100 Inspiring Subject LinesSupport for special characters is good enough that they’ve become common in subject lines over the past 24 months or so, opening up many new creative opportunities. Our 100 Inspiring Subject Lines includes some great examples of ones that use special characters:

Subject Line #69
Avaaz.org, 12/10/12 — They want to ██████ the Internet
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #70
Neiman Marcus, 11/12/12 — ❼ shoes for a well-rounded wardrobe
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #82
Jeep, 9/5/13 — ●|||||||● Your Jeep newsletter is here.
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #90
Vera Bradley, 7/1/13 — Summer checklist: ✓ Sarong ✓Beach Towel…
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #91
Delta Air Lines, 4/1/13 — ❶ Register. ❷ Spend $50 dining. ❸ Earn 150 miles.
[Click to Tweet]

For a discussion of each of these subject lines…

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsEngagement is critical to email marketing success. It’s so important that when our regularly scheduled broadcast emails fail to engage, we launch reengagement campaigns to reactivate inactive subscribers or those in risk of becoming inactive. That’s smart because reengagement efforts improve deliverability and extend the time that subscribers are on your list, boosting their subscriber lifetime value.

However, as much time as you invest in reengagement, you should be investing even more in “super-engagement”—messaging tactics that further engage subscribers who are already highly engaged.

Super-engagement is…

>> Read my entire Email Insider column on MediaPost.com

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsIt was seven years ago this month that I started regularly writing for MediaPost’s Email Insider blog. My column tomorrow will be my 149th and I’m particularly excited about the concept I discuss in it, so I hope you’ll check it out. But I wanted to take this opportunity to share five other columns that I’m particularly proud of:

Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Gmail Subscribers To Re-Tab Your Emails (Aug. 13, 2013)
Our industry is very dynamic and lately Gmail has been giving marketers fits. But in this column I urge calm in the wake of the launch of Gmail Tabs, which ultimately turned out to be a plus for marketers with good permission practices and processes in place to ensure that they send relevant email.

Leap Ahead: Email Marketing in 2016 (Feb. 28, 2012)
Speaking of the dynamic nature of our industry, in this column I imagine what things will look like in a few years—and obviously had a bit of fun in doing so. With two years having passed since I wrote it, a number of these changes are well on their way to becoming reality—while perhaps a couple of them will take a bit longer than expected to come to pass.

‘Best Practices’ Are Dead (Nov. 9, 2010)
This column was the genesis of my book, Email Marketing Rules, which breaks down email marketing into 108 best practices, 10 of which I deem “Imperatives” and the rest “Guidelines” that should be your default. I wouldn’t be surprised if my next book starts as an Email Insider column as well.

Once Again, I Double-Dog Dare You! (May 20, 2013)
I’m a huge fan of email testing as a path to more relevant emails and this column is actually the third where I challenge marketers two try some more adventurous tests. The second and first ones were I Double-Dog Dare You! (Apr. 13, 2010) and Why Aren’t We More Daring? (Sept. 18, 2008).

When Subscribers Use SWYN, You Win (Oct. 30, 2008)
In this column I coined the term “share with your network,” or SWYN, which awesomely is now a common phrase, with more than 2 million hits on Google. I was an early advocate of the social sharing of email content and continue to be a strong supporter.

Thanks to MediaPost for making me an Email Insider and for putting me in the company of so many of the email marketing industry’s greatest minds.

First there was the Email Swipe File. Then the Audience Growth Swipe File. And now there’s the Social Swipe File.

On our latest Pinterest pinboard, you’ll find examples of the hottest social campaigns, as well as under-the-radar gems, from across the social media spectrum—from Facebook to Twitter, and Instagram to Vine. We already have nearly 60 examples live and we’ll be pinning dozens more in the next few weeks alone.

>> Get Inspired

View the Social Swipe File

The Design ToolkitEmail design is like nothing else. To ensure that you have a solid design foundation, we’ve created the Design Toolkit, a 3-part report will help you create email that…

Look good. In Email Design Basics, I give you a crash course in the essentials.

Work well. Get a general guide to writing HTML for emails in Email Coding Fundamentals.

Get results. Data for Designers shares exactly how to take a strategic, data-based approach to the way you design.

>> Download the Design Toolkit

100 Inspiring Subject Lines has some fantastic examples of various subject line strategies, from newsjacking to puns, and personalization to special characters. However, for me there were four that really stood out as the best of the best. I share them in this short video:

So those are the ones at the top of my list of my personal favorites, but I’d love to know which ones you thought were the best. View the collection and use the “Click to Tweet” link to let us know which ones are your favorites. We’ll tally those up and share them in a future post.

100 Inspiring Subject LinesWhile first-name personalization of subject lines can still be effective when used prudently, it has become clear that subject line personalization has moved beyond first names. At this point, knowing a subscriber’s name is just not very impressive, and not a convincing indicator that the content of the email is personalized and targeted.

