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20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines [+ Examples]

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20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines [+ Examples]

Your readers are judging your email subject lines. In fact, 47% of marketers in 2022 say they test different email subject lines to optimize their emails’ performance and increase click-through rates.

While subject lines may seem like an insignificant part of your message, they are often your only chance to stand out in a crowded inbox. Read on for some tried-and-true tips to help jazz up your subject lines and boost your email engagement.

Download Now: 100 Email Subject Line Examples

What makes a good email subject line?

Before we get to our tips, let’s go over some fundamentals of what makes a great subject line. Regardless of your goals, these are the essential elements that your subject line should possess.

1. Urgency

email subject line, running out of time to double your impactCreating a sense of urgency is an efficient way to get people to take action. Subject lines that use words like “urgent,” “breaking,” “important,” or “alert” have higher open rates.

By communicating a known start and end date for a special sale or promotion, viewers scrolling through their inbox will click to see what they can get in that window of time.

This is a best practice when done in a series of emails counting down the window of opportunity — as long as you’re not flooding their inbox, which comes off as spammy.

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You can also create urgency for webinars or content by making them ungated for a specified amount of time, then giving your viewers codes or temporary access to the content.

2. Curiosity

email subject line, This is how you maximize Google Ads spendSubject lines sometimes work because they can send the message, “You will benefit from opening this email.” But other times, it’s good to maintain some mystery — especially if it piques the recipient’s natural curiosity and interest.

Because they require opening the email to get more information, they can result in a higher open rate. But make sure the subject line, while enigmatic, still aligns with your brand. Too obscure, and it could end up being seen as spam.

3. Offers

email subject line, claim your daily free creditsHere’s where the benefit of opening a given email comes in. At the end of the day, people love new things and experiences — especially when they’re free or at least discounted. Open with that by including it in your subject line.

Personally, I’m much more inclined to open my daily newsletters when there’s an offer or allusion for “free stuff” directly mentioned in my inbox.

4. Personalization

1686922894 930 20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject LinesImage Source

No two email subscribers are the same. Sometimes, that means the emails you send to them shouldn’t be, either. At this point, marketers have never had more ways to learn about their subscribers’ preferences, jobs, or general (dis)likes.

So when you send them content, on occasion, make it catered toward the individual.

5. Relevance and Timeliness

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When we subscribe to an email list, it’s typically because we want to be kept informed or learn more about a given topic (more on that later).

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Similar to piquing your audience’s curiosity, crafting email subject lines that incorporate trending topics or timely headlines can help you establish your brand as an authority within your industry — and can compel people to click to read.

6. Name Recognition

email subject line, Vance Joy, Pixies, and the Wood BrothersLet’s face it: We all have famous people who we presently or previously have admired.

When you understand your audience’s preferences, you can pique their interest by including the names of these recognizable individuals in your content — and mentioning them in your email subject lines.

But take heed: This tactic only works when it aligns with your brand, product, or service. So keep it relevant rather than just throwing out a name for the sake of recognition.

7. Cool Stories

1686922895 368 20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject LinesImage Source

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, here’s another place where curiosity comes into play.

By front-loading your email subject line with a compelling allusion to a story — but can only be read if opened or clicked — your audience is likely to become intrigued and want to learn more.

Again, make sure the story is relevant to your brand. Otherwise, it can confuse your readers and prevent them from opening the email.

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8. Length

1686922895 594 20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject LinesImage Source

While shorter is usually better, Gartner reports that “longer, more detailed subject lines with more than 70 characters perform as competitively as those with 11 to 20 characters.”

This is due to how you segment your audiences, so don’t be afraid to A/B test how long your ideal subject line should be.

Now that you know the fundamentals, let’s dive into email subject line best practices.

Email Subject Line Best Practices

1. Learn from successful email subject line examples.

We often look to examples for inspiration whenever we’re scratching our heads, wondering what to make our subject line.

Seeing clever use of wordplay or emojis on one of our favorite newsletters can help us think of new ways to approach our subject line.

To help you do the same, we’ve compiled a list of 100 email subject lines from real businesses. We hope you’ll be just as inspired.

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1686922895 695 20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject LinesImage Source

Download the Free Email Subject Lines Examples Guide

2. Get to the point.

email subject line, it’s happy hourImage Source

Email subject lines will get cut off if they’re too long, particularly on mobile devices. And with up to 46% of email opens taking place on mobile, we recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters to make sure the people scanning your emails read the entire message.

