Targeted Email Marketing: Put a Colon in Your Subject

forgive me for being so candid, but I’d like to talk about the subject
of your colon. The colon in your email subject line, that is.

One of the most effective ways to boost your email marketing open
rates is to improve your subject line. The more relevant your subject
line is to your customers, the more likely they are to open your email.

Since you have a limited amount of real estate in a subject line
(around 40 characters), the easiest way to boost the relevance of your
subject line is to put your keywords or hot buttons at the front of
your subject line, followed by an explanatory phrase, with a colon in
the middle.

Your customers read your email subject lines from the left and move
to the right, in much the same way you are reading this sentence,
assuming you have read this far. So your goal with busy readers, whose
fingers are poised over the delete key, is to grab their attention with
the first few words of your subject. That’s where your colon comes in.
Your colon separates the attention-grabbing keywords from the
explanatory copy.

Let me give you an example, using the subject of this article. I
write email marketing letters for a living. My target audience is
marketing managers who use email to sell their products and services,
and cultivate sales leads. When these folks go online and search for
help with their email marketing, they type these types of keywords into
their search engine:

1. email marketing course

2. mortgage lead email marketing

3. targeted email marketing

What these three search phrases have in common is the phrase “email
marketing.” So, if I want to make my email sales letter relevant to any
of these three groups, I should put “email marketing” at the beginning
of my subject line and not at the end or in the middle. Then, to show
that my message is relevant to each audience, I must also put the
next-most-important keyword near the front of the subject as well.

For example, if I was offering a course on email marketing to real
estate agents, I wouldn’t say: “Enrol in Our Course for Real Estate
Agents on Email Marketing.” That puts the keywords at the end of the
subject line. Instead, I would use my trusty colon and say, “Email
Marketing Course for Real Estate Agents: Enrol Now.”

If I was writing an email sales letter to mortgage brokers, offering
them help with generating leads with email, I wouldn’t write a subject
line that said, “10 Mistakes to Avoid in Mortgage Lead Email
Marketing.” Instead, I would write, “Mortgage Lead Email Marketing: 10
Mistakes to Avoid.”