Writing Successful Subject Lines

Thirty seconds on the clock, can you grab your reader’s attention? There’s a lot of competition out there. Inboxes are flooded daily with the latest sales, coupons, upcoming events, many of which will get deleted before they are ever opened. With so much competition, you don’t have much time to grab your reader’s attention as they filter through their inbox.

The best subject lines are short, simple and informative. Here is some advice to help you write more effective subject lines.

  • To lower your chances of triggering spam filters, avoid using sales phrases and the word “free.” In addition, using flowery words and punctuation will make your email more likely to be picked up as spam. A study from MailChimp went one step further and identified three words that may not necessarily trigger spam but negatively impact open rates. These words are: help, percent off and reminder.
  • Instead of trying to be flashy, be direct. Tell your readers exactly what they will find inside and make sure the message is directed at the target audience.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Don’t exceed more than 50 characters. MailChimp found that the most successful subject lines were between 28-39 characters.
  • Don’t stick to the same subject line. Change them up and keep them fresh in the effort to maintain readership.

What advice do you have for writing successful subject lines?

 

A Simple Lasagna Dinner

Do you enjoy a good Italian dish? Try this simple recipe for a hearty Spinach Lasagna with Walnut Pesto.

Lasagna Ingredients:

  • A little olive oil for the pan
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach, washed
  • 2 pounds nonfat ricotta cheese or nonfat cottage cheese
  • Walnut Pesto (recipe follows)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup minced walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar low-sugar tomato sauce (or your favorite sauce or even better, homemade with your own tomatoes!)
  • 16 fresh, uncooked green (spinach) lasagna noodles or, if using dried, no-boil noodles
  • 1/2 pound low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated

Walnut Pesto Ingredients:

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. If using fresh spinach, chop it fine. If using frozen, chopped spinach, make sure it is thoroughly defrosted and squeeze out all of the excess water.
  2. Place the ricotta or cottage cheese in a large bowl. Stir in the spinach, pesto, garlic, salt, pepper, half the Parmesan, and the walnuts. Mix well. Spread half the tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of uncooked noodles over the sauce. Spoon about 1/3 of the ricotta or cottage filling in dabs over the noodles (you can spread it a little, but not too much) and sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated mozzarella. Follow with another layer of sauce, then noodles, followed by another 1/3 of the filling, and another 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat one more time, and then finish up with a final layer of noodles. You will have some Parmesan left over.
  3. If you are using fresh noodles, bake uncovered. If you are using dried noodles, cover the pan tightly with foil.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes, uncovering the pan (if applicable) during the last 15 minutes, during which time you can sprinkle on the reserved Parmesan. (In the case of the uncovered pan, if the top of the lasagna becomes as brown as you like it before the full baking time is up, cover loosely with foil and continue baking, so it wont get too dark.) Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Walnut Pesto: Place the basil leaves and garlic in a food processor or blender, and mix well.
  6. Add the walnuts and continue to blend until the walnuts are finely ground.
  7. Keep the machine running as you drizzle in the olive oil. When you have a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. If you are not going to use the pesto right away, place in a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Smooth out the top surface of the pesto and pour on enough olive oil to cover it completely. This creates an air-proof seal that helps preserve it well. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator.

 

This recipe makes 8 servings.

2014 Social Media Predictions

As social media continues to evolve and new social networking tools keep on rolling out in the marketplace, it’s interesting to think about how these platforms will impact marketing and advertising in the months ahead. A recent article in Forbes predicts which social media marketing trends will take over in 2014. One prediction featured in the article is that social media will no longer be a luxury; rather it will become a necessity for companies to invest in social networking platforms. We agree. Social media has become an integral part of our content strategy and we are seeing an increase in companies taking social media more seriously.

Here are our predictions for 2014:

  • Photo and video messaging will become more prominent. In today’s society we are constantly on the go and checking our mobile phones and tablets for updates on our social media channels. Therefore, short messages and visuals are essential to captivate today’s consumers.  With the launch of Vine and Instagram video earlier this year, we’re seeing more and more of these short, visual marketing messages take shape.
  • Pinterest will see growth in the business world and start to lose the stereotype of a site primarily for woman. We’re seeing Pinterest start to take steps in a new direction already with the recent announcement that the company will begin testing promoted pins.
  • LinkedIn will continue to gain momentum among B2B professionals. Company pages, networking groups and the new influencers program continue to boost the popularity of LinkedIn among professionals looking for new job opportunities or looking to gain insight into a particular industry.
  • More and more people are now joining Google+  and that trend shows no sign of slowing down.
  • Twitter will remain popular for B2B marketing.
  • Facebook will continue to lead the way in social networking however it will be interesting to see what innovations the company has in store for 2014.

Does your company have a social media strategy in place?