If you’re struggling to keep your subject lines short, think about which words matter less and where you can remove a frivolous detail. For example, if you’re sending an order confirmation, doesn’t “Your order is being processed” look better than “Order #9435893458358 is being processed”?

The same goes for your regular emails: Don’t waste your time including the word “update” or “newsletter” in the subject. Some studies suggest these words can decrease your open rate. This language tells readers the email is one in a series, and therefore, they can catch the next one.

3. Use a familiar sender name.

email subject line, sender: Susie MarinoImage Source

That name recognition we mentioned earlier doesn’t just apply to the famous — it applies to the familiar.

When setting your sender name, be as human as you can. [email protected] is both inviting and unintimidating to people when they open their inboxes.

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If you’ve already met your recipients from a previous conversation, use your own name as the sender’s address — even if the email is technically coming from the company as a whole.

The best impression you can make on your customers is that they’re working with you, the individual.

“If the ‘from’ name doesn’t sound like it’s from someone you want to hear from, it doesn’t matter what the subject line is,” explains Copy Hacker‘s Joanna Wiebe.

Ultimately, people are busy. They simply don’t bother if you don’t sound like someone who would make for an easy (or at least friendly) conversation.

4. Avoid the ‘no-reply’ sender name.

Thanks to the amount of spam people get, most people hesitate to open emails from unfamiliar senders. Even fewer people enjoy talking to a robot. Think about when you call a company and can’t get a hold of an actual person.

It’s frustrating, right? This is the same for email.

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Never use “[email protected].” Not only does it make it look less personable, but it also stops people from adding your email to their address book.

Instead, avoid using a generic email address and send the email from a real person.

For instance, we once found that emails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” performed better in terms of opens and click-through rate than emails sent from just “HubSpot.”

(HubSpot customers: Learn how to personalize the “From” name and email address here.)

5. Use personalization tokens.

Remember the personalization we mentioned earlier? Using personalization tokens — like name or location — in the subject line adds a feeling of rapport, especially when it’s a name.

Everyone loves the sound of their own name. Plus, it increases click-through rate: Research has shown that emails that included the recipient’s first name in their subject line had higher click-through rates than emails that did not.

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One example of how brands affix this information to subject lines is the dog-walking company Wag!, which does this with dog names. Here’s one such email that a HubSpot writer received:

example of catchy email from WagImage Source

That’s great personalization and great timing.

Another personalization tactic that works is to tailor subject lines to the recipient’s location — things like lists of their respective cities’ best outdoor bars and restaurants.

Little personalized touches show that you know more about your recipient than just their email address.

However, if you can’t (or don’t want to) use personalization tokens in the subject line, use “you” or “your,” so it still sounds like you’re addressing them directly.

Just don’t go overboard with the personalization here. That can be a little creepy.

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6. Segment your lists.

While email blasts that go out to your entire list might be relevant and helpful to some people, they won’t be to others — causing confusion and frustration.

Why is this restaurant sending me a list of the best local steakhouses when I’m a vegetarian? Why is this company sending me case studies when I just signed up for its email list yesterday?

Personalize the experience using information from the actions your customers have already taken — from which forms they’ve filled out, to which industries they’re in, to what their personal preferences are.

In email marketing, you can personalize your recipients’ experience using a little thing called list segmentation.

7. Use AI to get personal.

Bank of America uses AI and questionnaires to personalize both subject lines and email content.

By targeting their lists with subject lines they believed would interest them, Bank of America gained a 26% year-over-year digital sales growth in the second quarter of 2021.

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Implementing AI in your subject lines may look like adaptive testing.

Adaptive testing identifies variations in traffic/open rates and adjusts the traffic automatically, so that better-performing variations are shown more and poorer-performing variations are shown less.

Check out this article on how you can use AI to optimize your content.

8. Don’t make false promises.

Your email subject line is making a promise to your reader about what you will deliver in your message. Make sure that you make good on that commitment — and do not try to get your email opened by making false promises.

This will irk your audience, and they’ll learn not to trust your subject lines, resulting in a lower open rate and a higher unsubscribe rate.

9. Do tell them what’s inside.

email subject line, Hey Kaitlin, your download is ready!Image Source

Alt: email subject line, Hey Kaitlin, your download is ready!

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IMG name: whats-inside

Speaking of making promises, if your visitor has downloaded an offer and you’re delivering it via email, it’s a great idea to use a subject line that says something like, “Your new ebook inside!” or, “Your guide awaits!”

This works better than a simple “thank you” in the subject line because it makes it clear that something is waiting inside the email.

