We’ve all been there: An email appears in our inbox and we skim the title quickly. If it doesn’t seem appealing, we (almost always) delete or ignore it. So, how do you break this cycle and get your emails to stick out to your members?
While we haven’t found any catch-all solutions, we decided to highlight the top four most common mistakes you should avoid when looking to revamp your email headlines. You never know if that one change in your headline could be the reason your members open the email!
Mistake #1: Your headline...reads like spam
It’s pretty much a universal truth that no one loves spam. Why would you? Spam is like the patron saint of time wasted, especially in a world where most of us already have too much to do. If you’re at a loss, think about the following: CAPS LOCKS, ridiculous p*u*n*c*t*u*a*t*i*o*n, or oddly specific jargon terms that only a few people know.
See how this could be frustrating to your member base? To test your headline, read it out loud and see it sounds like a mouthful or oddly worded. If so, it’s probably a bust. Try keeping a list of rejected headlines and revisit them from time to time. Sometimes you can find a way to revise it into a winner!
Mistake # 2: Your headline...is just boring
The last thing you want your email headline to do is blend into your member’s inbox. In a world where email is one of our primary communication methods, it’s crucial that your members want to open AND read your emails. Too often, you’ll see blanket email headlines like “November 2018 Updates” come and go in your email.
While being direct isn’t a bad quality for headlines, a majority of your members would probably just skim over it. Instead, why not try to include a sense of urgency? The point is to get their attention, so think about what excites your members. Maybe try focusing on a limited time offer or a surprise for your members to get them intrigued!
Mistake #3: Your headline...isn’t consistent
Every association (should) have a “voice” that your members hear when they read your emails. This voice should emerge from a consistent tone that comes from your writing style. While it’s true that your tone will change between emails depending on its purpose, you want to provide a reliable format your members come to know and understand.
We recommend that you think about the language you typically use when you write your members. Are you silly or serious? Do you switch up your tone often? While we urge you to get creative with your headlines, try and take a second to ponder if your “voice” is an accurate portrayal of your association.
Mistake #4: Your headline…is way too long
Most association writers have this problem at one point or another. How do you condense all of this crucial member information into one amazing, catchy, informative headline? Practice makes perfect! While we understand that you don’t want your members to miss crucial information, you don’t have to sacrifice your headline to do it.
Try brainstorming your headlines by including everything you think should be included and start cutting away. The traditional rule for headlines is to try to keep it under 10 words (and/or under 60 characters). This length provides you two advantages: They can quickly scan and find the value of your email, as well as (typically) read the full headline on a mobile device. Sounds like a win-win to us.
One of your ultimate goals with email headlines should be to motivate your members to have some type of interaction with your association. Try analyzing your open rates and click-through rates on past emails to see which ones have better engagement rates. Those headlines or topics may be more appealing to your members, in turn possibly increasing your open or click-through rates.
While there isn’t an exact science to email marketing, we definitely have more tips that can help make your marketing efforts better! Check out our guide, Best Practices for Email Marketing, to see how you can increase your member engagement by switching up your email routine.