Subject line personalization needs to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the subscriber. Our 100 Inspiring Subject Lines includes some great examples of subject line personalization taken to the next level:

Subject Line #50
LinkedIn, 1/13/11: Chad, 118 of your connections changed jobs in 2010.
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #51
FetchDog, 8/9/11: Add more fun to your walks with Suki
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #86
Kiva, 10/10/13: $62.14
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #87
Moosejaw, 12/6/13: You have $37.90 in Moosejaw Rewards Points Waiting to be Spent
[Click to Tweet]

For a discussion of each of these subject lines…

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

100 Inspiring Subject LinesThe practice of leveraging the popularity of a news story, event or cultural phenomena to promote yourself or your company, newsjacking is one of many ways to boost the relevance of your emails. Our 100 Inspiring Subject Lines includes some great examples of newsjacking in action:

Subject Line #21
Bluefly, 10/23/08 — Rock the Coat
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #24
AbeBooks, 8/8/08 — Crisis at the Olympics
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #30
AbeBooks, 1/19/09 — Join the Barack Obama Book Club
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #35
GameStop, 3/9/10 — We know when Tiger is coming back.
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #93
Moosejaw, 1/7/13 — It worked for Obama…
[Click to Tweet]

For a discussion of each of these subject lines…

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

Get Email Marketing Rules on Amazon.comWow! It was just last year on Mar. 4 that Email Marketing Rules hit book shelves. What a year it’s been!

First, my most sincere thanks go out to the thousands of you that picked up a copy. I hope it’s helping you improve your email marketing programs.

I’d also like to thank the following folks for their continued support:

  • Jay Baer, who wrote a fantastic foreword;
  • Don Davis, Aaron Oppliger, Simms Jenkins, Jeff Rohrs, Loren McDonald, Andrew Bonar, and Anna Yeaman for their kind testimonials in support of the book; and last but not least
  • ExactTarget and salesforce.com for their generous support.

If you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, I hope you’ll consider it. Remember that there are 6 Ways to Get Email Marketing Rules, ranging from discounted to free.

Thanks again, everyone!

The Last Word on February 2014

The Last WordA roundup of articles, posts, tweets and emails you might have missed last month…

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Email Blows Social Media Out the Door — Any More Questions? (ClickZ)

Content Considerations For Your Automated Email Program (MediaPost)

11 A/B Split Testing Mistakes I See Businesses Make All The Time (Conversion XL)

ISPs speak at M3AAWG (Word to the Wise)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@brianclark: Successful people see an example and think “How can I do that my way?” Others say “That’s different because of x, y, and z, so I can’t.”

@delivery_kitty: Dear companies sending data breach notifications: please let an email expert help you authenticate your email so it doesn’t look fake/forged

@iamelliot: Roses are red, Violets are blue, images are disabled, sucks to be you. #emaildesign

@Dries: OH: “I want to make a font joke, but I’m just not bold enough.”

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

Levi’s subscriber anniversary email sent in 1/2014 >> View the pin

Applebee’s responsive social crowdsourcing email sent on 1/21/14 >> View the pin

Best Buy trending gifts email sent on 12/18/13 >> View the pin

Urban Outfitters emails sent in 11/2013 >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Democrats, 2/28 — Please do not give us $1 million
Lands’ End, 2/24 — #Friends #Family 25% off!
Earth Day Network, 2/6 — #EnvirossupportCVS‏
Carnival Cruise Lines, 2/21 — The clock is ticking… the #nowisthetime sale ends today!
J.Crew, 2/9 — Ignore the weatherman: 25% off select spring styles
Pier 1 Imports, 2/24 — Shop now and thank us later–there really will be a summer this year
Gap, 2/22 — Growth spurt? Start stocking up…
Ann Taylor, 2/22 — Your Legs Will Love This…
Sephora, 2/22 — Our 5 top layering tips
Furniture.com, 2/23 — Struggling with a super small dining space?
OnlineShoes.com, 2/21 — Hard to fit feet? Try us on for size.
Threadless, 2/20 — “I like knives.” – our newest MADE artist. Who could it be?
Gucci, 2/20 — On the Runway: Video and photos from our Women’s F/W ’14-15 fashion show‏
Vera Bradley, 2/16 — Open and scroll… Keep scrolling… Keep scrolling…
Horchow, 2/21 — 25% off + free shipping: Lighting Event starts NOW! Plus join the fun on Facebook!
ThinkGeek, 2/11 — ThinkGeek’s new bag comes with leather armor and +1 CHA bonus‏
Crate & Barrel, 2/9 — Good morning. Breakfast is served.
J.Crew, 2/16 — Toothpick, boyfriend, matchstick…
Lego, 2/ — Recreate your favorite scenes from THE LEGO® MOVIE™!
Walmart, 2/21 — Tax Refund ONLINE SPECIALS are here
Threadless, 2/17 — Direct orders from the president: save 30% now!
Walmart, 2/14 — Watch the Winter Games — save on TVs, tablets, recliners & more
Lenovo, 2/22 — Ask us about our gold medalist
Sephora, 2/18 — The medal goes to…
Anthropologie, 2/3 — Just in: BHLDN’s customizable bridesmaid dress.
Ninety Nine Restaurants, 2/15 — It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Ninety Nine!
Michaels, 2/14 — Will You Be Our Valentine? □Yes □No □Maybe‏
Uncommon Goods, 2/14 — Tired of Cupid?
Toys “R” Us, 2/3 — 3 Days to Save on Toys for Your Little Valentine! Online Only
Michael’s, 2/4 — Deals to Help You Put the “Best” in BFF
Honda, 2/3 — Honda News – Bruce Willis knows hugs. We know safety.
Walgreens, 2/1 — Game Day! Are you ready? We have your last-minute snacks!
Discovery Store, 2/2 — Watch Puppy Bowl + Get 20% Off!
The Container Store, 2/2 — Groundhog predicts: A LONG WINTER‏
Lenovo, 2/4 — What does the groundhog say?

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