Over at Copyblogger, we teach people how to write irresistible email subject lines.
Today, Frontier Airlines delivered a subject line to my inbox so irresistible I just had to click through … even though I knew there was no chance I’d be taking advantage of their offer.
Here’s the subject line:
OMAHA is Calling with Fares from $XLVIII
It works because it takes full advantage of three of the 4 U’s … and it has a little bit of secret sauce.
1. It’s useful
The promised message is a $48 flight to Omaha. That’s a nice benefit.
2. It’s ultra-specific
Hard to get much more specific for an airline than a destination city and rate.
3. It’s unique
Omaha is not a “glamour city” you’d expect to be touted for travel, plus the Roman numerals are an interesting, timely twist.
That’s three of the U’s. The fourth, urgency, is not used in the subject line, though it probably should be. (Once you click through, the email reveals that the $48 price can only be booked through January 23rd — two days after the email was sent — and that the flight must occur by May 21st.)
I will often set aside emails with interesting subject lines and read them in a batch, sometimes several days later. I’d have missed out on the great rate to Omaha if I’d done that with this one.
4. It makes clever use of pop culture/current events
Being clever in a subject is not always a good thing. But when you have solidly incorporated three of the four U’s, then a clever twist can be the secret sauce that makes for an irresistible subject line.
In this case, Frontier Airlines is playing on the recent craze associated with Peyton Manning’s use of the term of “Omaha” at the line of scrimmage. It was the subject of this ESPN feature on NFL Countdown Sunday morning, plus many blog posts, newspaper articles, radio segments, etc.
Sure, not everyone probably heard about it … but hot topics in the NFL tend to reach a wide range of people. (Case in point: how many non-football fans know the name “Richard Sherman” now?)
And with the Super Bowl set, and two weeks of incessant build up begun, football will be top of mind for much of the U.S. for the next two weeks.
Which is why bookending the subject line with football references — “OMAHA” in all caps like it’s being shouted by Manning, plus the eye-catching use of the Roman numerals for the price (like Super Bowls are numbered) — is such a brilliant way to drive opens.
As I said, it got me to open the email … and I have zero intention of traveling to Omaha any time soon. (Though, I must say, while I was watching the ESPN feature I did think to myself, “It sure looks like a fun, laid back place to visit.)
My guess is that for those in the convertible audience — people who regularly travel to Omaha, or who might reasonably consider it in the near future — this subject line, and the compelling offer the email itself presents, will be wildly successful.
What do you think?
Do you like this subject line? Am I over-estimating the impact and general accessibility of subtle NFL references?