Two Email Subject Line Tips for Your V-Day Campaigns

valentine imageryIf you are like most marketers you capitalize on certain times of year to get even more exposure for your messages. Around Valentine’s Day, consumers are inundated with so many love messages, I’m sure they feel a little love sick. They may even be seeing red through all that romantic imagery. To help you find the middle of the road and nail it this Valentine’s Day, here are two tips for your email subject lines.

Crystal Clear

You may have a fancy pants copywriter on hand that’s addicted to implied messages and subtle hints. Be wary, he/she isn’t good news for your Valentine’s campaign. Here’s why: AWeber Communications found that it’s better to be clear than to be catchy. Their case study showed a clear subject line can get 541% more clicks than one that makes the reader think.

Super Short

People don’t like to think while they browse their email. They act in a stimulus response nature, seeking out what seems the easiest and has the highest reward. Similarly, whatever you decide to write in that subject line — make it snappy! MailerMailer showed that the highest performing subject lines are between 4 – 15 characters!

I’ll leave it up to you to come up with the right combination of form and function when assembling the actual words in your subject lines. You want to attract attention, make them curious and tell them what their reward is. Here’s one hint I’ll give you, some people are keen on the word “sweet” to get Valentine recipients to open. Hug your mom for me and tell your paramour that I said “Hello!”

10 Levels of Intimacy in Today’s Communication

modes communication

How often have you thought about the way that you communicate with others on a day-to-day basis? How often would you say that you send a text message to one of your closest friends or ring them up during the work week? Some recent professional and personal conversations, have lead me to take a look at the mode and frequency of communication that I choose to use.

What do you think of the graphic above? Do you find you use these modes of communication in this rank of intimacy? Do you use these in alternative or atypical ways? I would love to hear your take below in the comments!

3 Questions Every Small Business Owner Should Ask

What’s your company line? Get your team on the same page.

Carmine Gallo demonstrates how to quickly describe Lush's USP
Carmine Gallo quickly describes Lush’s USP

The larger your business grows the more interactions you’ll have with “the outside world.” It’s not efficient to reinvent your elevator pitch every time you chat about your company. You’ll need to come up with a general response that you can modify with details that are relevant to your audience.

In an ideal world, each of your employees will naturally promote your company when talking with friends, family, and posting on social media. But, how often do your current team members do so? Help your employees by preparing a subconscious script when it comes to what the organization is about, what its goals are, and how it provides value. Weave this script into your corporate culture and internal messaging and model this response for your employees.

Where are you going? Frame the change.

You know where you want your company to go, you have plans regarding how to get there, but, are you communicating your vision to employees? Sometimes fulfilling your vision may cause significant changes for employees. Be humble and transparent when explaining the need for these changes and how employees will benefit in the long run.

One example of this is first round process documentation. Frankly, when you ask an employee to document how they complete a task, especially if it’s one of their primary job functions, you are asking them to make themselves disposable. Not too many employees will enjoy feeling like they are easily replaced. You should highlight the opportunity as something for the growth of both the company and the employee.  For example, once the task is documented that employee could train someone under them as they move up in the ranks (as long as there are ranks to climb, wink, wink). If you have the right employees working for you and invest in your team, company growth will often result in professional advancement for most team members.

How does your business work? Put all your ducks in a row.

Documentation allows you to keep a record of how your business works. If you are looking to sell your company or need to attract additional capital you need to be able to verify the interworkings and processes of your business. You’ll need to show how each department operates and keep records of profitability. Despite resistance you may receive from employees, just get it all down on paper.

Where do you go from here? Take stock of your company’s internal messaging, your vision casting, and how you’re challenging your employees to see where you can improve. These are basic practices, but you’d be surprised how many organizations struggle in at least one of these areas.

Advertising Mistake or Audience-driven Copywriting?

I found a display ad today that is either highly targeted to my sense of humor or is simply a mistake. Take a look.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 12.25.22 PM

I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to advertising of any kind (imagine that!), but the product presentation and the Target icon in this ad, lead me to believe that this ad with place-holder copy wasn’t spam. So I clicked on it. It turns out, I was nabbed by the powerful and useful but ever allusive cookie monster (ad re-targeting to be more accurate). A company who provides “interest-based advertisements” used a web cookie to target this ad to me and those like me.

I can’t imagine Target would want an ad out there without descriptive copy. However, if user studies indicate that  copywriters like me will click-through an ad like this one, I can understand why they might place an ad sans description.

The beauty of re-marketing and re-targeting your online ad placements is that your ads get in front of an audience that’s already shown interest in your product or service through their online behavior (visiting your website, visiting a partner’s website, clicking on an ad previously, etc).  While, I don’t know for certain that this ad was specifically re-marketed to copywriters or communications professionals, I do know the ad did it’s job on me. Click? Check.  Insert concluding sentence here.

Look out Silicon Valley, You’ve Got Competition

Where do you expect the next technology giant will emerge from? According to a recent article by Jimmy Daily of State Tech, there’s a whole network of Silicon-esque hotbeds in the United States. Some locations you’d be able to guess and others you wouldn’t, here’s the full list:

  • Silicon Alley — New York City, New York
  • Silicon Bayou — New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Silicon Beach — Los Angeles, California
  • Silicon Canal — Seattle, Washington
  • Silicon Desert — Phoenix, Arizona
  • Silicon Forest — Portland, Oregon
  • Silicon Harbor — Charleston, South Carolina
  • Silicon Hill — Washington, D.C.
  • Silicon Hills — Austin, Texas
  • Silicon Prairie — “The Heartland”
  • Silicon Shire — Eugene and Springfield, Oregon
  • Silicon Slopes — Utah

Each of these places named in reverence to Silicon Valley can quickly become the ideal springboard for the nation’s next biggest innovation.

Read more on each “Silicon” here.

Who Says You Have to Pay for University-quality Classes?

Coursera is an online destination to take FREE university-level courses from a variety of leading educational institutions in the US and abroad. I stumbled upon the site today during my daily news readings.

This is how it works:


Coursera is not a degree-awarding program, but it is a preview of how the institution of education is changing. Students (or courserians as they are called) can take university and college level courses online to stimulate their analytical skills and expand their knowledge base — free of charge.

It’s unknown whether free online education sources will award degrees in the future. But, it won’t surprise me if my children have many credible low-cost online programs to choose from. Research by Ambient Insight indicates, “… by 2018, there will be more full time online students than students that take all their classes in a physical classroom.”