Talk About A Bad Subject Line

I’m sure you know how important it is to make your email subject lines stand out, especially considering that some journalists receive up to 800 emails a day - yes, 800! But the following subject line is not a good way to attract attention:

*********************************************[Company competition winner] Found! SHE’s one in a million!******************************************************

The journalist who forwarded this to me simply said “talk about a bad headline”. Yes, indeed, let’s talk about it.

Firstly, putting your name in stars doesn’t automatically deserve royal treatment from the media.

Secondly, who cares? I know that sounds awfully harsh and cold. It’s not that no-one cares about the winner, it’s that no-one knows the winner (except those people that do, of course). Journalists are looking for stories that can add value to their readers and give them something of interest or something newsworthy. Yet another competition winner is simply not newsworthy.

There are other angles that this company could’ve taken though. Considering that this press release was sent to a marketing journalist, they could’ve looked at the successful elements in the promotion of the competition. What created the biggest response, what made the competition stand out, why is this important to other marketers?

There are always various angles to any story. The trick is to match a relevant angle to the right audience. If you can get that right, the journalist will be happy to look at your content, with no stars and funny formatting needed.

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