10. Time it right.

1686922895 613 20 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject LinesImage Source

Sending an email at the right time with the right subject line can make a huge difference in open and click-through rates.

A prime example? When food publication Eater sent an email at 6:45 P.M. on a Wednesday evening that said, “Where to Drink Beer Right Now” — it was just in time for happy hour. Nailed it.

The day of the week matters as well. Fridays see the highest email open rates (nearly 19%), compared to the lowest open rates (17%) on Saturdays.

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Another favorite example is a classic email from Warby Parker with the subject line, “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring.” It was sent two weeks before the recipient needed to renew his prescription.

By sending an email at the right time, Warby Parker increased the chances of their email getting opened — and included a relevant call-to-action about getting a glasses upgrade, too.

11. Use concise language.

Keep in mind that people scan their inboxes very quickly — so the more clear and concise your subject line is, the better.

It’s usually a lot better to be concise than it is to use complex and flowery language — unless you’re going for an elusive subject tone to entice your recipients.

When you’re going for a concise subject line, think about how your email will benefit your recipients.

You’ll want to make that benefit very clear. For example, “Increase your open rates by 50% today” is more appealing than “How to increase open rates.”

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If your subject line needs to be longer, just make sure it is relevant because “marketers who are sending targeted emails can send longer subject lines if it includes relevant insights for the customer” (Gartner).

12. Start with action-oriented verbs.

Subject lines are similar to calls-to-action in that you want the language to inspire people to click.

Subject lines that begin with action verbs tend to be a lot more enticing, and your emails could be drastically more clickable by adding a vibrant verb at the beginning.

Actionable subject lines will inspire people to click on your email by instilling urgency and excitement.

For example, in an email inviting people to a hockey legend dinner, the email subject line might read, “Dine with Bruins legend Bobby Orr,” rather than a more generic “Local Boston Sports Legend Meal.”

The former email uses “dine” to help the reader envision themselves at the table.

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13. Make people feel special.

email subject line, Your’re invited: Freehand product showcaseImage Source

The psychology of exclusivity is a powerful thing. When people feel like they’re on the inside, it gives them a sense of belonging which builds loyalty and compels them to convert on your emails.

The right phrasing can make your recipients feel special — and the effect can be magical. A few ideas for phrasing include:

  • “For our beloved customers only…”
  • “An exclusive offer for you…”
  • “My gift to you…”
  • “You’re invited!”
  • “Private invite…”

14. Create a sense of importance.

email subject line, Your special gift is waiting.Image Source

For many of us, there’s a phrase reminiscent of classic infomercials: “Act now!”

And while we wouldn’t encourage using that exact language in your content, we agree that communicating urgency and scarcity in an email subject line can help compel readers to click (or act) — when phrased creatively and strategically.

But because you don’t want to be known as “the brand that cried wolf,” use these subject lines sparingly, and try to limit them to when the occasion genuinely calls for immediate action.

15. Use numbers.

 email subject line, Get a $25 gift card for your G2 review. Image Source

Many businesses send emails with vague statements in their subject lines — which is why using data and numbers is a great way to get your emails noticed, demonstrate a clear and straightforward message about your offer, and set the right expectations.

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Just like with blog titles, using numbers in your subject line is an effective email marketing best practice.

You might use numbers to refer to the title of your listicle, the page length of an offer, a specific discount, or the numerical benefit of a particular resource you’re providing — like “Join more than 750 others at this event!”

16. Pose a compelling question.

email subject line, Looking for inspiration? We can helpImage Source

Asking a question in your subject line can also draw readers in — especially if you’re asking a question you know is relevant to your recipients’ buyer persona. This is just one way to pique that curiosity we mentioned earlier.

For example, you might try the following: “Are you making these SEO mistakes?” or “Do you know what your website is doing wrong?”

Zillow once sent an email with the subject line, “What Can You Afford?” that linked to a website showing apartments for rent.

A subject line like this is both encouraging and a touch competitive: While it gives hope that there are apartments out there that’ll fit within your budget, it also pits your cash against what the market offers.

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Another example comes from DocuSign. It sent an email late in the lead nurturing process with the subject line, “What are your customers saying?”

The body of the email contained a bunch of case studies meant to help the recipient move closer to actually purchasing DocuSign.

This was a smart move: Folks further down the funnel are likely more receptive to customer testimonials.

17. Don’t be afraid to get punny.

email subject line, We’re out for blood orangeImage Source

Most people love a good pun. It’s a great way to delight your recipients and spice up your emails. Some of the best punny email subject lines come from JetBlue, with subject lines like “Land wander-ful low fares now!”

