Because email subject lines are a form of headline, headline-writing fundamentals definitely apply. Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media, suggests running your next subject line through the following checklist, which is based on the “Four U” approach to headline writing:
- Useful: Is the promised message valuable to the reader?
- Ultra-specific: Does the reader know what’s being promised?
- Unique: Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?
- Urgent: Does the reader feel the need to read now?
Subject line real estate is valuable, so the more compact your subject line, the better. Try to compress the fundamentals into the most powerful promise possible, but don’t forget to be useful and ultra-specific. Also, use urgency when it’s actually useful, such as when there’s a real deadline or compelling reason to act now. If you’re running your email marketing based on value and great offers, people won’t want to miss out—they’ll need to know how much time they have.