Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
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August 21, 2012
How to Get Your Emails Opened and Read
The interview was amazing and wide-ranging, but I want to share one specific piece of marketing advice that Joe offered during our conversation.
Putting a question in the subject line of your email can be a great way to create a “hypnotic” message that compels people to open and read it.
But not any question will do!
The key, Joe says, is to ask a question that can’t be answered unless you dig deeper to find out more. For instance, here are two examples of weak email subject lines:
Would you like to buy my new album?
What’s your favorite love song?
The problem with these questions is that the recipient can answer them and resolve the issue without any further action on their part. It offers no compelling reason to open the email.
However, here is an example of a more powerful, “hypnotic” email subject line question:
Which one of these three beautiful women inspired my latest love song?
A question like that creates a mental state of dissonance. It’s an incomplete thought. And for many people, unresolved ideas compel them to take action to uncover the answer and complete the thought before they move on.
Here’s another example:
Have you ever made THIS big mistake on the dance floor?
See the beauty in a question like this?
It’s similar to when you can’t think of a person’s name that you should know. It often drives you crazy and you can’t concentrate on anything else until you resolve the issue by remembering the name.
Don’t let your parents watch this new music video
You could also use the word kids, boss or lover in place of parents and get the same effect, depending on your audience and subject matter.
The point is that the statement creates curiosity and an incomplete idea that begs for a resolution. So start thinking about how you can use hypnotic questions to increase your email open rate.
Important: If you're going to use tactics like this to inspire action, you should put a priority on delivering an interesting message inside the email. If you mislead people or simply don't offer a story that's funny or compelling in some way ... they may not trust you the next time you use a strategy like this.
Also, you wouldn’t want to use questions and statements like these with every email you send. Just sprinkle them in here and there when you have really important info to get out.
What do you think of this email subject line approach? What have you done to get fans to open more of your emails? I welcome your comments.
P.S. You can hear part of my interview with Joe on my Artist Empowerment Radio podcast here. The entire thing is part of this massive audio collection. Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.
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What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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