“You Are Not Alone”
In two and a half years of sending all kinds of emails to all kinds of lists, the simple phrase “You Are Not Alone” is the most-opened subject line I’ve ever seen — by far.
Because Aweber counts each email that’s been opened, even if they’re from the same user, that single subject line has had an average open rate of 90%, and has surpassed the 100% mark several times.
The results are always the same.
I don’t want to be alone is a compelling, universally recognized statement.
The need to belong, to know that others are going through the same life experiences, is primal.
Sure, there are plenty of ways to appeal to our primitive human needs in an email subject line, but many can (and will) send your message directly to the spam folder.
Let me show you how to avoid that …
Let your reader know someone is on their side
No matter what message you’re sending or service you’re selling, if you remind your reader that someone understands what they are going through and cares about helping them, you will become their temporary hero.
Do it repeatedly, and you will permanently solidify that position.
Use this subject line to get your email opened, but treat the open as just the first step. Once you capture your reader’s attention, prove that you deserved it by providing a useful solution to their most pressing problem.
Even the most effective subject line in the world merely gets you in the door. Your job is to address the issues.
Your subject line is an invitation to dinner; you still have to cook the main course.
Not only does the “You Are Not Alone” subject line get opened like crazy, it has an extremely high reply rate. This isn’t too surprising since it responds directly to the need for community and connection.
Make sure you reply back. It’s amazing how directly responding to the needs of your reader makes it A-B-C easy to nurture rewarding relationships.
Help people solve their problems and relieve them of their feelings of isolation, and they will reward you.
Figuring out what kind of reassurance your audience needs
The “You Are Not Alone” subject line works because it connects to an elemental human need — and the good news is, the well of human need is bottomless.
Respond to a single need or to more, but you must provide what people truly desire if you expect to reach the root of who they are.
Discover this and everything else becomes easy; growing your list, nurturing your relationships, and, ultimately, closing the deal.
You could read Robert Cialdini’s book Influence for easily accessible insight into what makes us all tick, but believe it or not, it’s easier than that.
To discover the core desires of your audience — think about what keeps you up at night.
What makes you worried, happy, sad, disgusted, afraid, surprised, or alone?
If you’re a part of your market, what’s true for you is likely true for them. Figure out what it is and you’ll be jingling the keys to the kingdom.
Bonus tip — negativity sells
People will always work harder to keep something they have rather than try to gain something that they want — even if they desperately want it.
Negative headlines and copy alert your audience to a potentially serious problem — which you can then address and solve. By helping people keep something important to them, you’ve also gained trust.
Be helpful, solve a problem, take a worry and turn it into a smile. You’ll get your email opened, make a friend, and nurture a relationship that will pay dividends for a long time to come.
Even better, you (and your business) will never be alone again.
About the Author: Sean Platt helps good writers make a great living. Get his free report, The 9 Mistakes Most Writers Make That Are Keeping Them Poor. Follow him on Twitter.