Quirky — a community-led invention platform — worded one of its email subject lines like this: “Abra-cord-abra! Yeah, we said it.” That second part is conversational and self-referential — exactly what most people would say after making a cheesy joke in real life.

If you’re the least bit punny, think about small ways to slip them into your emails when appropriate. Just don’t overdo it. And remember the rule: When in doubt, ask a coworker.

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18. DON’T USE ALL CAPS or overuse exclamation points!!!

A subject line that says, “OPEN NOW AND RECEIVE A FREE TRIAL” or, “50% off coupon today only!!!!!!!!” isn’t going to get your email opened. If anything, it’ll probably get your email ignored.

Why? People don’t like to be yelled at, and using all caps and/or a lot of exclamation points can rub people the wrong way.

Not only are these tactics disruptive, but they look spammy. So instead of using disruptive tactics like these to stand out in people’s inboxes, try personalizing your emails, establishing relevance, and using catchy and delightful language.

19. Don’t include a question and exclamation in the same subject line.

Here’s a subject line that can automatically wind up in a recipient’s spam folder: “Want a solution fast? Act now!”

The fast solution isn’t the problem in the example above. It’s also not “act now” — although those are known email marketing spam words. It’s both phrases together.

This is a classic email saboteur, and it comes in many forms. All you need is to ask and yell at the same time.

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Often, web servers flag emails as spam if they contain both a question mark and an exclamation mark in the subject line. The example above is a common one. A good solution? Don’t do that!

Not only is this format overdone, but it’s alienating to your audience. Open-ended questions show ignorance; any good marketer knows their leads better than that.

20. Use engaging preview text.

email subject line, Introducing our 2023 Guide to Collecting and Analyzing DataImage Source

While preview text isn’t technically part of your subject line, it appears right near the subject line and certainly deserves your attention.

Preview text gives recipients a peek at the content inside your email, which clients like the iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook will display alongside the subject line. (The exact amount of text shown depends on the email client and user settings.)

When you don’t set the preview text yourself, the email client will automatically pull from the body of your email. That can look messy depending on your email content, and it’s also a wasted opportunity to engage your audience.

(HubSpot customers: Click here to learn how to set the preview text of your emails.)

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21. A/B test your subject lines.

Although these tips and best practices are a great place to start, what works best for some companies may not work as well for others. It’s all about figuring out what works best for your specific audience. That’s where A/B testing comes in.

While it can be tempting to use your intuition to predict what subject line language will make people click on your emails, you should always A/B test your highest-stakes subject lines and tweak the wording according to your results.

What works best for your audience: Long or short subject lines? Including numbers or not including numbers? Questions or statements? (HubSpot customers: Learn how to A/B test emails in HubSpot here.)

22. Reach out again.

A common problem in email marketing is sometimes, despite your best efforts, readers simply don’t open your emails. However, current stats demonstrate that marketers are missing out on further engagement.

Retargeting emails yield an 11% open rate lift on average, making them a profitable way to reach customers.

When retargeting, make this known in your subject line with something like “Oops, looks like you missed this!” or “Don’t forget to sign-up for this Friday’s webinar” or whatever you’d like a missed target to acknowledge.

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Now that we’ve gone through our best practices, let’s review the steps to creating good email subject lines.

How to Write Good Email Subject Lines

Step 1: Identify the purpose of the email.

Why is the email being sent, and how does that inform the subject line? Identify the true purpose or intention of the email and use that as the foundation to build upon when brainstorming your subject line idea.

Step 2: Determine the call to action.

What will make the user click on the email? A discount? Something free? Important information? What is enticing enough to make them want to see or learn more about your offer?

Having a call to action with an incentive yet to be seen is tempting.

Step 3: Make it relevant.

Why should your reader open this particular email? Consider making your email time-sensitive or unique with a date or time-limited promotion.

Step 4: Draft multiple subject lines.

Write similar subject lines that use varying words and tones. You want to have a few ideas to choose from, so you’re not stuck stewing over the same sentence for too long.

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Step 5: Get feedback.

Have colleagues review the subject lines to give their feedback on which they prefer. Having a second opinion can help you see it from a different perspective.

Step 6: Test your subject line.

As mentioned earlier, perform an A/B test to see which subject line performs best. After you’ve conducted the test, take the most effective email subject line and use it in your upcoming email marketing campaign.

Now that we’ve gone through the steps to create a good subject line, let’s examine some effective examples.

