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5 Ideas For Writing Better Subject Lines

Composing an effective marketing email… easy.

Composing a subject line that gets an effective marketing email opened… hard!

According to research from email marketing firm OptInMonster, 69% of email recipients report emails based solely on the subject line.

In other words, two thirds of the emails you send are getting judged before the recipient ever makes it to the content. You know the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Well, that’s what we’re talking about here. Your subject line is your first impression and if you don’t make it a good one, your email isn’t getting read. Plain and simple.

So what makes an effective subject line? Don’t we wish we knew!

Writing Effective Subject Lines

There are a few different strategies you can take. It’s something I’m personally experimenting with on a daily basis. No matter what strategy you deploy when it comes to subject lines, track your results. Split test. Pay attention to the data. Some are going to work better than others.

Here are few suggestions to consider based on current research.

Curiosity: The idea of using this approach is to intrigue your recipient into wanting to see more. Humans want to know the whole story. If you give them part of it in subject line, people may be more inclined to get the rest by opening your email. An example of this approach is asking a question in the subject line and providing the answer in the message. Other strategies would be to promise something interesting or lead with something unusual.
Bottom Line: Say something that makes them want to know more.

Funny: We all love to laugh When it comes to marketing emails, funny subject lines may be harder to come up with, or may not always be appropriate. Keep yourself open to the opportunties. That said, if you’re not naturally funny, DO NOT try and be funny. It’ll backfire every time! Look for triggers to humor. Something the lead shared on their website or social media that made you smile or laugh could open the door to an idea for a funny subject line.
Bottom Line: If you can genuinely make them laugh, they’re going to keep reading.

Vanity: This might sound awful, but it works. Play to their own sense of vanity and pride. Use an accomplishment they’ve shared and you’ve learned about as a subject line. For example, is the production studio award-winning? That’s your vanity subject line. Mention the award. They’re going to want to see what the email is about because they’re going to want to read what you’re saying about them.
Bottom Line: Ego strokes makes us all feel good!

Pain Points: If you’ve paid attention to anything I’ve shared in this blog over the years or anything I’ve ever posted on social media when it comes to marketing you know that marketing is about providing solutions to problems. Problems are pain points. That is to say, if you can identify what is causing your lead pain and speak directly to that pain point, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Bottom Line: Hit the pain point in the subject. Provide your solution in the message.

Personalize: You can never go wrong with personalized subject lines because it proves to the reader you aren’t just sending yet another generic marketing form letter to them. Look for idea triggers on their website and social media. Could be their tag line. A service they offer. Something from their About page. It could be a quote they used. Dig in a little and you’re bound to find something that will work.
Bottom Line: Prove to them you did a little research and this isn’t a generic letter.

Writing a good subject line is equally important as writing a good marketing email. #vopreneur
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There’s No Secret Strategy

People ask me about subject lines on a near daily basis and I wish I had one magical line that worked every single time with every single email.

There’s not.

Or, at least, if there is, I haven’t discovered it yet!

As a Voice Actor, you’re a naturally creative individual. Put that creativity to use. With the strategies mentioned above, a little bit of info collected from your leads website or social media and a creative thinking on your part, you’ll come up with some winners. There’ll be done duds too, to be clear. Don’t sweat them.

As I mentioned earlier, pay attention to data. Bank the winners. Toss the duds. Keep experimenting,

When all else fails, try “Professional Voice Actor 🎙️”.

Whatever you do, don’t let the subject line paralyze you. An email sent, even with a dud subject line, still has a better chance of being opened and read than the email that never makes it into your Sent folder!

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Email Marketing Works; If You Do It Right

I just spent a few days in Nashville attending a marketing conference. As I always say, if you want to truly succeed in the voice over business (or any business for that matter) you’ve got to be a lifelong student of marketing.

The conference was hosted by a New York Times Bestselling Author who built a multi-million dollar company with a whopping $0 marketing budget.

How did they do it?

Through social media and email marketing.

As much as technology evolves, and as frustrating as mediums like social and email can be when we’re not seeing the results we want, hope or expect, the fact remains, these tried and true platforms work as well today as they ever have.

If you’re doing it right!

At this conference I had the good fortune of meeting two gentlemen who run production companies. So I was able to ask them some very direct questions about their experiences with marketing from voice actors. It was really enlightening to hear perspectives from the other side of the table, so to speak.

Here’s what I walked away with…

You’re Saying the Wrong Things

If you’re sending out emails every day, and you’re not seeing a return, odds are you’re saying the wrong thing. Both gentleman I spoke with said the exact same thing… “the emails are too long, filled with too much information we don’t care about, and they’re really just wasting our time.”

What happens? DELETE

I’ve preached for years through this blog, my videos, and the marketing courses I offer, LESS IS MORE!

Stop trying to fit EVERYTHING in one email.

In fact, probably stop saying about 97% of what you’re saying in your emails.

If they’re longer than a couple sentences, you’re doing it wrong.

This is not just from me, remember. This is from producers who get emails from voice actors daily!

Marketing is about building relationships and building relationships is a progression.
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Email Marketing Still Works

When you dial in your message, email marketing can be one of the most effective tools you have for finding voice over work…. as evidenced by the building of the multi-million dollar company.

Even my own six-figure voice over business has been built from email marketing.

The key is clarity!

