Ingredient #3: Email Subject Line: Clear, Clever, and Compelling
Creating a good ezine article title or email subject line is probably more important than the actual content, given that so few readers (11%) actually read the entire content of emailed newsletters. Most readers scan, making the headline and subheadings very important. In the context of an ezine, the headline can be both the email subject line and the title of your articles. In both cases, you want to compel the reader to first open your email and second, read your article.
The best headlines are those that start a story, make a shocking statement, tease a bit, offer a benefit or prepare the reader for what’s to come.
Experienced copywriters are extremely good at writing headlines and titles that pull in readers. One such expert is Michel Fortin, who uses his “3 X 3 Rule:”
That is, your headline should cater to:
1. The three greatest human goals to make or save:
2. The three greatest human desires:
3. The three greatest human teasers:
If you think writing a compelling headline is easy, then you haven’t done it enough. Good headlines actually lead the reader down a path towards a call to action, which can be to make a purchase, register for a program, or click through for more information. But if it is too obvious, you will alienate your readers and they will not only stop reading, they will delete the email or unsubscribe.
Don’t despair; there are many good copywriting handbooks that include headlines you can model. You can create your own original headlines based on ones already proven to work. In particular we recommend David Garfield’s "Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich" and Dan Kennedy’s "The Ultimate Sales Letter."