How to Get Your Broadcast Emails Read
“And how do we convince them of that?” Lucy asked.
“Employing the Four U’s principle—a time-tested formula for writing effective headlines—can help,” Marka answered, as she grabbed a piece of coal and started scribbling on the whiteboard in Lucy’s office.
The Four U’s formula for effective headline writing:
- Useful: Is the promised message valuable to the reader?
- Ultra-specific: Does the reader know what’s being promised?
- Unique: Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?
- Urgent: Does the reader feel the need to read the full message now?
“Subject lines that employ the Four U’s are more likely to get your emails read,” Marka explained. “This proven headline writing technique is practically as old as Prometheus. But there’s a reason we still talk about it—it works!”
“Let’s rewrite your old headline using the Four U’s,” Marka said. “Now, the ZX10 is actually an impressive new product of ours. It’s about 20 percent more fuel-efficient than any competing torch. Try turning that feature into a compelling benefit, then craft the subject line around it.”
Lucy grabbed a piece of coal and scribbled a bit on the whiteboard. Finally, after a few minutes, she showed Marka her headline:
Mid-Winter Special: Save 12 Percent on Your Next Heating Bill with FEI’s New ZX10 Torches
“Not bad!” Marka enthused, pleased with her protégé’s quick progress. “Let’s determine how this subject line ranks on each of the Four U’s. First, is the message useful? Yes—few things are more useful to our prospects than something that can save them money. Ultra-specific? Yes. ‘Save 12 Percent on Your Next Heating Bill’ tells readers exactly what’s being promised and why they should read on.
“How about unique?” Marka continued. “Yes again—few single products can potentially save a business that much money. Urgent? Yep. Phrases like “new,” “next” and “special” (as a noun) instill urgency in the reader.”