Email “FROM” Lines vs. “SUBJECT” Lines

email-boxI’ve surveyed thousands of my students about my findings in this post, so please read it carefully.

Here’s the heart of the matter: Whenever you send an email message to your list, to your friends or colleagues, they privately ask themselves these 2 critical questions before taking further action:

1)  WHO is this email from?

2)  WHAT is this email about?

Test this premise with yourself.  The next time you’re about to open-up and read email messages from your Inbox, what question(s) do you privately ask yourself before grabbing your mouse, clicking and reading them?

If you’re like most people I’ve surveyed, the answers are: WHO? and WHAT?

The WHO Question: Answering the WHO? question is easy because it involves the FROM LINE of your email messages.  I recommend that your FROM LINE never changes.  Here’s what mine looks like:

~ Alex Mandossian ~

Specifically, I put a tilda (“~”), then a space, then my first name, then a another space then my last name, then another space, then a second tilda.

That’s it.

I never change my FROM LINE because doing so may create more work for me or my team responding to aggressive spam filtering services like Spam Arrest that often block email communications if you change your FROM LINE.

Key Point: The reason I utilize the tilda (“~”) sign before my name is because it often puts my email message at the top of the daily emails received by my recipients.

Most email programs sort alphabetically and give the “~” a higher alphabetical ranking than even if your name starting with “A” like mine ;-)

The WHAT Question: Answering the WHAT? question is not as easy because it involves writing the SUBJECT LINE messages that will get opened.  Unlike your FROM LINE, it makes sense to change and constantly test your SUBJECT LINE copy until you find the winners.

The SUBJECT LINES that work best for me are brief (7 words or less) and create curiosity.  Here are 7 winners that have good pulling-power:

  1. This ONE is for you…
  2. Your presence is requested…
  3. Have you seen this?
  4. Will you say “YES” to this?
  5. This is about our appointment…
  6. It’s not your fault…
  7. Who’s to blame for this?

I don’t make any claims with my SUBJECT LINE copy because I feel the one and only job of your SUBJECT LINE is to amplify the curiosity in your recipient’s mind so they open, read and click the link in the body of your email message.

The purpose of your email FROM LINE is to motivate and influence your recipients to read your SUBJECT LINE.  The purpose of your SUBJECT LINE is to persuade and inspire your recipients to read the BODY COPY of your emails.

It’s that simple.

What To Do Now: First, I want you to decide on what your FROM LINE will look like for all of your email communications.  Once you make this decision, always keep your FROM LINE the same and never change it.

I recommend utilizing the tildas or asterisks or dashes (~”or * or -) so you get top alpha-numerical priority inside your recipient’s inbox.  Here are a few examples:

* Jane Doe *

~ Jane Doe ~

– Jane Doe –

Second, I want you to become a student of winning SUBJECT LINE copy.  This skill comes from testing.  Keep a swipe file of SUBJECT LINES that elicited your curiosity.  (Again, curiosity is what you want your SUBJECT LINES to elicit).

I gave you a few of my winning SUBJECT LINES in this post and it also makes sense to become a student of what makes good SUBJECT LINES great.

Click here to read David Ward’s seven suggestions.

Click here to get four additional suggestions from Judith Nemes.

If you’ve ever written winning SUBJECT LINE, please share it here in the Reply section of this post.  Your courtesy will be most appreciated.


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