My Favorite Subject Line: August

I’m back again to share my favourite subject line of the month. 

August is my birthday month and during the run-up to, and on my birthday, I receive a great deal of “Happy Birthday” emails accompanied by discount codes. So just a friendly reminder that anniversary automations do work. I can guarantee I’m not the only person who receives these emails and thinks “Well, it is my birthday after all. Plus, there’s a discount code… oh go on then, let’s buy a whole bunch of stuff I don’t’ really need but I’ll buy it all anyway as a gift from me, to me. Yes, happy birthday to ME!”

Anyway, I digress…

This month’s favorite subject line comes courtesy of a brand whose emails I actually typically ignore. True, that might seem harsh to openly admit, but I remain subscribed to them so I’m not totally bashing their email marketing efforts. I choose to stay in the loop just in case, once in a blue moon, they send me an email that speaks to me. 

As a non-frequent buyer from the brand, I was the target of this subject line:

15% off for ghosting us? 😉”


Now isn’t that fun? Let’s dissect it. 

  • They offered the oh-so-popular lure of a discount code- a classic tactic that actually works really well for initiating sales from dormant customers. I’m going to delve a little further though, because there is more than meets the eye to this discount code than simply offering money off to someone who hasn’t purchased in a while.

Some degree of analysis was definitely conducted on my shopping patterns that resulted in, what I feel, is a not-to be-sniffed-at offer enticing me to order from Asos again.

For customers who buy regularly, I probably wouldn’t feel the need to use a discount code lure, especially if it’s evident from the customer’s purchase history that they’d checkout happily without one. So I’m confident that Asos spent time paying attention to their database and learning about which of their customers require some extra attention.

This code won’t have been sent out to everybody, because why offer a discount to those who are going to buy anyway? Instead, they’ve segmented and targeted those who have gone a little quiet with a soft approach to entice them back. It’s a great way to decrease your odds of losing a customer to a competitor, even if it’s a customer that doesn’t purchase often. A sale’s a sale, and I know I’d rather have a customer buy less often than lose them completely to a competitor. 

Dormant customers shouldn’t be seen as failed or lost causes. In fact, it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to get back in touch with contacts already in your database. So don’t forget about those who seldom purchase, checking in and offering an incentive is sometimes all it takes to reignite someone’s urge to satiate their retail therapy needs.

  • “Ghosting” – is both on trend and very apt here. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, to ghost someone is to suddenly withdraw all communication with someone with whom you’ve built or are building a personal relationship with.

It’s a much more playful way to say “Hi, hope you’ve not forgotten about us, here’s 15% off.” There are plenty more boring ways they could have conveyed this message but I think they did well here without clogging up the word count.

It also implies that there is some recognition of a relationship here between brand and customer. Maybe I’m reading a little too much into this, but ghosting can be hurtful and I suppose customers ignoring brands can equally hurt… only, in terms of sales and not people’s actual feelings.

Or maybe you just find that approach needy- you decide.

  • That wink emoji- I suppose there isn’t an awful lot to read into here other than they chose an emoji that was in fitting with their tone and conveyed their low-pressure, cheeky chappy approach to recovering a sale. Keeping subject lines light-hearted in these instances is a good way to go, and choosing an emoji that matches just makes sure that the tone you’re trying to put across is correctly conveyed. Let’s face it, employing a more serious tone would only be off-putting- pressurized sales tactics aren’t typically well-received. 

Admittedly not everyone is going to find applying the concept of ‘being ghosted’ to email marketing as amusing as I do, but I’ll give it to them, they are, on the whole, appealing to their targeted demographic – a younger generation of online shoppers.

So how can someone have so much to say about a 5-word question (plus a winking emoji)? 

The thing is, whenever I come across a good subject line that actually piques my interest, it often hasn’t just happened by accident. Someone has thought about what they want the call to action to be, and to do that, they’ve had to consider the most approachable and personable way to get your attention that will in turn, hopefully, result in a sale. 
Email inboxes are flooded with all sorts these days…from the boring, to the overly enthusiastic, to general white noise, so experiment and find a happy medium.

Boring subject lines are so last year 😉

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *