An Email Subject Line Tip from a Real Pro

“The more your copy talks about the reader, the more they will read”

Mark Everett Johnson, a recent panelist on the SiPA/Mequoda Email Subject Line Smackdown webinar, has been a copywriter for years. In fact, his career spans over 25 years as a communications specialist and freelance writer.

The knowledge he has to share can be utilized by veterans or beginning copywriters alike.

Below you will find four rules Mark uses while creating email subject lines. He first memorized these concepts 25 years ago for how to write a better headline. His guidelines are similar to those found in our free report The 17 Best Email Subject Lines.

Mark’s four email subject line copywriting tips:

1.    Offer a quick and easy way to do something.
2.    Talk about the reader’s self-interest –something that is a benefit.
3.    Give the reader some news –especially good news.
4.    Arouse curiosity, preferably related to points 1, 2 or 3 above.

When asked during the webinar, Mark said his favorite of our 17 best email subject lines was the Targeted email subject line. When asked why, he stated, “The reason is because targeted subject lines are about the reader; and more than any other topic, people want to read about themselves!”

Mark also noted that incorporating numerous archetypes into a hybrid form is usually a preferable option to copywriters. For example, using a Targeted email subject line in conjunction with an Urgency email subject line, or a Reason Why subject line used in conjunction with a Fascination subject line.  Additionally, certain email subject line archetypes will work better than others, depending on the reader and the offer.

Download a FREE copy of Best Email Subject Lines for Selling Premium Subscriptions and Memberships and discover an extensive list of email subject line frameworks that are consistently proven to sell and boost revenue for publishers.

Mark’s Smackdown “Challenges”

One round of the Smackdown was based on a submission from Ogden Publications. The original subject line and email published by Ogden was meant to interest readers in giving a subscription to GRIT Magazine as a gift. The original subject line was:

-Share the rural life!

Mark’s challenge was:

-Share the joy of the rural life – Give GRIT for the holidays!

Which subject line do you think is better? Why?

Mark took his approach because he knows there has to be a clear benefit. The original subject line only hinted at an offer, so Mark made sure his was directly laid out. Enhancing both the benefit and the offer strengthens the entire copy, according to Mark.

Additionally, Mark discussed how his “challenge” also told the reader exactly what should be done by specifically saying, “Give GRIT for the holidays!”

In true Smackdown style, each copywriter on the panel submitted a “challenge”. Do you think Mark’s line was the winning selection chosen by the webinar attendees? His email subject line and reasoning behind it are certainly convincing and logical. If you had an interest in rural life or knew someone who did, and this email subject line popped up in your inbox, would you be inclined to open and respond?

Naturally, the only way to declare a true winner is to test test test! We hope the attendees lucky enough to have their submissions chosen will test their control against our alternatives to see if they can pull better open rates.

To find out which email subject line won the GRIT magazine gift subscription challenge, and experience six other insightful rounds of the Email Subject Line Smackdown, order the webinar on demand today.


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