Here are six tips that can help you escape the dismal 5% rate, climb toward and beyond a 20% rate, and accomplish your advertising goals.
- A good subject line is mysterious. It doesn't tell all. It plays hard to get. It doesn't allow the reader to say, "I've got a pretty good guess at just what that's going to say." Instead, it finds an element that the reader wants to know and taunts them, saying, "I know something you want to know, and if you want to know you have to click!"
No Mystery: Publish Your Book
Mystery: 5 Authors Who Were Pastors First...and Who Are They?!
- A good subject line is manageable. It doesn't ask reader to boil the ocean. It gives them a step to take and encouragement to take it.
Unmanageable: Why Churches Are Failing at Discipleship
Or worse yet: Disciple Your Congregation
Better: 5 Simple Steps for Mentoring Your Leaders
- A good subject line is vivid. It pushes the envelope. It uses authentic exaggeration. When Christ talked about swallowing camels or cutting off your hand, he was exaggerating to engage and electrify. Subject lines can, too.
Humdrum: Get Your Congregation's Attention
Better: How to Mesmerize and Electrify Your Congregation with Your Preaching
Or: Send Your Congregations to the Moon
- A good subject line is risky. It's dangerous. It can make your hair stand on end. One of the ads in the Soul Surfer movie campaign said, "The Shark Took Her Arm." Vivid. Visual. Risky.
Safe: Pastor Speaks Out on Eternity
Risky: Pastor Speaks Out on Hell
Risky subject lines drive some away. But they attract and engage more than safe ones.
- A good subject line is targeted. It states the audience or offers something the specific audience wants.
Scattered (and Expensive!): Get a Free iPod!
Targeted: Church Leader: Get a Free Pew Bible for Review
- Good subject lines and ad messages are tested. The difference between 400 click-throughs on a blast and 800 click-throughs lies much in the words that are chosen. A 20-minute brainstorm generating 4–5 different message options can double (or half) your results. A/B testing flushes out the bloopers and harnesses the stallions. Use a focus group, or better yet, broadly poll or test your messaging.