Stop boring your leads with details about your studio and equipment and training and client list and years of experience and personal history and business resume and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Make an introduction. Let them hear your voice. 

Marketing is about building relationships and building relationships is a progression.

If you really don’t know what to say or how to cut the clutter, check out 7 Marketing Emails that CONVERT. These are the exact email templates I’ve built my entire business on. And they still work.

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Writing A Subject Line That Works

MailerMailer is a professional email marketing platform. They know a thing or two about email and how to get them opened, read and clicked.

Email Marketing is something I write a lot about. It’s also something I teach. One of the most common questions people ask me about email marketing is, “What do I write in the subject line?”

What to write depends on a lot of different factors. How to write a successful subject line, however, comes with fewer variables.

What’s The Ideal Subject Line Length?

In crunching the data based on 49,000 email campaigns, here are a couple of findings from MailerMailer’s research.

  • For open rate, the optimal length for a subject line is 28-39 characters.
  • For click rate, the optimal length for a subject line is 51+ characters.
  • Subjects that sparked emotions of anticipation, curiosity and urgency generated more opens

Keeping it short is definitely the main takeaway from the research. It’s important to remember the vast majority of people reading emails these days are doing so on mobile devices. That means limited real estate to display subject lines.

The optimal length for an email subject line is 28-39 characters.
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Writing Better Subject Lines

In addition to keeping your subject lines short, and considering trying to evoke some kind of emotion, here are a few other tips.

  • Make it Relevant: Show the receiver how the message applies to them.
  • Try A Question: Sometimes a question is the best way to engage them in the conversation.
  • Personalize: In some capacity, make the subject line mean something to them.

Writing subject lines is a bit of an art form. It’s something I experiment with on a near daily basis as I attempt to find the best combination of the variables to get emails opened, read and replied to.

Which leads to a final point… track the data!

Pay attention to the subject lines that are producing the best results for you and use them to attempt to replicate continued success.

Also take note of the subject lines that appear in your inbox daily that get you to open emails. What can you learn from them?

Inboxes are inundated more than ever these days. If you want to keep generating results, you’ve got to keep learning and experimenting to figure out what works best.

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When Is The Best Time To Send An Email? (New Research)

A lot of different factors contribute to your success (or frustration) when it comes to email marketing. Your email has to be the right length. It needs to have the correct message. You’ve got to make sure it goes to the proper recipient. You’ve got to use a catchy subject line.

In addition to all those factors, you’ve also got to send your email at the right time!

HubSpot recently released the results of research they conducted over a ten month period. They analyzed 20 million sent emails. Yes, MILLION. With an “m.”

Based on their research, they recommend with confidence, that the absolute best time to send an email is Tuesday morning at 11am (local). Emails sent at this time received an open rate 20% higher than the average.

Now, obviously we need to be marketing for more than an hour a week. What their research showed backs up advice I’ve been giving (and practicing in my own business for years). Email marketing is best done on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. HubSpot claims that 11am (local) remains the best time to send an email during most days of the week.

If you really want to maximize your email marketing, I’d strongly suggest scheduling your marketing time blocks between 10am and 12pm (local) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Need help with your marketing? Want to take the guesswork out of writing emails? Check out the resources I offer at marcscottcoaching.com

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How To Improve Your Marketing Results

If you want different results, you need to employ different tactics.

Now, this may seem like a “Thank you, Captain Obvious,” moment. Still, it needs to be stated.

When I began marketing my voice over services full-time in 2012, my strategy was simple. Do anything and everything I could possibly think of out of a complete and utter sense of desperation to pay my bills, all the while hoping something would actually result in paid work.

Can you guess how that strategy played out?

Very little of what I did resulted in paid work because, surprise, surprise… I was doing it all wrong!

The big mistake I made was not actually figuring out what to do and how to do it. Properly!

Do You Know What You’re Doing?

Think of it like a piece of furniture from IKEA. If you try and put the item together without ever looking at the instructions, odds are you’re going to end up with spare parts, a massive headache and a piece of furniture that’s likely unusable.

Marketing your voice over business is no different.

If you jump on Twitter but never learn how to use it properly, it won’t work for you.

If you sign up for a Facebook Page, but never take the time to understand how to generate organic reach, the page is useless.

If you set yourself up with a fancy blog, but quit writing new posts after a couple weeks, it’ll accomplish nothing.

In 2012, I approached marketing like the guy who tries to build the furniture without the instructions and I had the income to show for it. All I had really done was wasted a ton of time with very little to show for it.

Is What You’re Doing Not Working?

Are you doing everything you think you need to be doing – or should be doing – to market your voice over business, but not seeing the returns you’d like to see? If you’re doing things correctly, you should be adding new prospects to your database every week.

Marketing mistakes are inevitable when you’re starting out. The trick is to learn from them. Put together the right strategies and tactics and then do the work to make it happen.

Free Marketing Training Course

FREE_trainingI’ve put together a new, completely free training course. It’s titled “10 Marketing Mistakes You’re Making in Your Voice Over Business… and How to Fix Them!”

This course – nearly 60 minutes in length – was designed to help you jump the learning curve. If you can identify what you’re doing wrong, and figure out how to start doing it right, you’re going to see results.

Different results require different tactics.

That’s what you’ll learn!

To get started with the free training, just click here.

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.