Impactful Subject Lines Pt 3 – Repurpose The Value

All of your emails contain value for your recipients; whether it is in the form of ideas, content or networking opportunities. Indeed, if they do not add value, you shouldn’t be sending them. But how can we better convey this value, in the tiny space of a subject line? It starts with changing your mind-set!

“Don’t sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do.”

The above quote, when generalized, translates as we shouldn’t sell a product, but we should sell what it can do for its users. Facebook’s famous tagline is simply “connecting people,” aptly describing what it does for its users, as opposed to “an online platform which connects people in order to sell advertising” which more accurately describes what it does as a business. Although your email is not a product which you are selling, it is still of value to the recipient, and the subject line is a great opportunity to better purpose, convey and amplify that value.


Our subject line, now glossed using front-loading and action verbs looks like this:

“Upcoming event, 22nd of January, London – Secure your tickets for ‘Tax Law in 2014’ ”

Have we leveraged the value to our recipients? Whilst securing tickets may be what they actually do through the email, is that really a true reflection of the value they will gain? No. The value lies in the people they may meet at the event, the ideas they will hear at talks or the knowledge they will gain from workshops.


With this in mind, you may review the subject line yet again:

“Upcoming event, 22nd of January, London – Connect with your peers at ‘Tax Law in 2014’ ”

“Upcoming event, 22nd of January, London – Refresh your knowledge at ‘Tax Law in 2014’ ”

The above examples reflect greater value to the recipient, in terms of network and knowledge (something the recipient values) rather than a ticket (something we, the sender, value). This method of repurposing the subject line amplifies the true value of your communications to your clients, increasing value with no additional increase in resources.


Like all adjustments made to you campaigns, you can test their effectiveness for your clients using A/B testing. For example, you may find that your clients respond better to networking opportunities than they do to content-focused campaigns. You can then plan future communications around these inferred preferences.

A Recap

This powerful technique ends a 3 part series that has focused on simple, easily implemented methods to refine your subject line. To recap:


1. Front loading critical information at the beginning of the subject line to reduce recipient frustration.


2. Use action words to better engage you recipient.


3. Repurpose your subject line to reflect the true value of the email


In combination, these techniques can vastly improve your subject line and when coupled with great email content prove a potent mix in driving better results, inviting further engagement and adding greater value to your client relationships.