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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Headings to attract more readers

Headings (or titles) to blog posts and other online articles are important.

A good heading will entice people to read the post which means they will click on a link to it as well. So write a good heading not just within your blog but in the title you use for links to your blog post.

Including relevant subject words in a heading has two advantages for bringing in more readers.

Anybody looking for information on a specific topic will be attracted by seeing those words in the heading. It will also stop uninterested people clicking through to your post (and this is a good thing if you are trying to reduce your bounce rate and not waste time and bandwidth on people who are not your potential customers anyway).

Including subject words also helps search engines summarise your blog post and determine its importance and relevance for any specific search term.

Here are a few examples to show how a subject word can help:

What I’m reading vs My top business books

Preparing dinner vs Planning nutritious meals

My hobby vs Bike riding for fun

Which of these headings do you think will show up in search engine searches for business books, healthy cooking and bike riding?

Newsletter subject lines

The subject line of an email is an important factor in getting it read, and that is no less important for an enewsletter.

Personally, I think it is useful to start the subject the same way for every edition of your newsletter. I suggest using the name of your business or newsletter as the subject

You can add a date or specific subject as well, but a consistent start is helpful because:

  • it is easy to identify as your newsletter whereas varied subjects may get deleted by even your keenest readers
  • it is easy for people to collate different editions in their inbox if they have the same subject
  • it helps build your brand – just a glance at the subject reminds people of you without them reading it

Thinking of enewsletters you receive, do you prefer ones with a consistent subject line?

Mistakes in emails…

Going on from my recent post about repeat messages in emails, where I mentioned owning up to a mistake rather than sending a corrected version as if nothing had happened, I thought I’d share this post I found with you.

Joan Pasay discusses getting a lot of emails with “Whoops!” in the subject line because people had discovered an error in the emails they had sent out. I agree with her suggestion of being upfront and ‘grown up’ in the subject line when you announce an error. As she says “I guess the lesson here is to just admit you made an error and not try to cover it up with a “Gee wilickers, I think I just might be a moron” type subject line. “”

Personally, I have never received an email with a whoops subject – have you? I’ve had emails announcing an error, but they mostly have been along the lines of “our may newsletter – with correction” which is perfectly acceptable. Although I always wonder if I should delete the original because I can’t be sure (without taking the time there and then to read the email) if the corrected version includes the entire message or just the correction.

So now am I wondering – what sorts of subjects have you seen from people who realise they made a msitake in an email already sent?

Use your words wisely!

 

Email subjects

Like the heading of an ad or article, the subject of an email is important.

For one thing, if someone needs to find some information you sent them, it is much easier to sort through emails if the subject clearly identifies the email contents. I have been known to send the same person three emails in a row so that each topic is in its own email for easier sorting and answering, rather than one long email covering three topics.

If you are emailing someone new or sending out an enewsletter, your choice of subject can mean the difference between someone reading it or deleting it. Some points to consider in writing your subject are:

  • avoid hype and over-used words as many people can’t be bothered with more of the same
  • be honest. For example, I recently received an email via my website with the subject ‘business cooperation’. The subject interested me so I read it only to find it was purely an ad for their services. Not only is their subject dishonest, it annoyed me so much I would never use their services and added their email address to my junk mail list.
  • relate it to the reader –  and that is easier when you know more about who you are emailing in the first place. As an example, “help with your marketing” has more appeal than “we offer great marketing services” but neither will appeal much to a retiree or a school child!
  • personalise it if you have the technical ability to do so – but be warned that trying to personalise it and getting it wrong is not good. Yes, I have received emails addressed “Special message for {add name}” – the word ‘you’ would have been a better, safer option
  • add an enticement or call to action – sometimes a time frame can help, such as “sale this weekend only”
  • keep it as short and simple as possible – for one thing, some people’s email system doesn’t give much space for the subject so if it takes too long to get to the point, people may miss the point altogether

How often do you put much effort into your email subject? And I’m curious – do you usually write the email or the subject first?

Happy writing!