Monthly Archives :

April 2021

6 Email Subject Lines That Get Clicks

150 150 Pat Monacelli


by Christina R. Metcalf

Your email content can be the best ever but if people don’t open your emails, the emails might as well be blank.

Two things make recipients click: who it’s from and how appealing the subject line is. In that order. That’s one reason I advise businesses to send their emails from a person (or at least an email that resembles one), not “no-reply@biz.

But how do you make your subject lines more irresistible? How do you inspire clicks and drive them to open your emails? Try these types of emails.

6 Types of the Most Clickable Emails
Think of your own inbox and how many emails you receive during the day. Most of us are on fast delete or swipe when we’re clearing out emails. You need to grab the recipient’s attention quickly. Here’s how:

Solve a Problem
What does your product or service help people do? Or what is this email designed to do for them? What value do they get from opening and reading it? Be specific and brief.

Example: Get more sleep with Comfy Blanket or
Say good-bye to restless nights with this easy solution

Or solve a problem they haven’t considered yet.

Example: Get mom’s gift yet? Mother’s Day is next Sunday.

Add the Color
While simple vocabulary is important in a subject line, that doesn’t mean you give up painting a tantalizing picture. Use evocative imagery and appeal to their senses. Don’t hesitate throwing in an emoji or two (unless your subject or business is incredibly serious).

Example: Warm cinnamon apple pie is calling 🥧

Invite Curiosity
We’re naturally curious and when you factor in the fear of missing out, it can be a powerful motivator of clicks. If you’ve had a recent event or launch, you can use that to your advantage.

Example: Be the first to see our new spring line
See what our opening day participants did

Explain the Send
If your audience is similar to most people, they often sign up for things and forget them. In their defense, a lot of businesses sell contact info and then the new businesses claim you signed up for the list. While that may be true, the list you signed up for initially was not their list.

To differentiate yourself from these businesses, be specific when the information was (actually) requested by the recipient.

Example: Your requested newsletter from <business> or
The <download> you requested from <business>

Detail Benefits
People want to know why they should click. Tell them. If there’s a deadline, communicate that too.

Example: Today’s top deals under $100 or
Unlock access to free delivery or
How to get a FREE <product or service>

Give Them Something They Dream About
Everyone wants something but they may not feel like they can or should. They may view your product or service as a splurge or something they need to put off. Give them a reason to feel otherwise.

Example: Treat yourself to a luscious cake or
Reward your hard work with a new look
Cover the COVID grays with our newest treatment

Finally, keep subject lines under 41 characters (not words) as often as possible and consider how they will look on a phone. Figure out what words will be cut off. Sometimes the cut can make your message more evocative and interesting. Other times, it can look sordid or mean something you didn’t intend. Keep the message short and get right to the benefit. After all, that’s what people are most interested in.

Why You Need Someone in Charge of Employee Engagement Immediately

150 150 Pat Monacelli


By Christina R. Metcalf

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, engagement is critical to your business. Now more than ever. It’s so important that I wish I could create a new name for it so people would pay more attention. Being told you need to engage your audience is not new, but the pandemic has created a bunch of new reasons why it’s incredibly important, especially with employees. If you don’t have the time, you need to make it or hire someone who does.

Engagement Is Important Because…

Your Employees Are Hanging on by a Thread
A few things are going on in the employment sector these days. In most areas, there are more open positions than people looking. That means successful employers of choice are paying solid wages and not making their employees feel like a number.

You might be surprised that many employees working remotely (68%) are admitting they are interested in freelance work on the side. This can be a gateway to them starting their own business or going out on their own in some capacity. Unless they are completely enamored by your company (engagement can accomplish this), it’s only a matter of time before they build up savings, clientele, or secure healthcare to take the leap.

For employees who are not remote, the number of available jobs in most industries could be causing disengaged employees to consider other options. A certain amount of attrition is not always a bad thing but when it starts affecting your top performers, your business will feel it.

If you engage them now and help them feel like they are bringing something meaningful to your business, they will be less likely to leave. And…

They’ll Talk About You
Whether it’s your employees or your customers, you want them to talk about you (in a good way) and refer others to you. Engaged groups do that. People who see you as simply meeting their expectations (or writing a check to them every two weeks) won’t.

