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20 Ways to Kick-off a Winning One-Off Email (and What Not to Say)

Coming up with innovative, fun, fresh ideas for tired old email subject lines can get increasingly harder over time in email campaigns. Yet with one-off emails, capturing the specific meaning behind your email in just a few choice words in the headline can seem like a near impossible task. That’s why we’re here to give you guidance on how to steer clear of common one-off email pitfalls, and phrases not to use to inspire a bit of variety and creativity in your emails.

how to kick off email

Getting Started

It may come as no surprise that one third of all emails sent start with a variation of ‘I hope you’re well’. The line grows even more meaningless with every use of the phrase, recipients have learned that the nicety that you’ve thrown into the subject line often doesn’t reflect the content or real point behind the email. The majority of your subscribers will thank you for cutting to the point to your sales pitch or point of your communication, in short, you can’t afford to waste a single line.

We’ve created a list of ‘I hope you’re doing well’ alternatives. They may sound similar, however these phrases allow you to appeal to your subscriber’s personalities, needs and pain points. When contemplating subject lines and key phrases consider how familiar your subscribers are for you and how formal or informal your industry is. For example, if you are creating email marketing content for a medical or financial industry, play it safe with subject lines that are going to incite trust instead of humour. However, that’s not to say you can’t create lines that are personal and professional at the same time.

Top Tips

If possible, use data derived from your audience’s social media accounts or consumer habits, this may include events they are hoping to attend, events that they have attended, or even a TV show they have recently tweeted about.

If you have a more cultural niche, you can always inject some humour and genre specific wit into your email campaigns with a clever use of a song lyric, or even a highly relatable pun or hashtag.

If you’re looking to appeal to a more professional audience, remember, it’s not rude to keep things short and sweet, lines such as “Let’s cut to the chase…” will often appeal to more assertive customers.

In earlier articles we’ve covered how best to sell your products based on your consumers personality. Whilst some of your consumers will be driven by data, others will be drawn to compliments and emails that trigger emotions such as trust. It is crucial for you to understand this about your audience before creating the ultimate key phrases that will work with your subscribers. Also consider how long it has been seen your last communication with your subscribers, if it’s been a while, create a line or question that re-initiates the conversation. Questions as subject lines are mostly hypothetical, however that’s not to say they’re not effective in provoking a response. If you ask questions related specifically to your audience’s wellbeing or business, this will prove that as a brand you’re vested in providing quality solutions to their pain points or problems.

The best alternative key phrases and lines are often highly personalised, you can go much further beyond including your subscribers name in the headline. Needless to say, not every single one of the ideas below will work for every single one of your clients/leads.

Some are more formal, some less so; some jokey, some not; but that’s the point! The idea is to give your messages personality and variety, so that you can get through to a client who might otherwise not give your email the time of day. Others are suitable really if you’ve already established that you can be friendly with a client/lead. So pick your favourites from the list below, and happy emailing!

20 Best Alternative Key Phrases and Lines

5 Phrases to Avoid

By sticking to the old favourites, you’re proving to your audience that your efforts aren’t really vested in your communication with them. To make a great impression with a one-off email, or to establish a relationship with clients or subscribers, marketing moguls advise that these 5 key phrases aren’t to be used under any circumstances.

Sending exciting, highly personalised emails to your leads, clients or subscribers is a great way of getting a competitive edge. Give your audience something to look forward to when they open your emails, rather than leaving them unread. Inject your brand personality into each email, but more importantly, keep it relevant and you can’t go wrong.