No matter how good the information contained in an email is, it will be useless if no one ever opens it. While it’s important to ensure the content of your email is compelling, it’s just as crucial to catch the reader’s eye with a winning cold email subject line. In this post, I look at how to write cold email subject lines – a guide for Financial Advisors.
What is a cold email?
Just like cold calling in days past, cold emailing involves reaching out to people who haven’t asked for information about a company’s products or services. Just like cold calling runs the risk of being ignored, so does cold emailing. The sender must find a way for their subject lines to stand out from the crowd or their email campaign may be a wasted effort.
There are various ways to make a subject line enticing. If it sounds personal or sparks interest, then the chances of the receiver opening the email increases. By the same token, if it sounds insincere or makes outlandish promises, the chances of success go down significantly.
How To Keep Cold Emails Out of Spam Folders
If your email is sent to a prospective customer’s spam folder, your connection may never occur. Emails in spam folders are most often automatically deleted without ever being seen.
Cold emails are sent by the thousands each day, so email service providers (ESPs) try to combat them to keep their users from being overwhelmed and frustrated by their presence. Many ESPs have developed software to recognize and filter out unsolicited — or “spam” — emails using proprietary algorithms and user input.
Avoid Trigger Words and Phrases
Spam filters are designed to determine whether an email is legitimate or not, so avoiding the common red flags associated with spam is important. One of those characteristics is the use of overtly “salesy” words or phrases. Here are several examples:
- Make £; Earn ££££ — your best bet is to stay away from pound / monetary signs completely
- Order; Order Now
- Incredible Deal
- Why Pay More?
Another good rule of thumb is not to promise things that cannot be delivered. Also, emails will often get flagged as spam if their subject lines start with greetings like “Hello” or “Dear” followed by a name or email address.
Avoid Excessive Punctuation Marks
Even one exclamation point or question mark in the subject line may get an email flagged as spam, but several or both of them in a row most certainly will.
Avoid All Caps
A subject line in all capital letters may attract the attention of the reader, but it may also prompt them to immediately mark the email as spam. Even if the reader does not flag the email, spam filters most likely will.
Additionally, in the world of emails and texting, using all capital letters is perceived as shouting. Shouting at prospective customers is never a good thing, so this should be avoided in general.
Avoid Random Caps
This is a relatively new trigger. Since using all caps is not recommended, people began sending out emails with subject lines with a random mixture of upper- and lower-case letters. ThEy frequently LoOk sOMetHing lIKe THis and are very effective at attracting the reader’s eye.
They’re also very effective at getting folks to hit the “Mark as Spam” button. It didn’t take the spam police long to see through this technique, and it should always be avoided.
Protect Your Company’s Reputation
If your company gets a reputation for sending out spam emails, there’s a greater likelihood that any future email campaigns will be immediately flagged as spam. This will lead to poor response rates on any subsequent mailings, regardless of content.
If an email campaign is sent out with solid email subject lines and the response numbers are still lagging, your IP address may have been blacklisted by the ESPs. You may not be notified of this action, but if you suspect this to be the case, there are sites that can help you confirm it. If you have been blacklisted, you may need to find another provider to keep your emails out of the spam folder.
Warm Up Their Inbox
What about those prospective customers who signed up to receive emails from you but no longer open them? Reinforcing the idea that your mail is not spam is a good first step, but you’ll likely need to do a bit more to re-engage their interest.
Create Informative, Relevant Content
While all the tactics above are a good way to avoid being recognized as spam, it’s always best to simply create an email that people want to receive. The email should be informative, and relevant, and provide insight into why the goods or services being offered are an asset to the receiver.
What Makes a Subject Line Great?
The easy answer to this question: anything that gets the reader to open the email. Of course, we all know that the internet is not a one-size-fits-all kind of place. A subject line that makes one person giggle may seem ridiculous to another.
Here are a few ways to create a great prospecting email subject line that can appeal to a large audience:
- Make it short: Be direct. The fewer words in an email subject line, the more likely the email gets read.
- Use name recognition: Using your brand’s name or, better yet, an individual’s name followed by the brand name.
- Use the reader’s name: This is, of course, not always possible when sending mass emails, but when it’s doable, it increases the odds of the email being opened.
- Don’t sound too good to be true: Very few people believe their life will change for the better in an instant. Don’t promise your reader that opening an email will do that for them.
- Be humorous: Puns and other wordplay will amuse and raise interest.
- Tell them what’s inside: Let the reader know that there’s valuable information to be had by opening the email.
- Add a bit of mystery: Pique the reader’s interest but leave enough mystery to make them want to learn more.
- Ask a question: Be specific. Avoid general questions like, “Do you want to have a better life?” Instead, try to appeal to your audience by targeting their pain points.
- Make it relevant: Get to know the type of people you’re emailing. Learn the social trends they follow and write subject lines that mean something to them.
- Drop names: If you have a mutual contact with the recipient, include that name in the subject line to help break the ice.
We hope that you found this post on how to write cold email subject lines – a guide for Financial Advisors useful.
If you’re a financial advisor looking for help, please feel free to get in touch here. Myself and my team are more than happy to help.
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