They Could Become Your Next Competitor
Another thing COVID did was invite people to reevaluate their jobs and lifestyles. This has caused some to think about starting their own business. In fact, 63% of employees think they could quit and start their own. So, it could be only a matter of time before the proper alignment of the stars occurs and they become your newest competition.

Take Action Today
It doesn’t do you any good to hear how important engagement is without getting some tips on how you can start engaging. Ideally, you will commit to employee engagement at your business and doing so will affect every decision made. However, there’s no time like the present. While you’re working on the larger commitment to employee engagement, here are a few easy ways to start engaging them immediately:

• Ask your employees’ opinions or views on things concerning your business. Getting feedback from them can be invaluable.
• Give constructive criticism on the job they are doing. Don’t wait for an annual review.
• Review salaries to ensure they are keeping up with the recent rise in cost of living. A surprise increase can make people feel really good and valued.
• Tell them you value them for their specific achievements. Giving details on what they do well will drive them to do more of it.
• Compliment them in front of others. Correct them alone/individually.
• Find out where they want to be in the future and help them chart a path for that.
• Encourage growth and learning. Reward them for pursuing those things.
• Encourage sharing ideas for innovation, market expansion, and cost-savings. Reward employees for the ideas that you use.
• Look for ways to surprise and delight them just like you would your customers.
• Find out what work obstacles they face and remove them.
• Encourage employees to share stories and comment on social media.
• Help them understand your mission and why your company does what it does. Why is the mission important and what does it mean to people who do business with you?
• Ask your customer-facing employees to share stories of success with the rest of the business.

Employee engagement is about helping employees feel they are a valued part of something larger, seeing themselves aligned with your operation, and feeling like they contribute to the success or failure of a project or the company as a whole. You want to cultivate a culture of caring, one in that employees care about customer outcomes and they feel like you care about them.

3 Solutions to Common Hiring Problems

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

Some businesses are saying we are in the midst of a secondary pandemic. But it’s not the kind that requires masks and handwashing. No, this one is harder to control.

There is a dearth of people willing (or able) to work for a multitude of reasons. Employers across the country are posting signs asking for patience with their existing employees because the business is understaffed. In fact, there are hiring managers who are scheduling interviews only to have no one show up! You can’t hire people who don’t even come to an interview.

So what’s a business to do?

Some people blame the business. They believe that the average person wants to work but can’t afford to because of minimal wages and expensive childcare. But the numbers don’t entirely speak to that. 30% of US households are “married without children” in 2020. Single-person households are 23% of the population. So for over half, children aren’t a concern.

So, what can you do to combat the 3 common hiring problems these days? Here are some ideas.

Employment Hiring Challenges Post-COVID
If you brush wages aside as the main reason people don’t show up for interviews or first days for that matter, what are you left with?

Working from Home
It’s the elephant in the room. Why would a worker want to work behind a counter when they can sit at home and work (or sit by the pool or in a coffee shop, etc.). An unparalleled number of businesses created work from home scenarios, and many will stick to those protocols long after COVID. Work at home is no longer a perk. It’s an expectation and it’s hard to compete with that.

Solution: If your business is entirely in-person, it’s not like you’ll never be able to hire again. But it may take some creativity to appeal to workers. Things you might be able to do include flexible shifts (such as working around a child’s schedule) or floating start times within a window of time. The clue here is to get creative with the allowances you can make.

Ghosting Is the Norm
Ghosting has become the norm in relationships. Don’t want to deal with a difficult situation, ignore it and disappear. We’re starting to see this trickle down into our workforce. It’s acceptable to just not show for an interview, first day, drug screen, etc.

Solution: This is difficult to do when you’ve only had minutes of interaction with a candidate. However, people are more likely to ghost when they don’t feel a connection or don’t think of the employer as a person but rather a large corporate structure as in the “they won’t even notice I’m not there” scenario.

In order to avoid being ghosted, you have to do your best to connect with them in the short time you have. Share details about your life. Maybe you’re interviewing them on a special day and “fitting” them in or “clearing” your schedule. Do it respectfully and don’t force the guilt but try and make an impression. You may still get ghosted, but it will be less likely if they see you as a person with needs and feelings.

