Nithy not pithy

I’ve come upon a formula that helps me make sure my important emails get read.

It’s a lesson I learned from Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. Among other things, he argues that advertising headlines should always appeal to a person’s self interest, and ideally offer news and/or make the reader curious.

I’ve distilled it down to “Be NITHY not PITHY,” where NITHY stands for New Information That Helps You. A friend and I actually tested this in an internet ad that wasn’t working. We used the NITHY format for the ad headline and got a 10-fold increase in click through!

So now when I send an email that I want to make sure the reader opens (face it, we’re all overloaded), I make sure that my  subject lines follows that format.

“Article on consumer trend that might affect your product line.”

“Research report that supports your market projections.”

“This process could shorten our sales cycle.”

I’ve found it very effective. Try it, and let me know if it works for you too!