The 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2015 are here. Unless they’re really the 101 best email subject lines of 2014 or the best email subject lines of all time.
Or, of course, unless they’re crap.
Having fun yet?
The folks at Digital Marketer helpfully dropped this post on the world just before going away for their holiday break. Its raison d’etre lies somewhere in between serving Digital Marketer’s purposes as click-bait and serving readers as potentially useful content. And that dichotomy is fine.
Problem is, the TITLE of the piece claims that it’s about “the best email subject lines of 2015” and the NAME of the page says something very different. So: don’t you believe Digital Marketer’s purposes are more geared toward serving their purposes and far less yours?
Of course, had we not pointed out this anomaly you probably wouldn’t have noticed it. But that’s the point of marketing; you want your message to be noticed and passed around, not thought about.
The Best Email Subject Lines
Self-serving title notwithstanding, the piece at Digital Marketer has some pretty decent advice in it, and it has to do with getting people’s attention. Individual techniques like search engine optimization aside, you need to keep things like email open rate in mind. In round numbers, if you send out an email and fifteen percent of the recipients open it, that’s considered successful. So when a company sends out 134 million emails and their most successful campaign generates an 18.71% open rate, there are important lessons to be learned.
Are those lessons about titles? Are we concerned about the best email subject lines, best web page subject lines, and best web page titles? Well, yes. But that idea is simple and the real question is what happens beyond simple things like titles.
While getting people to take a look at your content is hugely important, that content needs to serve a real purpose beyond merely attracting people. Google started saying this years ago and it’s the reason we no longer sell SEO as a stand-alone service. Content needs to be useful to readers or ultimately it will fail.
Sounds complicated? It is. So if you give this a bit of thought and conclude that the place you need to start really is with a click-baity title on your emails and web pages, that’s fine. But if you stop there, bad things will happen.
And please, if you’re teasing the best email subject lines of one year and pointing at the best email subject lines from another, play a bit closer attention.