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So, I got your attention with a compelling subject line, eh? That's what some people are getting right, as documented by email marketing specialist Josh Nason in Man Bites Giraffe: Some Awesome (and Awful) Email Subject Lines.

Nason offers some examples of great emails, and some that are truly cringe-worthy. Among his do's and dont's:

Don't discount the importance of the From name. Keep it your company name and not an individual's name or drawn-out term. In addition, keep your company name out of the subject line: It's redundant - a waste of valuable real estate.

And this nugget of wisdom on subject lines:

Write a compelling subject line that won't deceive people. If people aren't opening it, that's okay, as you'll have many more campaigns to intrigue them. If you break the receiver's trust early, you'll have to work twice as hard to get it back. Never forget the Golden Rule.

You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll learn from this two-part examination of what works - and what doesn't - when you have just a few seconds to catch someone's attention with your email marketing campaign.

 

How many times have you said, "I'd like to start a blog," or, "I should get with this Twitter thing," only to be intimidated by the fear of not being able to do it well enough?

True story: I've owned my own domain name for years but never used it to create a web presence. It's the perfectionist in me; the voice inside my head that says, "It has to be the best." I guess I'm not alone, because blogger Mark Ivey had the same problem. His advice? Try The Seven Habits Of  The "Just Good Enough" Marketer.

Ivey's list is based on a simple premise - the explosion of social media has changed the rules about how we should craft our communications with customers and prospects. He says:

Every day I see companies that make these mistakes: they want to launch the perfect blog, create the polished video, craft the right message. They often find out the hard way that this is not what blogging and social media is about. It's more about conveying compelling ideas and connecting with audiences in authentic ways, not just writing beautiful prose or top-down marketing approaches. Speed is more critical too. There's not enough time to go through two rounds of approvals on every blog. Slick videos are meanwhile seen as advertising - they don't ring true. The new style - conversational, open, engaging, and fluid - just doesn't mix with traditional marketing and communications.

Ivey admits that these are hard habits to break, but doing this can get you off the sidelines and into social media faster, and that's the whole idea.

 

If you do any email marketing and want to avoid being blocked, be sure to check out Jordan Ayan's list of words and phrases you should never use in an email subject line on MarketingProfs.Com (free registration required).

Besides the obvious references to sex, home financing and pharmaceuticals - separately or together - she says there are a number of normal words that can set off the spam filters. Here are a few examples:

  • Only
  • Get
  • Opportunity
  • Avoid
  • Compare
  • Offer
  • Lose

This looks like a great list to print and post next to your computer. Just be sure to check it every time you're creating a subject line in an email marketing piece.

 
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