Examples of Catchy Email Subject Lines

To give you some added inspiration, here’s a quick list of the most intriguing subject lines we’ve seen recently.

EF Tours: “👻 Trip or Treat!”

catchy email subject lines example, trip or treat! Up to $300 off ends tomorrowIImage Source

This subject line from EF Tours uses a quirky emoji, coupled with a sense of urgency from a time-bound sale. These two tricks create an email subject line that would stand out from the rest of your inbox.

Chanel: “Smoldering Red Lipstick”

catchy email subject lines example, smoldering red lipstickImage Source

This example from Chanel is simple but effective. Viewers can visualize a beautiful red lip and feel enticed to click to see if the product really achieves a “smoldering” look.

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Wish: “Electrify your night out.”

catchy email subject lines example, Electrify Your Night OutIMG name: electrifyImage Source

Wish helps the reader to see how much more fun their night could be in one of its dresses. With this imagery, they’ll want to see how fun their selection of dresses could be — especially if it’s discounted.

Drizly: “…here’s $5 to stay in.”

catchy email subject lines example, it’s scary outside, here’s $5 to stay inImage Source

This subject line is more unique than others — it’s likely making a timely reference to weather conditions outside. This explicitly gives you an incentive to open the email.

Shutterfly: “Claim your UNLIMITED free photo book”

catchy email subject lines example, claim your unlimited free photo book, pages, and moreImage Source

While we mentioned earlier to be careful with CAPS lettering, it doesn’t overwhelm this Shutterfly subject line and makes an interesting offer.

Mediabistro: “Generous PTO and Summer Fridays”

catchy email subject lines example, generous PTO and Summer FridaysImage Source

The viewer can envision themselves taking advantage of work perks like these from Mediabistro and will feel inclined to read more on the subjects presented.

Catch more clicks with catchy subject lines.

At the end of the day, if your emails aren’t getting opened, they’re not getting seen. By using some of our tips, we hope you can come up with creative and engaging subject lines of your own. You already have great content to share — now, prove it in your subject line.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in July 2018 but has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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MARKETING

How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

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How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

It’s the age of AI, and our job as marketers is to keep up.

My team at Foundation Marketing recently conducted an AI Marketing study surveying hundreds of marketers, and more than 84% of all leaders, managers, SEO experts, and specialists confirmed that they used AI in the workplace.

AI in the workplace data graphic, Foundation Labs

If you can overlook the fear-inducing headlines, this technology is making social media marketers more efficient and effective than ever. Translation: AI is good news for social media marketers.

Download Now: The 2024 State of Social Media Trends [Free Report]

In fact, I predict that the marketers not using AI in their workplace will be using it before the end of this year, and that number will move closer and closer to 100%.

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Social media and AI are two of the most revolutionizing technologies of the last few decades. Social media has changed the way we live, and AI is changing the way we work.

So, I’m going to condense and share the data, research, tools, and strategies that the Foundation Marketing Team and I have been working on over the last year to help you better wield the collective power of AI and social media.

Let’s jump into it.

What’s the role of AI in social marketing strategy?

In a recent episode of my podcast, Create Like The Greats, we dove into some fascinating findings about the impact of AI on marketers and social media professionals. Take a listen here:

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the benefits of this technology:

Benefits of AI in Social Media Strategy

AI is to social media what a conductor is to an orchestra — it brings everything together with precision and purpose. The applications of AI in a social media strategy are vast, but the virtuosos are few who can wield its potential to its fullest.

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AI to Conduct Customer Research

Imagine you’re a modern-day Indiana Jones, not dodging boulders or battling snakes, but rather navigating the vast, wild terrain of consumer preferences, trends, and feedback.

This is where AI thrives.

Using social media data, from posts on X to comments and shares, AI can take this information and turn it into insights surrounding your business and industry. Let’s say for example you’re a business that has 2,000 customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or a software review site like Capterra.

Leveraging AI you can now have all 2,000 of these customer reviews analyzed and summarized into an insightful report in a matter of minutes. You simply need to download all of them into a doc and then upload them to your favorite Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) to get the insights and data you need.

But that’s not all.

You can become a Prompt Engineer and write ChatGPT asking it to help you better understand your audience. For example, if you’re trying to come up with a persona for people who enjoy marathons but also love kombucha you could write a prompt like this to ChatGPT:

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ChatGPT prompt example

The response that ChatGPT provided back is quite good:

GPT response example

Below this it went even deeper by including a lot of valuable customer research data:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Consumer behaviors
  • Needs and preferences

And best of all…

It also included marketing recommendations.

