“Don’t Talk to Squirrels…or Hotdogs”

If you recognized the line when our email hit your inbox, then you might be a listener of the popular How I Built This podcast from NPR.

If our opening lines have you scratching your head, believe it or not, that’s good!

If you’re still confused, we really do have a point. And if you’ve kept reading this far—it worked. Well, the subject line to the email did, that is. Curiosity got the cat, as they say, and you found yourself opening the email. And now you’re reading this blog. Success? Actually, yes.

That was the point of a recent How I Built This podcast episode.

The guest on the show that day is an email marketing expert. He was taken aback one evening when out of the blue his daughter advised that he not speak to squirrels or hotdogs. He then realized that would be an amazing subject line, or attention grabber, for an upcoming email.

Email subject lines are the life or death of your email campaigns. Email is critical to your brand and marketing success. But it’s only a worthy investment if your email recipients OPEN the email you sent them. Open Rates are the gold standard in email marketing. And email marketing has a proven ROI.

So what do your emails look like these days? Do you have a well-thought-out email strategy that brings the proper attention to your brand, product, or business? If so, how is it going? 

For one thing, not everyone is following your LinkedIn, or your Instagram, or your Twitter, or wherever you may be posting. But EVERYONE is checking their email—multiple times daily!  They may not be on social media, but your target audience, one and all, utilizes email. 

Each time you send one out, all of the wonderful information you placed in that email either gets ignored, or it gets viewed and reviewed. And if you can’t get your readers to OPEN the email, then you might as well look for another avenue to share your important message. 

Yes. It’s true. So, how are your emails doing? Are your readers opening them? And if so, what is your open rate? If you feel it’s a bit low, just know, it can be in the 30 percentile and above, and it should be. But that’s for another conversation. First things first. Step back, take a look at your previous email sends, note the ones with the highest open rates, and check out those subject lines versus the lower open rate sends. You might start to see a trend.

Remember: When your email arrives at the inbox of your intended recipient, it either sits there…or it gets opened. There’s no in-between. 

Next time you plan that email campaign, be sure you or your team are committed to spending time finding the best subject line for you. You probably won’t do something as crazy as we did. And you shouldn’t. (Though as entertainer Tony Bennett  says, “Make them laugh and they’ll put money in your hands.”) You want to be true to your brand, and most importantly, appropriate to the message in the body of your email.

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your email strategy and making it more effective, we’d be happy to do a phone or zoom chat with you and go over some questions with you. You never know, you might walk away with that perfect tip that will take your emails to the next level….and beyond.

Or, if anything, we may have simply encouraged you to serve hot dogs at your upcoming July 4 celebration or to flash a smile at that squirrel in your yard. And if you do choose to talk to either one of them? Well, we’ll just leave that between you, the hot dog, and the squirrels.

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