Hey, music entrepreneur!
In this guest post, you’ll learn what your song titles and email subject lines have in common. Understanding this can help you create better song titles as well as better email subject lines.
Now, here’s Kayleigh Alexandra to fill us in!
A title will be your fan’s first interaction with your song. A subject line is definitely your reader’s first sight of your email. Both are important to your career as a musician. Below I explain what else the two have in common…
Recommended reading: 10 Types of Emails to Send Your Fans
What They Have in Common: They Sum Up What You’re Talking About
“We Are The Champions”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “She Loves You”. What do these songs have in common? The titles give you an instant idea of what the song is about. The purpose of an email subject line is the same. To let readers know what they’re going to get from your email.
Academy Award winner Johnny Mercer explained the importance of song titles. When asked what comes first in his writing process, he said:
First — the title. That encompasses the grand idea, the crux of the obsession, the thought; it all goes into that … that’s what hits first, that’s what’s way back in your mind brought together in sharp focus; the title hits like a bullet, and if it’s right, then you have it, all of it, ready to go, in a succinct package.
Struggling to write a song title your fans will get? Having problems creating an email title that converts? Check out some of these tools to help you craft a great title with half the effort.
What They Don’t Have in Common: Email Subject Lines Shouldn’t be Misleading
When did you last check your emails? Today, yesterday, right now (as you skim this article)? Whenever you last checked them, how many emails did you click on with titles like these?
- Earn $50,000 A Day Working For Just 45 Minutes
- Lose 17 Pounds An Hour With The Only Diet Pills You’ll Ever Need
- Miracle Hair Regrowth Spray Gives You A Full Head Of Hair For $1.99
None. While song titles and email subject lines can and do sum up the content found within, the former can say what they want. Emails operate by different rules. They shouldn’t be misleading. Why? Because your audience either won’t open them, or will delete them once they realize they’re misleading. Once deleted, your future emails could end up in your reader’s spam folder.
Your song titles can say whatever the heck they want – I mean, “I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bone)”. Really?
Concerned that your email titles are misleading? Want to know if they’re dropping into your reader’s spam folder? Try out email marketing software. A tool like Moosend gives you an easy-to-digest spam report. Use this and you can see what’s working and what isn’t.
What They Have in Common: Use Emotive Words & Speak to Your Audience
Let’s skate back to the three song examples I mentioned at the beginning. They draw you in. They act as a hook. Part of how they do this is through using incentivized language. These are power words, emotive words. Those three songs are dotted with them:
They make you think, feel, and smell things. They target your senses and your heart. They also make you part of the conversation:
- She Loves You
- We Are The Champions
- Smells Like Teen Spirit
The last example is a bit tenuous. If you haven’t reached your teenage years it won’t speak to you. If you are a teenager it’s talking about you, if you were once a teenager then it asks you to remember that it was about you.
Either way, using incentivized language is crucial to a good email subject line. Emotive language gets people’s attention. It’s what schools teach children in English class and it remains true throughout their lives. Power words will get your emails opened. Check out the video below to find out more about them:
What They Don’t Have in Common: You Must Keep Them Short & Sweet
You’ve been told that your email subject should be like The Lion King’s Baby Simba – short and sweet. Whoever told you that is right.
There are a few things to consider when deciding how short your subject lines need to be. How your previous emails have performed is one thing. What you’re talking about is another. But the most important is to refer to the stats:
- 7 is the most common number of words
- 3 is the number of words that get the most engagement
What’s crucial is that you summarize your subject as quickly as possible.
None of this is true for song titles. Spotify lets you use as many words as you like. I’ll also bet your listeners don’t care whether your song title is one or 99 words long. Fans of some genres of music even prefer longer titles, as it looks eccentric or educated.
Song titles are important. Email subject lines are equally important. While there is much the two have in common there is one unavoidable truth. Song titles get to lean much harder on the strength of the music than emails do on their content.
If you’re sending out emails to your fans you must write a great email subject line. If you’re composing a new song you should create a great title.
Subscribe to the The New Music Industry Podcast on iTunes for more great content
Trying to figure out how to get your music in front of more people? You'll love The New Music Industry book
Latest posts by Kayleigh Alexandra (see all)
- What Your Song Titles & Email Subject Lines Have in Common - January 22, 2019
- A Guide to Opening an Online Store for Musicians and Music Practitioners - December 15, 2016