The power of AI is unbelievable.

Social Media Content Using AI

AI’s helping hand can be unburdening for the creative spirit.

Instead of marketers having to come up with new copy every single month for posts, AI Social Caption generators are making it easier than ever to craft catchy status updates in the matter of seconds.

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Tools like HubSpot make it as easy as clicking a button and telling the AI tool what you’re looking to create a post about:

AI social media caption generator step 1

The best part of these AI tools is that they’re not limited to one channel.

Your AI social media content assistant can help you with LinkedIn content, X content, Facebook content, and even the captions that support your post on Instagram.

It can also help you navigate hashtags:

AI social media hashtags generator example, HubSpot

With AI social media tools that generate content ideas or even write posts, it’s not about robots replacing humans. It’s about making sure that the human creators on your team are focused on what really matters — adding that irreplaceable human touch.

Enhanced Personalization

You know that feeling when a brand gets you, like, really gets you?

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AI makes that possible through targeted content that’s tailored with a level of personalization you’d think was fortune-telling if the data didn’t paint a starker, more rational picture.

What do I mean?

Brands can engage more quickly with AI than ever before. In the early 2000s, a lot of brands spent millions of dollars to create social media listening rooms where they would hire social media managers to find and engage with any conversation happening online.

Thanks to AI, brands now have the ability to do this at scale with much fewer people all while still delivering quality engagement with the recipient.

Analytics and Insights

Tapping into AI to dissect the data gives you a CSI-like precision to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what makes your audience tick. It’s the difference between guessing and knowing.

The best part about AI is that it can give you almost any expert at your fingertips.

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If you run a report surrounding the results of your social media content strategy directly from a site like LinkedIn, AI can review the top posts you’ve shared and give you clear feedback on what type of content is performing, why you should create more of it, and what days of the week your content is performing best.

This type of insight that would typically take hours to understand.

Now …

Thanks to the power of AI you can upload a spreadsheet filled with rows and columns of data just to be met with a handful of valuable insights a few minutes later.

Improved Customer Service

Want 24/7 support for your customers?

It’s now possible without human touch.

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Chatbots powered by AI are taking the lead on direct messaging experiences for brands on Facebook and other Meta properties to offer round-the-clock assistance.

The fact that AI can be trained on past customer queries and data to inform future queries and problems is a powerful development for social media managers.

Advertising on Social Media with AI

The majority of ad networks have used some variation of AI to manage their bidding system for years. Now, thanks to AI and its ability to be incorporated in more tools, brands are now able to use AI to create better and more interesting ad campaigns than ever before.

Brands can use AI to create images using tools like Midjourney and DALL-E in seconds.

Brands can use AI to create better copy for their social media ads.

Brands can use AI tools to support their bidding strategies.

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The power of AI and social media is continuing to evolve daily and it’s not exclusively found in the organic side of the coin. Paid media on social media is being shaken up due to AI just the same.

How to Implement AI into Your Social Media Strategy

Ready to hit “Go” on your AI-powered social media revolution?

Don’t just start the engine and hope for the best. Remember the importance of building a strategy first. In this video, you can learn some of the most important factors ranging from (but not limited to) SMART goals and leveraging influencers in your day-to-day work:

The following seven steps are crucial to building a social media strategy:

  1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals
  2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions
  3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research
  4. Select the Right Social Channels
  5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs
  6. Choose the Right AI Tools
  7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

Keep reading, roll up your sleeves, and follow this roadmap:

1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals

If you’re just dipping your toes into the AI sea, start by defining clear objectives.

Is it to boost engagement? Streamline your content creation? Or simply understand your audience better? It’s important that you spend time understanding what you want to achieve.

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For example, say you’re a content marketing agency like Foundation and you’re trying to increase your presence on LinkedIn. The specificity of this goal will help you understand the initiatives you want to achieve and determine which AI tools could help you make that happen.

Are there AI tools that will help you create content more efficiently? Are there AI tools that will help you optimize LinkedIn Ads? Are there AI tools that can help with content repurposing? All of these things are possible and having a goal clearly identified will help maximize the impact. Learn more in this Foundation Marketing piece on incorporating AI into your content workflow.

Once you have identified your goals, it’s time to get your team on board and assess what tools are available in the market.

Recommended Resources:

2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions

Assumptions are dangerous — especially when it comes to implementing new tech.

Don’t assume AI is going to fix all your problems.

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Instead, start with small experiments and track their progress carefully.

3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research

Social media isn’t something that you can just jump into.

