Subject lines are really important, but what I typically see when freelancers think they’re important is that they end up getting sloppy. We want to nip that in the bud.
What follows is feedback from real-life freelancer subject lines. We are ALL about workshopping and continuing to get better around here!
Go From Vague To Crystal Clear
Subject Line 1: We All Know The Statistic
Feedback: Avoid vague subject lines in your pitches because a company won’t understand how it’s relevant or specifically applicable to them. This is just vague enough that it could seem like spam! Work the company name in, work in who YOU are, and make it short.
Put that statistic, the company name, and how it relates to you in the subject line. Be direct. If in your case what you’re getting at is that women buy lipstick regardless of the economy, how can you help them live into that statistic? You’ve got to relate it back to the company, sales, AND what you do.
And truthfully, you don’t even have to worry about fitting that statistic in the subject line. You could literally put it in the intro and use it as a playful intro. Pare down the subject line to what you can do for them!
Subject Line 2: Visual Artist SUPERSTAR With A GREAT Golf Game
Feedback: Since you’re pitching golf courses, punch this up and work in the course’s actual name. Visual artist is also vague. Be specific with businesses about what that visual art IS. In your subject lines, anytime you see a word that you can swap out for something even more specific, DO IT.
Since you’re a photographer, work that in. This is a great subject line, it just needs more specificity. Share a little bit more about what you’re offering, tie in that golf angle with the company name, and you’ll nail it!
Shorten It Up
Subject Line 3: Rockstar Writer + Adventurer Ready To Create Kick Ass Travel-Inspired Content For (Company Name)
Feedback: I REALLY like this, but it’s a mouthful! You just need to pare down the adjectives. Fit it onto a line. I love that you have that you’re a rockstar writer. Depending on who you’re pitching, can you get more specific? If you’re pitching blogging, can you say rockstar blogger?
Anytime you can pare it down where it’s even more specific, you’ll get better results. Rework it to get as much as you can on that subject line – without all the adjectives! – so they can get the full punch when they read that subject line.
Declare Your Love!
Subject Line 4: Financial Badass in Love with Valley!
Feedback: I want you to move away from “badass” – we are SO MUCH BIGGER than badass! I love the “in love” stuff because it definitely works. I’ve made a lot of money using similar lines. But get more specific. Financial what that can create what for who? You save people a shit ton of money. Why not call to that? Get specific about what you can do. Can you save them 20%? Especially because you’re good at whittling down those numbers, that’s what I want you to do.
Punch Up Your Language
Subject Line 5: New Web Strategy Idea for (Company Name) – Handcrafted Audit Included
Feedback: New Web Strategy Idea – where can we pepper that up a little? What’s a stronger word than “new?” How about “exclusive?” Ditch “idea.” Exclusive Strategy for (Company Name). How can we tighten up “handcrafted audit included” or just nix it all together?
How can we bump up “web strategy?” Think about the value of what you offer. What’s the result? It should still MEAN “web strategy,” just have it be whatever you do that’s one notch UP from web strategy. Instead of saying the feature, use the benefit!
Subject Line 6: Captivating Copywriter + (Company Name) = Brand Magic!
Feedback: Love that you’ve worked in the company’s name. If you’ve been using this subject line for a while, don’t keep relying on it. What’s something that’s stronger than “brand magic?” Money. Money is stronger than brand magic. “Captivating copywriter” is cute and I like the alliteration, but what this subject line needs is more of what you can do for them. Let’s leave “captivating copywriter” because I like that you introduced yourself. I also like the + / =.
But how can we make “brand magic” brand MULA? Play with swapping out what’s on the other side of that equals sign with something that speaks directly to their ROI. This will also help you nail down the value of copywriting itself!
Don’t Make Promises About Results
Subject Line 7: Digital Media Specialist Bringing HUGE Results to (Company Name)
Feedback: How can you say that you add to their bottom line without promising huge results? You’re capturing more of their audience? Turning digital heads? Something about ROI? Keep ROI at the front end for sure, but don’t promise huge results. When you start promising huge results, people get suspicious. Tell them whatever your specific superpower is. You could say something about engagement. Engagement is a HUGE thing to mention. Keep playing with it!
To wrap up, just when you guys think your subject line is punched up, it usually takes ONE MORE TIME to punch it ALL the way up.
Be specific, focus on THEM and what you can DO for them, pare it down, punch it up, and HAVE FUN!
This takes time and practice, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re still learning the craft. Loosen up your writing style and get GOOD at these. As long as you’re on topic and speaking to someone’s bottom line, be playful! It makes a big difference!
Remember that people buy YOU before they buy your service! Come join us over in the Academy to learn WAY more. We’ll get you so good at crafting killer subject lines you’ll be doing it in your sleep!