Socialnomics with Suzanne Downing

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How to craft the All-Important Subject Line for your next e-mail

So, you have a database of e-mails and you are ready to write your e-communication (e-blast). E-mail is similar in context to your website. On your website, the most important element is the first screen. In your e-mail, the subject line is your most important element.

Direct magazine reports that an American leatherware firm sent a marketing e-mail to a mailing list and accidentally left out the body copy. Their e-mail went to their entire list with nothing but the All-Important subject line. Surprise! That specific email generated the largest response rate they ever had. Use these tips to craft your All-Important subject line for your next e-mail. Then test, test, test.

  1. Use the word this in the subject line. Why? Because it is proven to get e-mail recipients to open their e-mail. Example: This is what I was talking about… or This is so powerful because… However, don’t use it in a spam way like This is the best moneymaker in the world. (That is a good way to go directly to a spam folder.)
  2. Use the ellipsis points a.k.a. the three-dot method to create a sense of urgency and incompleteness.
  3. Present an incomplete thought. Use a thought tailored to your audience about a topic of interest. There is a part in all of our brains that dislikes incomplete information and won’t rest until is finds the info it needs to close a topic. Use it wisely, so they reader is engaged, not just clicking in to get the info and then bouncing.

And finally, what not to do…

Although some words are rock for advertising, putting some attention-grabbing words that you would use on your website are some of the very words you should avoid in your email subject line.

Words to avoid in your subject line: Buy, Discount, Free, Maximize, Money Opportunity, New, Power, Powerful Investment, Profit, Sale, Special. These are too commercial. With email, you want to appear friendly and personal.

Yes, these are the magic words advertisers and direct marketers swear by and use in their copy, but not so effective with e-mail. Save those words for print where no spam filter will rip up your page.

So get some killer e-mail headlines written and increase your response rate!

Happy e-mail subject line writing.

Paraphrased from Writing for the Web by Mario Veloso (Excellent book for any writer!)

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.


Social Media and the Olympics: Then and Now. “The first social Games.”

Olympics and Socialnomics. Then and Now.

The 2012 Olympics in London are being touted by some as the world’s “first social Games.” While some question just how social they’ll actually be, there’s no doubt that networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will play an unprecedented role in how information is disseminated from London, and how the global sports conversation is driven during July and August.

Why the big shift? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.

Web use in general has grown rapidly, too. In 2008, there were about 1.5 billion Internet users globally, according to the International Telecommunications Union, making up about 23% of the world’s total population. By this summer’s games, that number will have swelled to about 2.3 billion users making up about a third of the world’s total population. 

Summer Olympics feature some of the most popular international sports — including soccer, basketball, swimming, and track and field — so that’s sure to fuel the global buzz as well. For more context on just how and why social media will reshape this year’s Olympics in relation to 2008, we thought it’d be interesting to take a quick look at a few of the world’s most popular networks and how they compare then and now.


2008: A tweet in August of 2008 from then-Facebook executive and eventual Path co-founder Dave Morin gleefully celebrated Facebook breaking the 100 million-user threshold. 2008 was also marked by reports around the web of Facebook — gasp! — passing MySpace in popularity. The social network debuted its now omnipresent chat feature that year as well.

Today: Facebook claims more than 900 million users, is fast becoming a portal to the web at large for many and is a publicly traded company. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg is a global celebrity.


2008: 2008 saw explosive growth for Twitter, and it still finished the year with about 6 million registered users who sent about 300,000 tweets per day. The social network and its users were still very much finding their way, as evidenced by this official blog post explaining @replies. In 2009, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love would tweet that the team’s coach had been let go, breaking the story and causing some in the sports world to speculate that maybe, just maybe, the service could change how news was delivered and consumed.  

Today: Twitter currently claims more than 500 million users who collectively send some 400 million tweets each and every day. Sports news regularly breaks on the network, it’s become a prime marketing channel for athletes and much of the London 2012 conversation among media and fans is sure to take place there.


2008: By fall of 2008, YouTube users were uploading 10 hours of video to the site per minute. The site had emerged as the go-to destination for web video and had been acquired by Google two years prior. It also launched its mobile site, pre-roll ads and 720p HD option in 2008. But that success was nothing compared to what the site would look like four years later.  

Today: Iconic Olympic moments are sure to go viral and become immortalized on YouTube seemingly as they happen this summer, and it’s easy to see why. The company says it receives over 800 million unique visits per month. Those visitors watch more than 3 billion hours of video per month and upload 72 hours of new video content per minute. Five hundred years’ worth of YouTube video are watched on Facebook every day and more than 700 YouTube videos get shared on Twitter each minute. 

What It All Means

Just looking at the the three most ubiquitous social networks reveals a sporting scene and world at large that have been transformed by social media since the last Summer Olympics. And that doesn’t take into account services like Pinterest, Foursquare and Google+ — none of which even existed in 2008. This summer, expect news to break, social sharing records to fall and moments to live on as never possible before thanks to social media. And to think — this will all pale in comparison to what 2016 has in store.

Thanks Sam Laird for your comments!

Socialnomics: A perpetual wave.

Socialnomics: a purpetual wave

Socialnomics. Have you heard the word “socialnomics” hundred’s of times in the past few years? Seen Erik’s Qualman’s “Socialnomics” book hit the market? Well, I’m on the hunt for knowledge pertaining to all things social media. That’s where you come in! I’m passing all the knowledge I collect in my quest to learn about all things social to you! I love Qualman’s definition of socialnomics below:

Socialnomics: The value created and shared via social media and its efficient influence on outcomes [economic, political, relational, etc.]. Simply put: Word of Mouth on Digital Steroids!

It’s not a fad. Socialnomics is a purpetual wave.