You need to understand your audience and ideal customers. AI can help with this, but you’ll need to be familiar with best practices. If you need a primer, this will help:

Once you understand the basics, consider ways in which AI can augment your approach.

4. Select the Right Social Channels

Not every social media channel is the same.

It’s important that you understand what channel is right for you and embrace it.

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The way you use AI for X is going to be different from the way you use AI for LinkedIn. On X, you might use AI to help you develop a long-form thread that is filled with facts and figures. On LinkedIn however, you might use AI to repurpose a blog post and turn it into a carousel PDF. The content that works on X and that AI can facilitate creating is different from the content that you can create and use on LinkedIn.

The audiences are different.

The content formats are different.

So operate and create a plan accordingly.

Recommended Tools and Resources:

5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs

What metrics are you trying to influence the most?

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Spend time understanding the social media metrics that matter to your business and make sure that they’re prioritized as you think about the ways in which you use AI.

These are a few that matter most:

  • Reach: Post reach signifies the count of unique users who viewed your post. How much of your content truly makes its way to users’ feeds?
  • Clicks: This refers to the number of clicks on your content or account. Monitoring clicks per campaign is crucial for grasping what sparks curiosity or motivates people to make a purchase.
  • Engagement: The total social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This metric reveals how effectively your audience perceives you and their readiness to engage.

Of course, it’s going to depend greatly on your business.

But with this information, you can ensure that your AI social media strategy is rooted in goals.

6. Choose the Right AI Tools

The AI landscape is filled with trash and treasure.

Pick AI tools that are most likely to align with your needs and your level of tech-savviness.

For example, if you’re a blogger creating content about pizza recipes, you can use HubSpot’s AI social caption generator to write the message on your behalf:

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AI social media generator example

The benefit of an AI tool like HubSpot and the caption generator is that what at one point took 30-40 minutes to come up with — you can now have it at your fingertips in seconds. The HubSpot AI caption generator is trained on tons of data around social media content and makes it easy for you to get inspiration or final drafts on what can be used to create great content.

Consider your budget, the learning curve, and what kind of support the tool offers.

7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

AI isn’t a magic wand; it’s a set of complex tools and technology.

You need to be willing to pivot as things come to fruition.

If you notice that a certain activity is falling flat, consider how AI can support that process.

Did you notice that your engagement isn’t where you want it to be? Consider using an AI tool to assist with crafting more engaging social media posts.

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Make AI Work for You — Now and in the Future

AI has the power to revolutionize your social media strategy in ways you may have never thought possible. With its ability to conduct customer research, create personalized content, and so much more, thinking about the future of social media is fascinating.

We’re going through one of the most interesting times in history.

Stay equipped to ride the way of AI and ensure that you’re embracing the best practices outlined in this piece to get the most out of the technology.

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

Many brands, such as those in the home services industry or a local grocery chain, market to specific locations, cities or regions. There are also national brands that want to expand in specific local markets. 

Regardless of the company or purpose, advertising on a local scale has different tactics than on a national scale. Brands need to connect their messaging directly with the specific communities they serve and media to their target demo. Here’s a playbook to help your company succeed when marketing on a local scale.  

1. Understand local vs. national campaigns

Local advertising differs from national campaigns in several ways: 

  • Audience specificity: By zooming in on precise geographic areas, brands can tailor messaging to align with local communities’ customs, preferences and nuances. This precision targeting ensures that your message resonates with the right target audience.
  • Budget friendliness: Local advertising is often more accessible for small businesses. Local campaign costs are lower, enabling brands to invest strategically within targeted locales. This budget-friendly nature does not diminish the need for strategic planning; instead, it emphasizes allocating resources wisely to maximize returns. As a result, testing budgets can be allocated across multiple markets to maximize learnings for further market expansion.
  • Channel selection: Selecting the correct channels is vital for effective local advertising. Local newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and community events each offer advantages. The key lies in understanding where your target audience spends time and focusing efforts to ensure optimal engagement.
  • Flexibility and agility: Local campaigns can be adjusted more swiftly in response to market feedback or changes, allowing brands to stay relevant and responsive. 

Maintaining brand consistency across local touchpoints reinforces brand identity and builds a strong, recognizable brand across markets. 

2. Leverage customized audience segmentation 

Customized audience segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific demographic criteria. This marketing segmentation supports the development of targeted messaging and media plans for local markets. 

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For example, a coffee chain might cater to two distinct segments: young professionals and retirees. After identifying these segments, the chain can craft messages, offers and media strategies relating to each group’s preferences and lifestyle.

