Sunday, March 20, 2011

Headlines or Subject Lines

Many of you do major advertising on email lists. They’re free and have the potential reach a lot of people with your interests. That’s certainly a good thing!

UNLESS your headline (you know, the subject line) is so boring or invisible that no one reads your post.

What makes a subject line boring or invisible? Well, lots of mistakes can result in invisibility, but the two biggies are if you do not make it relevant to the potential reader and if it’s just ho-hum, boring. And the two are intimately tied together.

What makes it relevant to a potential customer is also going to be not boring to him. Try this thought experiment. Which do you think will get attention?

Say to your teenaged son, “I want you to clean out the kidding pen (birthing stall) before you go out Saturday night.”

Or, “You can get $35 for your Saturday night date if the kidding pen (birthing stall) is all clean by then.”

One conversation is about what you want. The other is about what he wants. Oh, you’re in there, but you came second. You put his wants first and what you want second.

Well, that’s an example of marketing’s first principle: Marketing is not about you—it’s about your customer.See, good marketing is about building relationships and persuading. So is LIFE! When you think about your next ad on an email list--a friday market, make your subject line ring out with the information that’s relevant to what a customer might want.

It’s not about announcing it’s friday market. Nor is it about the fact that you have something for sale! The potential readers are simply thinking “So what!” “Who cares?”

And that’s even more important if you have something for sale that a lot of other people have for sale. In March and April every year, hundreds of people have newborn livestock for sale, especially males. If you want to hear from buyers, you better tell them why your newborn male is different and gets them what they want. Tell them why they should care. Will his genetics get them more blue ribbons, more marketable fiber, more meat on his offspring, more milk in the bucket, more color or spots??? What hope a customer has is he the answer to?

The subject line of an email list ad is your one and only chance to catch attention and persuade buyers they should read your ad. Remember this one truth about selling/marketing…Customers just don’t care what you want! Make it about what the customer wants. Yes, there are lots of great facts about your product, be it animal vegetable or mineral. But for your marketing, tell him why the facts matter to him!

Best wishes for your continued success and prosperity beyond the sidewalk!

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