recipe for writing subject lines

I like to cook, so I subscribe to a number of e-newsletters that offer recipes.

And it’s no surprise that the focus this month has been on Thanksgiving. Yes, there’s occasional recognition that we have to eat many meals between now and the holiday, but if this were a football game, the score would be Turkey 45, Everything Else 3.

Not only do these recipes come in handy (especially if you have a large messy family expecting to eat dinner on November 26), they’re also great examples of effective email subject lines. That’s because they:

Offer a solution. The problem is that Thanksgiving is overwhelming and fraught with anxiety. Great subject lines provide help:

  • Easiest Thanksgiving Sides (Martha Stewart Living)
  • Delicious Reasons to Prep Your Turkey the Night Before (Martha Stewart Living)

Surprise you. Even a seasoned cook like me is intrigued by recipes like these:

  • The New Thanksgiving Tradition Everybody’s Talking About (Epicurious)
  • Why You Might Want to Buy A Frozen Turkey (Epicurious)
  • Spicy, Tangy, Grilled Turkey? Yes, Please! (Epicurious)

Are specific. Our in boxes are full of general topics. Specifics cut through the clutter:

Promise to make your life better. Even though recipe subject lines are mostly straightforward, writers find ways to appeal to your emotions (because you don’t just want to survive Thanksgiving, you want to triumph!):

  • Make the Juiciest Turkey Ever (And Win Thanksgiving) (Epicurious)

Ready to start cooking?
 

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