience, says Dave A. Young, the principal of Young Copy, a company that provides writing and marketing services, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. To write a compelling subject line, you need to know the types of products and services that would appeal to your demographic, as well as the type of tone they're expecting from you.
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"What I've learned is that the more familiar you are with them and the more you're in front of them, the more likely they'll open the e-mail," Young says. The more personal you make it, the better, he says, "just like you would do on the phone." Young urges marketers to set "the right tone and use the right words—and not use any kind of generic language that [the customer] is not used to."

Obviously, there are some e-mails a reader will always open—a daily newsletter, an offering from their favorite company, etc. But in order to get a customer 'hooked' on a product, it's important to provide a consistent approach to sending e-mails, whether it's humorous, informative, or a direct call to action. A consistent subject line, whether in tone, style, or structure, is essential to getting people to open your e-mail.

Writing a Compelling Subject Line: Why It Matters

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The subject line is the first point of contact with a customer or potential client, like the opening line of a sales pitch. And just as advertising copy is so critical to the success and failure of a campaign, a subject line invites the reader to care. With so much of our time on the computer occupied by spam and banner ads, it's easy to get distracted. That's why a compelling subject like is essential; it must cut through the noise and capture the reader's attention.
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"Nothing else happens until someone reads your message," says Mitch Tarr, owner of Zin Marketing in Napa California, a small business e-mail marketing firm. "It all starts at the beginning. If you don't get people in to read your message and read the content, nothing happens." If you want people to do something like attend an event or purchase a product, Tarr says, the subject line gives them the reason to open the e-mail and buys you a few more seconds of their time.

And it's these few seconds, says Wallace, that can mean success for the campaign, or failure.

"These 10 seconds are critically important because if you can't get their attention, you could be giving away $100 bills," he says. But if the subject line is written poorly, few recipients will take the time to open the e-mail.

How to Write a Compelling E-mail Subject Line

A subject line is like a handshake. A good one will announce confidence and respect, but a bad one can leave the recipient unimpressed.
People receive hundreds of e-mails a day, if not more, which means marketers face steep competition when launching an e-mail promotion, sending out a newsletter, or revealing a new product or service to customers. If the e-mail is being sent to a group of people, or it's being sent to an unknown recipient, what matters most is a compelling subject line to insure that the e-mail gets opened—and hopefully read.

While marketers jockey for position and fight for just a few seconds of our attention, it's also incredibly easy to just tune them out. "A long time ago, you sort of had to endure the cheesy television commercials," says Hamilton Wallace, the owner of Small Business Marketing Consultant in Scottsdale,Arizona, who has 30 years of marketing experience. "Now, it's just a click—and boom you're gone. It's just a lot easier to unsubscribe."
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So whether you're sending out a business proposal, a newsletter, or reaching out to a potential client, you need to have a subject line that 'sells' the rest of your message. Along with your name, the subject line is the first piece of text that will be read by a potential customer, and to get it just right, it takes a bit of artistry—not artifice.

Solutions For Buying

Another key business-to-business commerce application is buy-side or corporate procurement. Such uses let companies build applications that internal personnel can use for procurement. Buy-side applications provide a central point of control for procurement, helping organizations to manage spending and acquisition more efficiently, negotiate more competitive prices with vendors, and save time and money.

For example, a large insurance company could build an intranet site that would let executive assistants purchase office supplies for their areas. The application could provide a generic list of products and services from which users can select what they need, or it could provide an aggregation of catalogs from multiple vendors. The application could then place the order with the lowest-priced vendor or determine if the necessary goods have already been purchased and can be delivered from another location.

Most products focus on buying indirect goods--products and services that won't critically hamper your business if you don't receive them on time, such as office supplies. Procurement of direct goods--such as raw materials for discrete manufacturing operations--is often handled by enterprise resource planning systems and dedicated procurement personnel.

A big consideration for buy-side applications is whether they are usable. Buyers are often infrequent users who are internal to your company, so look for products that let you build rich, functional interfaces using technologies such as Java on the client side. In addition, the system should be able to capture all purchasing activities, which will prevent employees from going outside the system for purchasing. You may even want to integrate your expense-reporting system into your buy-side application, providing total central control on all spending.
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Of the vendors supplying tools for buy-side commerce, Ariba Technologies Inc. focuses only on buy-side applications and provides a rich feature set for these kinds of applications. Ariba, Netscape, and Trade'ex focus heavily on occasional users by providing easy-to-use interfaces. Microsoft provides a sample buy-side application, but making it fit your needs may require extensive custom development. Connect Inc.'s core competency comes from the company's integration services and its ability to roll customer-focused features into the underlying technology.


Business Growing On The Net

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by Peter DeWolf

Business is everywhere on the Internet. Small companies and large are
making their presence felt. According to a recent survey done by Jupiter
Communications, a research firm in New York, 132 million dollars US was
the total business transacted directly on the Internet during 1995. This does
not include business that may have been attracted by a Web presence, and
completed off-line by conventional means.

In 1996, projections call for this amount of direct Internet commerce to triple,
and by the year 2000, less than 4 years from now, the amount will top 4
billion dollars US annually. Not only are computer-related businesses going
on-line to advertise and sell their wares, but such mail-order giants as L.L.
Bean and Eddie Bauer Corporation. You can view their products, and order
on-line. Even Pizza Hut can be found, and yes, you can order the stuffed crust
too. It is only a matter of time before your screen lights up with "would you
like fries with that too?".

Many towns and cities are on the Internet, with maps, guides aimed at tourists
and investors, and even real estate listings. It has become possible to get
information on your destination, book hotel reservations, and a flight; then
notify your relatives of your arrival time, all on-line. Oh yes, don't forget to
make reservations at a nice restaurant, a complete listing of good eating
establishments are available for many cities. The local newspaper on-line will
provide you with a lot of great ideas also.
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The smaller business person will say, this is all wonderful, but how does it
relate to me? I am not a huge corporation with a big market area or share. A
perfect example is a local business in my area, who makes custom wood
furniture. Before he hooked up to the Internet, his possible market was
restricted to the Ottawa Valley, and by word of mouth. With a Web Page, he
now attracts inquiries and business from all over the world. His cost is less
than 50 dollars a month for this opportunity to have a world-wide presence. If
you are interested in visiting a well set-up Page that attracts attention and is
well organised try "http://www.igs.net/woodworks".

The important thing for any business is to clearly define what they wish to
accomplish on the Internet, and take the time and effort to present the right
image. As in any business, first impressions mean a lot, and how your product
or service appear will determine your success. A well organized presentation,
done professionally, will attract the clientele you want. Unless you feel
comfortable working with Hypertext Mark-up Language, it might be
advisable to use a consultant. Talk to your Internet Service Provider, he may
have some suggestions, or talk to other businesses you see on the Net, and
ask. It is common for a Web Page to have an author's name on it, so if you
see a presentation that catches your eye, see if the consultant who produced it
is listed, or contact the company and ask. Remember, with the Internet, it
doesn't matter if the consultant is nearby, because distance has no meaning on
the Web.
Until next time, see you in cyberspace. Drop me a line at "whisper@igs.net".
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