To reach young professionals in downtown areas, the chain might focus on convenience, quality coffee and a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to work and socializing. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram or Connected TV, along with digital signage near office complexes, could capture the attention of this demographic, emphasizing quick service and premium blends.

Conversely, for retirees in residential areas, the chain could highlight a cozy ambiance, friendly service and promotions such as senior discounts. Advertisements in local print publications, community newsletters, radio stations and events like senior coffee mornings would foster a sense of community and belonging.

Dig deeper: Niche advertising: 7 actionable tactics for targeted marketing

3. Adapt to local market dynamics

Various factors influence local market dynamics. Brands that navigate changes effectively maintain a strong audience connection and stay ahead in the market. Here’s how consumer sentiment and behavior may evolve within a local market and the corresponding adjustments brands can make. 

  • Cultural shifts, such as changes in demographics or societal norms, can alter consumer preferences within a local community. For example, a neighborhood experiencing gentrification may see demand rise for specific products or services.
    • Respond by updating your messaging to reflect the evolving cultural landscape, ensuring it resonates with the new demographic profile.
  • Economic conditions are crucial. For example, during downturns, consumers often prioritize value and practicality.
    • Highlight affordable options or emphasize the practical benefits of your offerings to ensure messaging aligns with consumers’ financial priorities. The impact is unique to each market and the marketing message must also be dynamic.
  • Seasonal trends impact consumer behavior.
    • Align your promotions and creative content with changing seasons or local events to make your offerings timely and relevant.
  • New competitors. The competitive landscape demands vigilance because new entrants or innovative competitor campaigns can shift consumer preferences.
    • Differentiate by focusing on your unique selling propositions, such as quality, customer service or community involvement, to retain consumer interest and loyalty.

4. Apply data and predictive analytics 

Data and predictive analytics are indispensable tools for successfully reaching local target markets. These technologies provide consumer behavior insights, enabling you to anticipate market trends and adjust strategies proactively. 

  • Price optimization: By analyzing consumer demand, competitor pricing and market conditions, data analytics enables you to set prices that attract customers while ensuring profitability.
  • Competitor analysis: Through analysis, brands can understand their positioning within the local market landscape and identify opportunities and threats. Predictive analytics offer foresight into competitors’ potential moves, allowing you to strategize effectively to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Consumer behavior: Forecasting consumer behavior allows your brand to tailor offerings and marketing messages to meet evolving consumer needs and enhance engagement.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Analytics track the success of advertising campaigns, providing insights into which strategies drive conversions and sales. This feedback loop enables continuous optimization of marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  • Inventory management: In supply chain management, data analytics predict demand fluctuations, ensuring inventory levels align with market needs. This efficiency prevents stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing operational costs and meeting consumer expectations.

Dig deeper: Why you should add predictive modeling to your marketing mix

5. Counter external market influences

Consider a clothing retailer preparing for a spring collection launch. By analyzing historical weather data and using predictive analytics, the brand forecasts an unseasonably cool start to spring. Anticipating this, the retailer adjusts its campaign to highlight transitional pieces suitable for cooler weather, ensuring relevance despite an unexpected chill.

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Simultaneously, predictive models signal an upcoming spike in local media advertising rates due to increased market demand. Retailers respond by reallocating a portion of advertising budgets to digital channels, which offer more flexibility and lower costs than traditional media. This shift enables brands to maintain visibility and engagement without exceeding budget, mitigating the impact of external forces on advertising.

6. Build consumer confidence with messaging

Localized messaging and tailored customer service enhance consumer confidence by demonstrating your brand’s understanding of the community. For instance, a grocery store that curates cooking classes featuring local cuisine or sponsors community events shows commitment to local culture and consumer interests. 

Similarly, a bookstore highlighting local authors or topics relevant to the community resonates with local customers. Additionally, providing service that addresses local needs — such as bilingual service and local event support — reinforces the brand’s values and response to the community. 

Through these localized approaches, brands can build trust and loyalty, bridging the gap between corporate presence and local relevance.

7. Dominate with local advertising 

To dominate local markets, brands must:

  • Harness hyper-targeted segmentation and geo-targeted advertising to reach and engage precise audiences.
  • Create localized content that reflects community values, engage in community events, optimize campaigns for mobile and track results.
  • Fine-tune strategies, outperform competitors and foster lasting relationships with customers.

These strategies will enable your message to resonate with local consumers, differentiate you in competitive markets and ensure you become a major player in your specific area. 



Dig deeper: The 5 critical elements for local marketing success

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

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For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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