Use Headlines in Your E-Mail Marketing Messages - dummies

Use Headlines in Your E-Mail Marketing Messages

By John Arnold

Without a doubt, headlines are the most important text in your marketing e-mails. Headlines are what your audience scans to determine whether your content is relevant and valuable enough to read.

Headlines are useful in many places within your e-mails:

  • Titles and main headlines: Titles summarize multiple groups of content with multiple themes. Use titles to describe the main idea of your entire e-mail and describe the immediate benefits of reading your e-mail, your main reason for sending it, or the main action or response you’re looking for.

  • Paragraph headlines: Because consumers tend to look for relevant content, use paragraph headlines to summarize the text beneath your headlines keeping the text short but clear.

  • Paragraph subheadings: Use subheadings — lines of text directly below headlines — to add important details to the main headline and to tell your audience which headlines are personally relevant. For example, follow a “Local E-Mail Marketing Seminar” with a “This Hotel, May 22 at 7:00p.m.” subheading.

  • Captions: Images sometimes need a caption to reinforce the message related to the image or to describe its meaning. Captions can also describe images and get the sense of the image across even if the image itself is blocked.

    Place captions under the image if at all possible as that’s where your audience expects to find them.

  • Navigation links: Navigation links that take readers directly to specific text can help your audience skip over irrelevant content and find information quickly when the links are pointed directly to headlines and their related text. You can group e-mail content links as headlines in a table of contents or use them at the end of paragraphs to link interested readers to similar content.

    [Credit: Courtesy of Personal Edge, Intl.]
    Credit: Courtesy of Personal Edge, Intl.
  • Calls to action: Asking your audience to take action usually takes the form of a headline or a linked phrase. Make call-to-action headlines stand alone and use distinct fonts and styles. Sometimes, using links that call for action within the body of a paragraph is appropriate.