A couple weeks ago, my wife sent me a link to a company called Public Rec. We travel a decent amount (or at least we did before COVID-19 upended everyone’s lives) and she knows how much I hate flying in uncomfortable clothes along with my refusal to wear sweatpants in public.
Needless to say, I’ve been looking for some comfortable travel pants that aren’t “urban joggers” for a while (as the only thing worse than sweatpants are hideous urban joggers), so I was pretty pumped that we found this company.
As with most stuff, I didn’t actually purchase, opting to “research” instead. I signed up for their email, which led to me writing this little piece on the importance of subject lines and visible text.
As with most things I find and sign up for, they don’t tend to stay in my brain for a long period of time. In this case, I completely forgot about the name of the company, so when I saw this in my email, I wasn’t sure what the email was even going to be about.
Honestly, when I first saw the email pop up in my inbox, I thought it was from my local rec center, giving me an update on when they’ll be opening again.
The body of the email is actually quite nice:
The layout is solid, the pictures are clean and I absolutely LOVE the content, as it gives some insights into the personality of the company. The problem is the subject line and visible text:
- Subject Line: For Whatever Day It Is
- Visible Text: Our Schedule
These two lines are especially important when your brand is not as well known as say a Nike, Under Armour, or Lululemon. Compare this to an email I got around the same time from another smaller clothing brand called Pepper (they’re a company that sells specialized bras for those not in the know):
- Subject Line: Laundry = “UGH” right now…
- Visible Text: We feel you. And it might be time to add a few extras to that top drawer
Simply put, one has personality and provides a nice tease leading into the email and the other doesn’t. This is further demonstrated by how it looks in the inbox when surrounded by other clothing retailers:
As someone who’s written literally thousands of subject lines and visible text lines, I know how hard it is to come up with eye catching stuff on a regular basis. We always tend to focus on the content of the email and forget about the fact that it is the subject line and visible text that actually gets people to open your email.
If you’re a known brand, it isn’t quite as important, but for a smaller brand, make sure those lines really sing and call out to your customers. Otherwise you’ll likely end up with a missed opportunity, especially when the body content is as rock solid as what came in the aforementioned email.