Make newsletters inviting
I subscribe to a number of email newsletters (and yes, yes, I also do the RSS thing) and I’m astounded by the number of newsletters that still have no information in the subject line, as if this is 1999 and I should be delighted just to get it.
The subject lines say something like “Today’s headlines” or “Newsletter for Sept. 8, 2009.” In a cluttered in-box, and in a busy day, who’s going to take the time to see what’s in there?
Perfect example of bad and good, before and after: Fast Company switched from generic to dynamic subject lines about 10 days ago. A screen snap shows how they look in my Gmail in-box. See the difference?
Case in point: When I initially sorted my mail to make that screenshot, most of the “generic” subject lines were unread; most of the “dynamic” ones had been read.
For local publishers, a well-subscribed, well-read newsletter is the most cost-effective way to increase traffic and loyalty to your website. Unfortunately, I see those generic subject lines a lot on local sites.
Yes, you’ll quickly find out why your newsletters have generic subject lines: “the system spits them out that way.” Or “that’s an extra step and we don’t have the staff.”
The point of doing newsletters is to get people to open them. Change the technology, or change the workflow.
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