Reevaluating the Same Old, Same Old
With our forced downtime this past year, we were exposed to a LOT of marketing messaging and frankly many people are just burned out. They may find it hard to believe the claims of some companies.

Another thing people may have done is reevaluating things in their lives that just aren’t working. Some people may have decided that life is too short to work at an unfulfilling job. Others may have seen this pandemic as a kick in the pants from the universe to start their own job. Maybe they saw how being a loyal employee can still result in a lay-off or furlough. Whatever the cause of their employment ennui, people have changed, and you’ll need to too.

Solution: find out what your existing employees want (and what makes them stay with you). Use that in your job marketing. Ask employees for referrals. Reward them for their loyalty and they’ll talk about how great you are to their friends.

Employers are facing an unparalleled time right now, finding it very difficult to recruit good people. For many businesses, it’s difficult to get interest let alone keep someone after their first day. In order to be competitive in the job market, you need to stand out. These tips should help you do that. But you’ll need to go beyond them to think of some creative experiences for new employees. While you’re at it throw a few in for your customers. You never know. A loyal customer may just want to become part of your team.

How COVID is Changing the State of Work

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

Are you ready to return to normal yet?

If “normal” means life without COVID, we’re not that far away from herd immunity. But if your definition of normal is getting back to how things used to be before the pandemic, I’m afraid that likely isn’t happening. The state of work has changed. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for life on the other side of the pandemic.

Things Have Changed. Your Business Will Need to Adapt.
If you’ve ever raised a child or owned a pet, you understand that it is very hard to allow for an exception to a rule. Try telling your dog, for instance, that they can only sit on your furniture at night. Or tell a child under 5 they can skip a nap only on vacation. Rule and exceptions to the rules are difficult to enforce when they apply sometimes.

The same will be true of the changes we’ve made to the workforce. Prior to COVID, many businesses didn’t want to allow employees to work from home. When the pandemic hit our doorsteps, employers were forced to reevaluate that policy. They had to make it work. All of their reasons why it would not work were tossed in order to keep the proverbial doors open.

Post pandemic, it will be difficult to return to things the way they were. It will be the same level of difficulty one might experience trying to shove all the vacation clothes back into a suitcase at the end of vacation. Things never quite fit back in the way they did when you got there.

So how will things change and what should we prepare for?

4 Ways the State of Work Has Changed
The following things have changed, and it is likely they will impact work going forward.

1. Work at home worked. People found a way to work from home amid the many distractions. They did what had to be done even when it was difficult. Employers found ways to measure productivity and hopefully dealt with situations that weren’t working.

2. Productivity measures changed. Prior to the pandemic, there were many businesses that still held onto the “butts in seats” notion of productivity. People were doing their jobs as long as they were sitting in the office, even if that meant killing an extraordinary amount of time cyber shopping and surfing the internet. With COVID, employers had to look at “real” productivity. Was the job getting done? The hours mattered less because we were all juggling distractions and responsibilities from illness to childcare to home schooling. Employers were now looking at “were the business needs getting met” as an indicator of the job being performed.

3. Have office will travel. Prior to COVID, the business world embraced open-office culture. Some businesses even removed desk assignments from the equation and allowed employees to work anywhere (in the office) that they felt their creative best. With the pandemic, employers are having to face that people can work anywhere and have enjoyed carving out their own creative space in their homes or in the places they’ve been allowed to frequent. Twitter and Hitachi have already announced that they will commit to more flexible working arrangements indefinitely.

4. Real estate is overrated. With employees working from a non-corporate location, many employers have come to question if they need a brick-and-mortar business or if they need one big enough to house every employee. They are starting to question whether smaller buildings (or none at all) can be more cost effective. At one time, a large show of opulent office space was an indicator of success. With COVID and its effects on impressions, this is no longer the case, particularly if most of the building is empty.

We may soon hit herd immunity. And with that, there will likely be more allowances. However, the changes businesses have made during the pandemic will have ripple effects on the state of work far into the future. And just like that toddler skipping naps “only on vacation” it’s likely we will never return to how things once were.